Established in 1998, MVV Energie is one of Germany’s leading energy organizations, operating as a group of regional and municipal companies that cover all stages of the energy industry value chain, from energy generation to sales to energy-related services, with more than 6,000 employees. Additionally, the company is one of Germany’s leading operators of energy from waste and biomass plants. Last month, MVV introduced a new identity designed by Munich, Germany-based KMS TEAM.
The main idea behind the brand is also the new brand promise: »We inspire with energy«. It conveys MVV’s self-image of being able to connect expertise and ingenuity, and push existing boundaries – for the market as well as the employees. KMS TEAM systematically developed all design elements on this basis. The »energy loop« is an analogue and digital brand element that resonates through the entire brand identity. It also serves as the basis for the corporate logo and as the dynamic signature for the company. The primary company color red is combined with a blue to purple shade to charge it even further.
The old logo was kind of charming with an icon that, were it not a corporate logo, would have been a lovely Mid-century Modern ornament. The pairing, though, with the black typography, one part super wide and the other part condensed, was far from charming and the whole thing had a really dated look. The new logo drops the “Energie” and nearly all readability as well. Unless you know that the company is called MVV, there is no easy way to decipher what the rollercoaster-y loop says. But we will assume the company has enough resources to establish — both at the consumer and corporate levels — that this logo is theirs, in which case it’s kind of hard to forget whose it is. It’s definitely memorable — not in a way that you can then redraw it on demand but in a way that is easy to recognize — and stands out. I mostly like it, in part for its daringness, but I wish the execution of the gradients and shading were more interesting. One of the best examples of this kind of loopy approach done right is Moving Brand’s eir identity, that has a finesse this one lacks. The logo works better on red but, again, like eir, I wish the loops that went behind had a shadow cast on them, not a highlight.
The applications are bold and first-glance-attractive with all the red, big typography — Lineto’s Circular, natch — and zooming loops but, like the logo, the execution is one round short of being more awesome. I’m also blanking out on other identities to point to that use this kind of looping visual language but there are a couple out there, so there is a lack of surprise. In motion, I can’t decide if the zooming loops look better or cheaper… I think some higher-end motion graphics work could have taken this to the next level. Overall, though, this is a relatively exciting approach for an energy company and it’s a bold statement for it, so maybe the next cycle of this identity’s life will build on its potential.