Visual Brand Language: bringing colour to the world

Dulux has a history dating back to 1931 and its identity imbued the requisite trust and authority you’d expect from a category leader.

But as the brand evolved into its essence of ‘let’s colour’, the visual brand language started to jar with the creativity and positivity Dulux wanted its consumers to feel.

A significant identity change comes with risk though and the board at AkzoNobel would need convincing that an already market-leading brand had a real opportunity to reassert its dominance through design. Design Bridge developed the new identity and The Big Picture created a bespoke global research programme that had the qualitative robustness to deliver confidence should the design work.

The Big Picture’s impact

The Visual Brand Language was a resounding success: full of confidence and expression, the uplifting ‘flourish’ evoked emotive responses from consumers worldwide: “he’s happy”, “he’s joyful”, “he’s inspired”, “he’s colouring the world”. Things were going well, but there was a moment we identified the huge potential… “Look at what they’re doing!” As they talked about the logo, consumers would mimic the shape, like a conductor waving an invisible baton. Often in design research it’s not what people say but what they do that tells us the most – because we asked fewer questions and observed more, consumers from Sao Paolo to Shanghai showed us the design’s power.

Our role was now to arm our client with a compelling and impactful story, that would bring this opportunity to life in the boardroom. We partnered with the insight team to tailor video content, create succinct story-led output and present the compelling story to key stakeholders.

The strong partnership between the insight team at AkzoNobel, Design Bridge and ourselves meant that the board were convinced to proceed to market without quantitative validation. The identity is now a global success, adding colour to people’s lives in more than 50 markets worldwide!


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