Tall, dark and Hansen
Hansen Yuncken is one of Australia’s leading, privately owned construction companies. It was founded in Melbourne in 1918 by Lauritz Hansen and Otto Yuncken, and 100 years later, it has an annual turnover exceeding $1 billion. Major projects it has been involved in include the Museum of Old and New Art (Tasmania), Adelaide Airport, Concord Hospital (New South Wales) and Council House 2 (Melbourne), the first purpose-built office building in Australia to achieve a maximum Six Green Star rating, certified by the Green Building Council of Australia. (Wikipedia)
My main gripe about the old logo was its colour, a neither-this-nor-that sort of dark teal. Granted, it was rather unique and, as such, may have been capitalised on through its application across brand touchpoints. But it was one of those colours that doesn’t really make you feel a particular emotion and has few associations. It brought to my mind the unusual colours sometimes found on school uniforms, which often evolve so as to differentiate from other schools (and to easily identify students) rather than carry a special meaning.
The type, in Helvetica, was fine – I mean, “fine” and “Helvetica” should be synonymous really. And then there was that blob. Tilt your head to the left and you’ll realise it’s the letters h and y smooshed together; it certainly took a while for that to dawn on me (thought that’s not a bad thing). It even looked the same upside down, so that was a little plus. It was interesting for its strangeness and the tension it created between it and the sensible, measured letterforms of the Helvetica type. All in all, not a bad logo, just let down by an odd colour choice.
“Our bold new brand reflects one of confidence, strength, determination and assurance of the future,” says Hansen Yuncken CEO Peter Salveson. “Adopted to improve flexibility, visibility and support a contemporary and modern business, our three corporate colors offer durability for our future whilst retaining a contemporary and vivid yellow that has become part of the Hansen Yuncken DNA.”
The new logo is all type and based on Colophon’s Montefiore with some customisations. For example, the terminals of the S have been extended, thereby closing up the apertures and resulting in a more compact appearance. More striking is the redesign of the Y, where in the original typeface, it has a typical symmetrical form. The Y stands out as the only letter that doesn’t quite fill the tall rectangular space available to it like the other letters. But this is a good thing because that empty space to its left is significant enough to signal the separation between the two words, but still allows them to sit tightly together.
The style of the typeface itself – square, condensed, extra bold and in uppercase – is decidedly masculine. It uses space efficiently and exudes confidence. Incidentally, the design of Montefiore was originally referenced from a road sign in a town in South East England, so there is an inherent connection to infrastructure, and, if you’d like, construction.
Along with the new logo is the adoption of an orange/yellow on which the logo usually appears (or assumes for itself if on a black background). This high impact colour combo alludes to safety signage and therefore, appropriately, links to construction. (It also brings to mind the logo for Caterpillar, the world’s largest construction equipment manufacturer.) Overall, the new logo is a great update and looks built to last.