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Alma Media has unified the visual identity of its dozens of renowned products. The new look is just one step towards a more comprehensive brand strategy.
Alma Media is going through big changes. At the end of April, the company launched its new look, which brings together its publications and services and communicates the company's heavy investment in digital media. To Alma Media's customers, the rebranding is currently only apparent in the company’s outward image. The revamp is part of a larger brand strategy development project that will be carried out this year and some years to follow.
“Our aim is to make our customers and stakeholders better understand Alma Media's diverse services, which are constantly being improved. Alma Media consists of dozens of outstanding brands and we want to present ourselves as a unified product family in the future,” says Alma Media's Brand & CR Manager Sanna Forsström-Hack.
The revamp process was brought about by a real need when Alma Media's brand team met up last November with the intention of unifying the various Alma Media products' visual identities. It was a difficult task because products and services with very different visual identities have joined the Alma Media product family over the years.
“We soon realised that we could not simply join the visual identities of the various brands but we had to start from scratch. Alma's new logo is simpler and better structured, and hence it is easier to use in different formats and contexts. For some time now, the Group has had a need to strengthen Alma's brand so that all employees and stakeholders can commit to its values and culture. We have now finished the first leg of the journey.”
Alma's new logo is simpler and better structured, and hence it is easier to use in different formats and contexts.
Alma Media's roots go back to 1846, when the Finnish Literature Society's publishing house was granted permission to start printing operations in Finland. Tampereen Kirjapaino Oy and Uusi Suomi merged in 1988, and the company was later re-named Aamulehti Group. Alma Media Corporation started operating in 1998. Over the years, its services have expanded from Finland to the Nordic and Baltic countries as well as Central Europe.
“The international aspect was a very important starting point when designing the new visual identity. Alma Media is not only a Finnish but also an international company. During the design process we played with the Helsinki-Tampere-Prague connection and sought inspiration from the Finnish-international interface. Alma Media's Czech subsidiary LMC is located in Prague. It develops our recruitment services and helps jobseekers meet employers more easily,” Forsström-Hack explains.
Alma Media has grown from a traditional media house into a digital media house, which was also the focus of the new visual identity. The new look shows that Alma Media is a growing and forward-looking company, whose services offer content to every aspect of everyone's life: work, leisure, relationships and hunger for information.
As part of the revamp Alma Media's employees took self-images with Alma Media's own ”filter”. Alma Media's Brand & CR Manager Sanna Forsström-Hack in the picture.
Alma Media is a responsible media company committed to sustainable development. Living Information at the heart of the changing world is a core idea of the company, and the new image also sought to communicate this.
“We wanted to change the old identity dramatically while retaining some of Alma's recognisability. The new look is not intended to be static but rather living, dynamic and flexible, just like the media and digital industries are.”
The new digital media world is fragmented into a smorgasbord of information sources. Media users are no longer expected to consume all content but to select the content that interests them, regardless of the channel.
“This is also apparent in Alma Media's new visual identity. We could say it is made of pixels that form a mosaic surface, in the same way that various information sources form the current media business. These mosaics can be used for creating an endless number of variations to meet Alma's customers' different requirements. The new look works particularly well in animations, moving images and videos. I can't wait to try out the possibilities it offers,” says Forsström-Hack.
Renewing Alma Media's online services to suit the ever-expanding target groups is one of the next efforts in developing the company's identity and brand.
“The brand lives and breathes with our customers; it is trendy, transparent and responsible. Our next project is to create Alma-quality services for advertisers and media agencies, and the next phase in the brand strategy implementation is to focus on shared tools, operational models and synergy between our marketing teams.”
Alma Media's new visual identity has been designed by the brand development agency Grow. The team also included the Alma Media brand team, management team and unit heads.
“One of the most rewarding phases in the revamp process was getting all of the graphic designers from the various Alma Media units together to discuss the new look and to network. I hope that this kind of changing of ideas between specialists will also prove fruitful in other respects,” says Sanna Forsström-Hack.