The result is a more distinctive letter T with a fresh feel, which, while it is still a serif font, is much more modern than the previous version of visual identity.
Telekom, the 17th most valuable brand globally, is introducing its new visual identity in the spring of 2022. This is not the complete rebranding but some finetuning of the visual identity of Europe’s leading telecom brand. This is another step in the evolution of the brand, one that could be predicted: in line with the trend we see in global brands, the T logo is becoming simpler and stronger.
As I discuss it in the Digital Branding Guide, the favicon is the new fax, and Telekom is the latest example of this. Previously it was an important issue professionally that a logo should be simple so that it could be sent via fax.
Nowadays it is more important that a logo should work well in social media. A cornerstone of this is how a sign can be used in a square format. The new Telekom logo and visual identity is perfect from this aspect.
Let’s take a look at the changes.
From 4 digits to 2
The new Telekom logo offers a solution for this: instead of the previous, horizontal logo with the 4 digits (i.e. the squares by the letter T), now we see only 2 digits. This sign is much more compact and meets today’s requirements.
The two digits mark the next step in the ‘digital telecom brand’ strategy Telekom has launched.
Digits have a long history in the evolution of the Telekom logo. The first, 1994 version already had them, in the spaces between the letters of Telekom. Almost 30 years have passed and now the logo only has the letter T and 2 digits.
May the force be with the T
As the number of digits has decreased, the details of the letter T have also changed: while it is still a serif font, the finetuning has resulted in a stronger, more pronounced sign. A non-professional may not even notice these changes, but they are definitely worth a closer look. Typography specialists used all their tools to finetune the details of the letter T. The image below shows the 7 points where these small changes were introduced:
- Angles were straightened,
- The topline of the letter T was straightened,
- The curves of the letter were optimized to avoid a ‘drooping’ effect,
- Inner spaces were optimised,
- The foot was reinforced.
The result is a more distinctive letter T with a fresh feel, which, while it is still a serif font, is much more modern than the previous version.
The letter T is now the central element of the visual identity, this is the basis of the logo versions of the various sub-brands, and it is a key part of the visual language. This allows for a more balanced image: it is easy to create symmetric layouts centred around the letter T, and the overall image is much more balanced than the previous, more corporate-like one based on the horizontal logo. The new brand refresh has introduced supplementary colours that, together with magenta, result in a much more cheerful visual language.
Both the 4-digit and the 2-digit Telekom logos are strong signs. The colour magenta is an integral part of it, it is an iconic, distinctive element of the Telekom brand. It is so strong that even the name of the colour has become part of the brand architecture, many services have the word magenta in their name.
As I have mentioned, this refresh is not a spectacular one for the tabloids to discuss, but it is something that will be useful for the brand. I wouldn’t think that it will make anyone more loyal to the brand overnight, but it is a small step in a long term brand strategy, which, I suppose, Telekom has taken so that it can become the no. 1 telecom brand in the future.
Besides the practical considerations I mentioned, this simplification is also reasonable because Telekom needs fewer and fewer elements to be recognisable. Surely these 2 digits will also disappear in a few years’ time, and what will remain will be a magenta T, which will stand for a globally leading telecom brand without anything else added to it.