Rest logo before and after

Before and after

Rest is an Australian industry superannuation fund established in 1988 (as the Retail Employees Superannuation Trust). With around 2 million members, Rest is one of Australia’s largest superannuation funds by membership. While it was originally set up to cater for workers within the retail industry, Rest now accepts members from all occupations and industries. With 160,000 businesses paying superannuation to Rest, the fund currently has more than $50 billion in funds under management. (Wikipedia)

REST Industry Super […] will from today be known as Rest, with the launch of a new brand that reflects the smart, new ways the fund is connecting and communicating with customers. This major brand repositioning is the first undertaken since Rest was founded for members in 1988, and reflects the fund’s transformation, strategic direction and strong customer focus. A new logo and visual identity support the change, which reflects Rest’s significant investment in customer experience technology, services and offerings that benefit members and employers.

Rest media release

Old REST Industry Super logo

Old REST Industry Super logo

Starting with the text, the old logo used two classic typefaces – Bauer Bodoni and Helvetica Neue – and while the combination might have been à la mode in the 80s, it would have looked quite dated even 10 years ago. Bauer Bodoni in particular – an elegant, delicate, high-contrast serif face – is typically associated with upmarket magazines, fashion brand identities, and other applications that demand a luxurious or dignified feel. Utilised here for a superannuation fund, it may have conveyed professionalism, but it also felt unwelcoming and even snotty.

Then there was that dreaded swoosh, which might have been used by the company to say, “We’re forward thinking and dynamic!” But it was just plain tacky. The swoosh has to be the lowest common denominator in logo design, and it added nothing to the logo but sharp points, whose unpleasantness was only accentuated by the searing red. Overall, it wasn’t a logo that left you feeling restful.

The core of the new brand identity is a word mark that embodies the sense of connection, care and empowerment that drive the new brand. It’s accompanied by a refreshing colour palette and tagline “together towards tomorrow”.

Principals project page

The new brand identity is a complete overhaul, and starting with the logo, we see a number of elements that are carried across the visuals. The new logo appears to be custom lettering, and could really be described as one extended ligature, given that all the letters are joined. Its basic style is a rounded sans-serif, and combined with the curved strokes throughout, the logo immediately gives the impression of a company that’s more human, easy to deal with and wants your business. (I love the generous sweep of the leg of the R, too.)

As can be seen, the parts where the letters join are darker, suggesting that the strokes are semi-transparent. This “overlap” effect has been incorporated into the style of a suite of new icons and illustrations used throughout the company’s website and documents.

New Rest iconography

New Rest iconography

The icons look fantastic and, most importantly, demonstrate aesthetic unity. They stick to an outline style; they use a restrained colour palette; and they share consistent line properties i.e. weight and rounded ends (although the handle of the magnifying glass on the bottom left icon above is thicker than everything else). The overlap effect is rather unique and makes the icon set more ownable and recognisable.

Linework running through photography

Linework running through photography

Various Rest forms and literature

Sample of forms and literature featuring the new illustration style

In applications, a similar style of line is used to frame and mingle with photography and form illustrations. In each instance, the line comes in from one edge of the page and runs off another edge. By not seeing the start and end points of the lines, you get a sense of a continuous flow of colour, of an energy that livens up layouts and imagery. The organic nature of the lines also creates many possibilities for layouts as they can run wherever the designer chooses.

And as for text, it’s set in Gotham Rounded, which is friendly but smart, and perfectly complements the linework with its own rounded strokes.

Various Rest forms and literature

Sample of forms and literature featuring the new illustration style

Overall, this is a really well-considered, cohesive brand identity for Rest. The logo is unexpected for this category but it’s bloody eye-catching and perfectly drawn; the iconography is vibrant and delicious; and the simple idea of using styled linework as a supporting element will ensure endless creative variations in future applications. Rest… is looking super.

Below: Rest CEO announcing the rebrand, features logo animation.

Related Links:

Rest Super Brand