Managing to pull off a gradient
New logo and name for Institute of Managers and Leaders
Formed in 1939, Institute of Managers and Leaders (formerly Australian Institute of Management) is a non-profit membership organisation and the professional body for management and leadership competence and excellence. They believe that great leadership is the first step towards a better world, and they support professionals on their leadership journey in keeping with their vision – “Creating better managers and leaders for a better society.”
With more than 11,000 members, the Institute is the essential organisation for professional managers and leaders, for emerging leaders and for students thinking about their leadership future across Australia and New Zealand. The Institute is also the principle corporate body for businesses who take management and leadership seriously, and for universities who are looking to gain a competitive edge by accrediting their leadership-focused courses. (IML)
The rebrand follows a strategic decision to re-establish […IML…] as the peak professional body that sets the national standard for management and leadership excellence. […] At the heart of the rebrand […] is the desire to have a deep and long lasting impact on the development of the region’s managers and leaders.
– Press release (Mumbrella)
The old logo contained the letters A-I-M moulded to fit in a circle. I’m not a fan of this solution, in this or other similar logos, as it feels forced and doesn’t add any real meaning. To be fair, it was rather well executed, as far as that particular combination of letters would allow, and achieved some degree of symmetry. In the process, it became less readable as A-I-M and more like abstract linework, which was kind of interesting in itself. (Side note: it also reminded me of the logo for the Motor Traders Association of NSW.) The title was in Helvetica, a suitably understated typeface that conveys professionalism in its Light weight and complemented the basic square. Overall, the old logo was good, and, having consisted of a classic typeface, simple shapes and a single colour, could have lasted for a while longer.
The new logo features a rounded sans-serif typeface, Dosis, and a chevron graphic device with a gradated stroke. What immediately irks me is that the title starts off in lowercase and then becomes uppercase, visually akin to placing a subheading above a heading – it doesn’t look right. I get that “MANAGERS AND LEADERS” might be the most important part of the name, but “institute of” recedes just a little too much here. Setting that first line in uppercase too, or sentence case at the very least, might have relieved this hiccup in typographical hierarchy.
The typeface itself lends a vastly different voice to the logo; while it loses some of its professional edge with all that roundedness, its squareness projects some level of authority. As for the chevron, it’s an interesting focal point and obviously speaks to things like the “leadership journey” and the “first step towards a better world”. It balances well with the typography, and the application of a gradient injects some life into the otherwise grey logo.
Overall, the new logo is simply fine. It’s difficult to judge its effectiveness without seeing how it’s supported in company materials. I would imagine the chevron and gradient elements would play a bigger role in the broader brand identity. As it stands, though, the logo is an acceptable foundation.