What doesn't belong?
Belong is a mobile and internet service provider owned by Australia’s largest telecommunications company, Telstra. Primarily targeting the youth market, Belong launched in October 2013 with the purpose of shaking up the competitive home broadband space. Whereas its parent company is a premium provider of digital connectivity services, Belong offers ADSL and NBN services that cater for more budget-conscious Australians. In October 2017, it extended its offering to mobile phone plans powered by Telstra’s 3G and 4G networks. As of December 2018, Belong had attracted 225,000 customers of fixed data services, and 182,000 mobile plan subscribers.
The old logo was set in Co, with customisations to the “B”, “o” and “n”. There didn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to these edits other than to make it more unique than raw typeset text.
Perhaps the linking of the “o” and “n” was intended to bring attention to the word “on” at a subconscious level. Being on has connotations that are generally favourable for a company like Belong. It could refer to their networks as being active and reliable, or to their customer support team as being available if you ever need them. Being switched on could mean they are with it – up-to-date in the technology space and in tune with the needs of its customers.
The pin/balloon device was so-so. It linked to pop-ups and alerts in the digital world – appropriate for a company facilitating internet communication – but the incorporation of the counters of the “B” looked strange.
Overall, not a bad logo, and I could appreciate its distinctive touches.
The new logo has been introduced as part of a new brand platform from Belong that, according to the company, better reflects their internal values and their customers. Called “Together We’re Different”, it seeks to highlight the commonalities we share with others that may not be apparent on the surface. Below is one of the videos from the campaign, and you can watch the others here.
The wordmark looks, for the most part, set in Gotham. (This is supported by the use of Gotham in various literature.) The uppercase “G”, however, is an anomaly. The Gotham “G” appears to have been swapped out for a “G” with a more condensed form.
It’s a typographic minutia that’s worth considering, in this instance, when you keep in mind that the new campaign celebrates diversity and the differences that make people special. My guess is that the brand’s type is designed to embody that thinking, too, not only with the substitute “G” but with the more obvious visual hook that is the flipped “E”.
While these tweaks are designed to lend the logo some individuality, they are perhaps too subtle in the absence of other graphical elements. For a brand that is celebrating diversity and differences, Belong have opted for a design that is, ironically, less quirky than the one it replaced.
But hey, its simplicity means it will look good at practically any size and anywhere. Overall, it’s a conservative update, despite its typographic oddities, and should last for years to come.