Otto Group receives new company design – design diary

The trading and service company Otto Group presents itself with a new company design. According to the company, the entire visual appearance has been revised from scratch and adapted to the new, digital consumption habits. The adaptation is a clear commitment to digital transformation, which gives the Otto Group the opportunity to communicate its brand essence – the vision “Responsible trade that inspires” – even more clearly.

As part of a comprehensive redesign, Otto Group changed its website, font and company logo. The new company design reflects Otto Group’s values: diversity, responsibility, innovation, performance. “The new website tells stories that show how these values ​​are lived. Both will follow the Otto Group on its path to digital transformation in the future,” as stated in the press release. “As a family business, values ​​such as sustainability and humanity are crucial to us. “This is how we differ from our competitors. We want to communicate this even more strongly in the future. At the same time, we are a thoroughly digital group of companies that stand for the power of transformation and flexibility – both of which are reflected in our new appearance,” explains CEO Alexander Birken.

Otto Group Logo – before and after, image source: Otto Group, image montage: German

While the logo for the Otto brand was last changed in 2015, the company logo is now being redesigned for the first time in 20 years. The former word mark in italics was introduced in connection with the name change in 2002 from Otto Versand GmbH to Otto GmbH (Otto Group). The Otto group’s word mark is still in lower case. The slope of the letters has been eliminated and the shade of red has also been changed in favor of a lighter value.

The two letters “o” and “g” in Otto Group’s word mark were merged into one character, which from then on is used by the company in the sense of a figure mark, for example as a profile picture in the social media environment. The new “super sign” is simple, clear, sympathetic and memorable.

In addition, the company now uses its own developed corporate font “optimist“.

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The O / G sign, referred to by the company as the “super sign”, is clear, simple and personal – it’s just not unique. Computer accessory manufacturer Logitech has been using a very similar symbol since 2015, which looks like a emoticon or smiley. There are also certain parallels in the retail context of the brand that Galeria has used for over a year: lowercase letters g, emphasis on the g-arch in the basement, geometric structure. In contrast to the aforementioned brands, the Otto Group’s communication is primarily aimed at B2B, not B2C. All the mentioned brands and companies operate in different markets and environments. If the Otto group operated branches such as Galeria, the similarity between the logos would be a disadvantage. If the Otto Group sold computer accessories at all (as a brand), the resemblance to the Logitech logo would be a gross blunder and likely cause of a trademark dispute. That there is no direct competition between the listed entities puts the similarity in the form of the small gi perspective. In my opinion, there is no risk of confusion.

It is striking how much the Otto Group’s new corporate design is determined by illustrative design elements, especially the illustrations * (example) designed by London graphic artist Toby Neilan. Illustrations that have a recognizable independent style can convey qualities such as personality and humanity particularly well, especially since in a highly aestheticized media world there are photographs / videos that are exclusively aimed at “appealing”, such as those we consume in connection with Instagram & Co and in advertisements, are often interchangeable appear. It is often only at the very end of an advertisement that it becomes clear which brand and which products are actually being advertised. A visual profile based on illustrations, on the other hand, allows differentiation, creates direct fire reference and facilitates recognition. This applies not only to B2C brands (see Congstar, Red Bull, RSB, etc.), but also in B2B communication, companies / companies are increasingly emphasizing the characteristic of humanity / proximity in their external presentation. Since 2004, the consumer goods group Unilever has had a logo consisting of countless small illustrations. This makes it clear on the visual level: Behind every brand there are not only many products but also many people driving them forward. The Otto Group now also uses this type of storytelling.

* Designers Pavel Popov (Turin) and Lea Dohle (Stuttgart) are also responsible for illustrations as part of the Otto Group’s new corporate design.

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