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Open for business

Today, dynamic and vibrant brand identities are no longer just the preserve of broadcast channels or tech start ups.

Established businesses in critical industries like health, finance and energy do not have to be constrained playing by a traditional, monolithic corporate rulebook when it comes to they express themselves.

More than ever, it’s important these big organisations, which touch our lives everyday, begin to look, feel and behave in new and ever more compelling ways.

It’s always been the job of a brand identity to amplify and emphasise the world view of an organisation. But at a time when technology brings us closer together, it is also critical the same identity is able to empathise and respond to the needs of individual users.

In a year long collaboration, we worked with Enel’s leadership team to design an Open Power strategy. Helping to position Enel as the first open, responsive and sustainable modern utility company, the new brand identity aims to capture and convey the spirit of moving and active energy.

It began with a period of intense exploration as the whole design process embraced the idea of being open and collaborative, working closely with the client team and a range of partners, specialists and cross disciplinary mix from our four studios.

At the start of the creative process together, we explored how to visualise different kinds of power, including kinetic energy, physical phenomena and data driven systems. Using what we learned from these experiments, we put a cursor at the heart of the new brand; it is the starting point of an energy that is always moving and visually echoes the core behind the power of a light bulb – the filament.

The cursor informs the look and feel of the new brand and creates a consistent design language. This ensures everything from the word mark logo, to print and digital applications tie back to the principles of the Open Power strategy.

The brand is intentionally experimental; the cursor can be used in new and unexpected ways to create endless interpretations of Open Power. This means the brand is truly open to others and we encourage people inside and outside Enel to play, innovate and experiment with the cursor.

Visual scalability, flexibility and downright desirability is a must for any modern business. A brand presence should engage and inform your user and be as comfortable in the hand and in motion as it is in the FT on the side of a building.

To make this happen isn’t easy, it takes vision and self confidence but the brands that really change the world always look like they mean it.

Chris Moody is Global Principal and Creative Director at Wolff Olins. Follow him @MoodyThinking