Cell C recently updated their brand identity, with the new brand slowly ‘trickling’ into the market with a soft launch. The reason behind the ‘update’ is still unclear but what is clear, is that they fixed something that did not need fixing.
The previous identity was bold and simple with a rounded sans serif wordmark. The rounded edges were friendly and inviting without being too playful. The wordmark was well balanced with the icon. All of this is now swapped for a clumsy wordmark, with awkward kerning and unpleasant negative spaces. The new typeface lacks elegance. The brand also dropped the bold black colour and is now orange and purple. It looks like the brand has gone back to a time where consumers did not know better. Not only is it a costly exercise to change a brand identity, but a massive fail if it is changed for something that is not as good as the previous version.
With Cell C missing the mark with their recent brand updated they hit high notes with the identity of their new streaming service Black. I cannot comment on the service itself, but the identity and visual language is well-considered, bold, and modern. It is dynamic and even though it uses the same colours (orange and purple), they are used in a fresh and appealing way, offset against the black background. The identity is a well-crafted, with balanced typographical design, each letter is nicely handled and finessed, the dynamic interaction of the iconography & brand visuals makes it exciting and noticeable. The visual language is unique and different and the consumer touch points have been well considered, from the packaging to the product ads.
The question we have to ask is how can one brand release two pieces of work that differs so vastly in quality? Is it to do with the quality of the marketeers working on the two different projects? Or the quality of the brand consultancy tasked with the two different projects?