Water for People's new brand identity
Brand New: People for water for people
The old identity had the sort of naive charm that gives social brands a sense of heart-felt gravity and emotional earnestness. The clumsy and heavy-handed (quite literally in this instance) illustrative brandmark of the previous identity, in combination with the descriptive name gives the impression of a no-nonsense organisation, even if those hands do look to be holding blue dog mess.
Against the say-it-as-it-is brand name, 'Water for People', the brandline appears out of place, overly intellectual and awkward. The new identity also appears 'design-ery', visually-driven and abstracted in a corporate and rather obvious way. As a result the overall strategic presence of the brand appears unnecessarily affected and trite. The attenuated symbol might look good on a pristine water bottle in a shopping mall until we stop to contemplate the serious issue the brand is supposed to advocate. Not only is the meaning of the symbol a bit thin conceptually but the type looks weak and indecisive.
The brandline, 'the current of change', invites multiple readings (as any good brandline should) but the core message appears over-ambitious and mis-directed. 'Current' also invokes another meaning I'd rather not associate too closely with water. This other meaning tends to intrude on the brandline, despite the watery people symbol, water in the name and other possible water-oriented contextual brand elements.
So, when in 'the current of change', does a jolt of electricity get administered to introduce that change?!
I love a meaningfully directed brandline that reads poetically on various levels and provides some sort of unique insight into the brand strategy but if a brandline of this type doesn't meet and then surpass the expected I'd rather not see one.
If Water for People was not entirely a pro bono job and done on the cheap then I suspect either a full rate was not on offer to attract the attention of senior creatives or Duffy & Partners is not up to scratch on a strategic level. Duffy & Partners' other design work might be stylish, lavishly produced and good to look at but, judging by this identity, when it comes to serious strategic brand thinking I think they're, quite literally...
... out of their depth.
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