Supercharged and super different
CareSuper is an Australian industry superannuation fund, specialising in superannuation for people engaged in professional, managerial, administration and service occupations. Established in 1986, CareSuper now services over 240,000 members Australia-wide and has over $15 billion in funds under management. (Annual Report 2018)
There wasn’t anything particularly bad about the old logo. Placed next to the new logo, it was really only the colour palette that might have betrayed its age. By being subdued, however, it gave the feeling of stability, of a company that made sound investments with your money. Everything else was fine – the type was set in a no-fuss sans-serif and the icon was simple, meaningful and well executed. Not only did it subtly incorporate the letters “c” and “s” in the negative space, but the swirls also drew similarities with the yin-yang symbol – which I understand represents harmony and balance – and it made you feel calm and reassured of the security of your superannuation. (My interpretation may or may not be influenced by the mere presence of the word “care” in the company name.)
In the new logo, the swirly icon has been replaced by two ring segments that butt up against each other. As there isn’t a rationale provided for this, you could draw any meaning you like from it, really. Perhaps it represents two people hugging (albeit awkwardly), which would fit with “care”. Whatever it means, it’s simple enough to work at any size and catches the eye with its bright green hues. The accompanying type is set in a semi-serif, and now for something I will rarely say: why couldn’t it just be a good little geometric sans like the raft of other identity refreshes in the past few years? It’s close enough to be one, if it weren’t for those few serifs which interrupt the geometric look established by the rings. But maybe I’ve been looking at the logo up close for too long and these things just start to stick out. The logo is simply fine.
In addition to the logo is the introduction of the above artwork. It serves as a sort of multi-purpose canvas which provides a fill for various elements. For example, you can see slivers of the artwork on the CareSuper website’s footer area, parts of it in the icons below, as well as snippets here and there. As I’m typing this, I’m still trying to make sense of it. What we’re seeing is a major departure from the restrained and selective colour scheme of the old identity (which you wouldn’t bat an eyelid over), to this garish mix of greens, blues, purples and pink that’s designed to stop you in your tracks, or, rather, make you care. The colours are very saturated or very bright – clearly someone had too much fun with the RGB sliders. (How well they print is another matter 🤔). You would never the colours would work together, but they sort of do when applied to this linework, and it creates a futuristic-slash-techno-slash-laser show vibe.
But is the new style appropriate? Perhaps it suggests that CareSuper is “future-facing”, or maybe the amped-up graphics are conceptually linked to the phrase “high-performance super” which is more or less the company’s new tagline. In any case, it projects an image of youthful dynamism that is a welcome improvement over the old and uninspiring identity. I want to fault it, because the colour palette is so audacious. I want to claim that it makes superannuation seem more exciting than it is, but hey, it’s fresh and helps CareSuper stand out from the crowd. In short, I resignedly approve of this update.