The Rise of the Friendly Brand

November 12, 2015

Brands today in our highly digital world are always searching for new ways to humanise themselves. Whether it be language, user experiences or more frequent social media touch points, the race is on to find a more friendly way to connect with audiences. One recent trend we have seen is that of the friendly logo - Brands refreshing their identities with bright colours, rounded sans serifs and clean playful graphics. From tech giants to airlines, all industries are trying to buy into the approachable user-friendly appearance.

We all know the familiar story of the Google logo refresh - earlier this year the tech giant dropped clunky serifs and out-dated drop shadows in exchange for clean crispy edges, perfectly round circles and a new simplified primary colour palette. This is not the first time we have seen the humanist sans-serif font over the last couple of years and we got to wondering if it really does work for all these brands or is it just another trend that will run its course over the next five years?

We get the reasoning behind tech brands doing the friendly thing - what started out as an industry that was difficult for some to understand, the humanist approach has helped many to change perceptions and accept the digital interface. But now that Microsoft has adopted the primary colours, Facebook the humanist sans-serif letterforms and many banks taking on the same simplified all-lowercase name plates we start to question where is the authenticity.

Coca-cola, while keeping the iconic script logo, have integrated the friendly humanistic ideals into their brand by getting back to each and every tweet received within a matter of hours - proving there is a real (friendly) human behind the brand. They even took the friend factor one step further by stamping peoples names on each can.

As far as friendly brands go, we are all for the bright playful simplicity, as long as it is authentic. As design guru Paul Rand states, brands should be playful, we just believe the creative needs to reflect the brands values in order for it to engage audiences on all levels.

Source: Brand New, Bloomberg, AGDA

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