Opinions on corporate and brand identity work.

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


Public: By the Public, for the Public

Reviewed Apr. 6, 2010 by Armin

Industry / Telecom Tags /

Public Mobile Logo, New

Launched this past March, Public Mobile is the fifth mobile provider to set up shop in Canada, a country on a stronghold of its three biggest carriers, Rogers, Bell, and Telus. (In January we reported on Wind, the fourth carrier to enter the market.) Public Mobile offers a simple deal: For $40 you can talk and text all you want. That is, as long as you live in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec where it is able to provide service which, granted, are the most populous of Canada, but still a few thousand miles short of nationwide coverage. Nonetheless, Public Mobile is setting itself up as the carrier of the people both in its name and in its branding.

Public Mobile

Not sure what’s going on in this image, but it shows a bunch of the print ads. Image source.

At the heart of their pitch is people, people like you and me and that guy and girl over there. In fact, Public Mobile is so proud of its people that it boldly claims that the ones featured in their print and TV advertising not only are real but that there was no make-up or retouching. I don’t know about you or that guy and girl over there, but I sure wouldn’t mind some make-up or retouching if I were on a semi-national advertising campaign. Sarcasm aside, the execution of the advertising does feel refreshing, active and I would go as far as saying edgy, considering the industry.

One of three new TV ads. See the rest here.

Public Mobile

Collage of stores in progress. Image source.

The new logo is not bad, considering that it uses abstract stick people and that it uses one of those abstract stick people in place of the “i,” a maneuver that invariable looks dumb but that somehow passes muster in this execution. Perhaps simply because it doesn’t stand out too much and blends in well with the wordmark. Now, I do my best to not draw comparisons between other logos, but this one is very hard to resist: Publix. Yes, it’s a grocery store in a small part of Canada’s neighboring country (U.S.) but it’s a well known identity in the design industry and an identity firm should be aware of its existence. The similarity wouldn’t be so glaring if the two names didn’t share all the same letters except one. But I digress and I turn my attention to the icon. It’s also not bad. It is well proportioned and I like how bluntly it represents, well, the public. Overall, this is a strong entry in a difficult market and Public Mobile seems well positioned to play the scrappy card.

Thanks to Andrew Hladkyj for first tip.



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