It's got a ring to it
New logo for Origin Energy
Origin Energy is an Australian integrated energy company – exploring, generating and delivering energy solutions locally and internationally. It was formed in February 2000, as a result of a demerger of the Australian conglomerate, Boral Limited, which saw the energy business formed as a new company, separate from the building and construction materials business. Origin Energy delivers today’s energy needs to more than 4.2 million electricity, natural gas and LPG customers, making it Australia’s largest energy retailer. With significant investments in gas exploration and renewable energy technologies such as geothermal, hydro, wind and solar, it’s also searching for and creating tomorrow’s energy solutions. (LinkedIn, Wikipedia)
To highlight its commitment to making energy smarter, easier, more sustainable and more affordable for customers, the company has unveiled a new brand campaign – “Good Energy” – along with a refreshed logo. It is the first significant change to the Origin brand in its 18-year history.
The old logo featured a stylised O with swirly rings, one of which broke out of the O to give the icon an impression of depth. The rings certainly gave the logo a sense of energy; in fact, they brought to my mind electrons orbiting a nucleus. The wordmark, in a humanist sans serif, was fine; the choice to remove the tittles above the i’s helped clear some distraction and tighten up the lockup. The designer had the right idea in terms of colours, in that the yellow and red are each associated with warmth and energy. However, that red was kind of non-committal, borderline maroon, and just made the logo look a bit dated in this particular pairing and arrangement.
Overall, the old logo was, conceptually, in the right ballpark. I think the rings could have been executed better, but it could have been a lot worse.
The new logo maintains the equity of its predecessor by keeping a stylised O above the wordmark, but its meaning is a bit more ambiguous now. If you watch the TV spot below, there is an animation of the logo that suggests there is an abstract human figure in the icon. Or it could be a sun setting/rising over land. Whatever it is, it’s nice to look at, and the gradient of colour radiates warmth in all senses.
The wordmark remains tittle-less and in lowercase, but is now in a geometric sans whose proportions echo the circular nature of the icon. The peculiar lowercase g is identifiable as a lowercase g in context, but its form feels so foreign and it bothers me. On its own, it looks like something from an alien alphabet. Or it looks too much like a figure 8. Or it’s too big – and if you look at the new tagline below, the g descends much lower than the y, which would make it impractical as a text font. To be fair, it’s definitely unique and catches the eye, but it will take (me) time to get used to.
Overall, the new logo is an improvement, I guess. Or maybe there’s just less to complain about than the old one.