Opinions on corporate and brand identity work.

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This is a very old entry — images are small, formatting is off.


OMG it’s OVG

Reviewed Aug. 25, 2011 by Rietje Gieskes

Industry / Corporate Tags /

OVG was founded in 1997 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, by then 27-year-old Coen van Oostrom. The prominent commercial development company has since grown to include a variety of national and international clients. It recently rebranded in order to better connect to its expanding audience and more accurately communicate its offerings. According to Studio Dumbar, the company responsible for the redesign, the new logo is intended to be a “living identity” — flexible enough to adjust to each application, and symbolic of the unique strategy behind each project.

OVG has a very specific, authentic company culture, which has a lot to do with the personality and charisma of Coen van Oostrom, the founder. In its way of working, OVF is solid, reliable, well organized. The spirit of the company is agile, entrepreneurial, fast-adapting, eager to find new, better solutions. This unique combination is what makes the difference.

The new visual identity of OVG reflects this unique combination of talents. The logo is like an icon, expressing straightforwardness, reliability and strength. Projected on various shapes, the style becomes a living identity, dynamic and adapting to new situations, just like OVG’s approach to the projects it develops.
Studio Dumbar Website

The previous logo was not an accurate representation of the growing company. The illustrated portrait suggested a one-man business (or possibly someone selling designer eyewear). The lowercase type treatment felt informal, especially in contrast to the rigid structure of the squared box. Least successful was the lowercase tagline, which was awkwardly tracked out.

The new wordmark feels fresh and architectural, from the type treatment to the way the identity is transformed in each iteration. The shade of blue, a nod to the previous logo, is bright and contemporary. The only misstep seems to be the choice of Futura as a secondary typeface, which, with almost perfectly circular letterforms, conflicts with the condensed, mathematical feel of the logo.

Some current logo iterations

The logo iterations are abstract but, as Studio Dumbar implied, each appears to be tailored to a specific project; for instance, on the annual report cover below, the kink in the “O” reflects the unique shape of the bridge. It seems that OVG will have to develop a custom logo for each project they take on, a difficult strategy to maintain in the long term

Cover and interior page of an annual report

The redesign includes a new tagline, “re/developers,” which is intended to draw attention to the development of both new and existing properties. The new message is far more interesting than the previous, more descriptive tagline, “projectontwikkeling”, (which translates from Dutch as “project development”). Presumably, the use of English in the tag is meant to appeal to international clients.

Additional applications

Modeled type seems to be popular these days, what with the creation of the new Current TV identity, recently reviewed here, and even Pentagram’s identity for the 2011 London Design Festival. While perhaps not unique, the type-driven look works well for the OVG brand. The identity lends itself to animation, something Studio Dumbar assures me is on the way. I look forward to seeing it.



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