“The Path of Most Resistance”
Established in 2001, Altice is a multinational company providing services across three key activities: telecom, media and content, and advertising. Based in the Netherlands, Altice has, since the beginning, gone on an acquisition rampage across the world, buying existing companies like SFR Group in France, PT Portugal that owns the MEO brand, and Cablevision in the U.S. that owns the Optimum brand. They also have presence in Belgium, Switzerland, Israel, Kenya, and the Dominican Republic. Combined, this gave Altice a €23.5 billion turnover in 2016 from more than 50 million customers worldwide. Altice is the biggest telecom you had never heard of (or, at least, I hadn’t) but that’s about to change as, yesterday, the company announced the Altice name would take not just over all corporate names but even most of the consumer brands through a global, unified brand by Publicis Groupe and the U.S. offices of Turner Duckworth.
Welcome to the new Altice. We are driven by a philosophy to always challenge ourselves. We question everything so that we can find the best way forward for our customers. In a world in which continuous innovation is the only way forward, we have invented our brand identity to redefine the vision we have for our customers -consumers, enterprises, and advertisers- and our people.
This is our signature and rallying cry for all of our stake holders. It boldly proclaims our vision for the world: that when we come together, there’s nothing we can’t achieve.
“Together”, of course, because combination is in our DNA; “Together”, as a global and multi local identity; America and Europe; technologies and talent; telecom, content and advertising; services and products. We unite our varied entities under a single name so that we can unite people: ours is a vision of a seamless and inclusive future.
But we’re also expressing an ambition. Our potential has “no limits”, because we are fearless innovators –bringing together the dreamers with the doers, to push the boundaries of human ingenuity. Altice exists to redefine our interpretation of what is possible.
I usually start my reviews talking about the logo but in this case there is a lot of foreplay required before we get to it. In the ten years I’ve been doing reviews this is the most verbose introduction of a brand I have encountered. Start at the introductory page for the identity, then download the identity presentation PDF, then I’ll see you back in 30 minutes and there will be a pop quiz. Usually, it’s the opposite where there is barely any information about the redesign so I shouldn’t be complaining, except… except that after reading everything there was to read I had to surgically roll my eyes back to the front. It’s great to have a confident, solid, brand strategy and point of view but this goes into overkill mode from the first paragraph and doesn’t let go, like, ever. A single paragraph that basically said, “Our logo is like a path”, would have sufficed, instead of the world-savior pomposity of a lot of the descriptions, i.e. “the Altice path can unlock the limitless potential of our customers, our people and our world”. So, let’s see if this logo can, after all, change the world.
Our logo is a path. A path to everything you dream of. It is an open sign, free of any shield, border, and background. It is distinctive and elegant, timeless as well as bold and fearless because the path we take converts aspirations into reality, and reinvents the future. It has dynamism and momentum because it is an invitation to connect, to join, and draw our own path. It is inclusive and seamless, it has iconic potential and global resonance because the Altice path can unlock the limitless potential of our customers, our people and our world.
The old logo was cray cray — I know that’s an outdated, terrible expression but it’s uniquely apropos in this case — even for Dutch corporate logo standards where things get funky but most companies can pull it off. This one was weird plus one, with its strange “A” and groovy marbles. Let’s just be glad their world takeover is not with that logo. The new logo hinges on a large, semi-abstract “a” that, without all the mumbo jumbo behind it, is an interesting mark. It’s simple, bold, and has a modest dynamism to it. It’s a little awkward too in how the tail of the “a” is extra long but that may be part of what makes it work. The one execution decision that makes me itch is the stem that goes upwards aligns exactly with the apex of the top curve, instead of letting that curve shoot just a tad over, like any circular letter in type does. The wordmark is nice too with all the little curves kicking up at the bottom; it’s a hard set of letterforms to kern… the bottom of the wordmark is nice and even but the crossbar of the “t” throws things off as does the space between the “i” and the “c”. Still, in general appearance, I subtly like it.
Not much in application, other than the launch campaign above which is… surprising? Meaning, the logo is so simple that to, all of a sudden, go into these super detailed illustrations was unexpected. There is something visually attractive about it… it reminds of some of the work of Tolleson (but not as finessed). I like the idea of letting the “a” be anything but there is also something cheesy about each of these illustrations. Overall, yes, this is very well suited as a major telecom brand with potential for global recognition and performance but they just need to bring down the world-changing bravado a notch.