Thursday, 15 December 2011

Branding Macmillan's Next Chapter

Macmillan - The Next Chapter (click to view)

Macmillan is one of the world's leading publishers, home to Nature Publishing Group, Palgrave Macmillan, Macmillan Education and Pan Macmillan. To improve collaboration and give its employees a fresh, modern working environment, the company is bringing together its various publishing divisions, which are currently split between Oxford, London and Basingstoke. Macmillan is also investing in new premises in Basingstoke, which will become its main service centre for fulfillment and distribution.

We first got involved in branding the move when Mat Rumblelow, head of internal communications consultancy, Rumbers Ltd - whom we had worked with before on an internal branding project for News International - asked us to create a new logo and strapline for the project. As part of the brief, the internal communication needed to be on brand, work with the Macmillan 'red wave' logo and be bold, quirky and fun.

We were conscious that the project identity couldn’t focus solely on London given Macmillan's investment in Basingstoke, as well as the fact that although Macmillan’s identity is rooted in print, digital is a growing and vital part of its business.

We came up with a number of concepts, before opting for a fun, simple, iconic identity that reflected the joined-up thinking of bringing all the different publishing divisions under one roof. Using a bold red linear treatment that took its cue from the Macmillan logo, we created an overarching icon featuring a book and turning page to represent the project strapline of ‘The Next Chapter’. The turning page graphic also featured an extended line treatment to link the individual publishing divisions together.

We then created a number of images and accompanying straplines in the same style to represent the reasons for and advantages of the move. These included ‘sharing knowledge’ and ‘embracing innovation’ which were represented by arrows converging and a laptop, while Q&A and Next Steps sections of the briefing pack were represented by mortar boards and pencil illustrations.

The move was announced to all staff on 9 November 2011, with the overarching logo and The Next Chapter strapline used on all internal communications, including briefing packs (given to over 2000 staff globally), presentations, newsletters and the staff intranet. The campaign was underpinned by a video from the CEO that covered the vision and changes ahead. The video was scripted by Mat and shot by Stickman Productions, who worked with us on the EDF video for upstreaming.

The project’s branding was really well received by employees at Macmillan, who felt it was highly professional, with a clear tie-in with the Macmillan logo and culture. Some even went as far as to say it as the ‘best internal communications ever seen at Macmillan.’

Mat Rumblelow says: "As always, TTP demonstrated their ability to capture the essence of the Macmillan Brand, while creating a new vibrant identity for the co-location project. The team pulled together a range of concepts under extremely tight deadlines, giving us a number of viable options. The chosen identity was a real success and will be carried forward over the course of the project to create a range of high-impact deliverables."

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