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A Stronger Formation

Dec 15. 2016

Stronger Together

An iconic swan, a clear brand architecture and an updated visual identity help strengthen Nordic Co-operation's presence.

This month, Norden underlined the story about a collaborating and coherent Nordic community when they launched a new name, a revitalised visual identity and a clear-cut brand architecture.

“The new name - Nordic Co-operation - clearly conveys the essence of community between the Nordic nations,” Executive Director Rikke Nalepa Olesen explains. “As a brand name 'Norden' never worked as an umbrella for the Nordic partnership. It simply wasn’t clear enough and was often misunderstood. Therefore, we created the new name: Nordic Co-operation.”

In order to build value into the new mother brand, we restructured the organisation’s brand architecture and let the mother brand, Nordic Co-operation, endorse a range of sub-brands.

“The many sub-brands that previously existed in Nordic Co-operation’s brand portfolio created ambiguity and confusion between Nordic Council of Ministers, the Nordic Council and the work of the co-operation. Today, all strategically important activities are endorsed by Nordic Co-operation. The result is a strong and united brand house that embraces many diverse activities”, says Rikke Nalepa Olesen.

Niels Stern, Senior Adviser, comments on the collaboration, “Changing the visual identity of a political organisation can be very tricky. The Nordic Co-operation is no exception. We have two councils, twelve institutions and a lot of affiliated organisations. However, Kontrapunkt efficiently researched and rapidly understood our organisation which paved the way for the design work. Kontrapunkt’s creative team was not only of the highest standard but also very receptive to our needs and to our political and organisational context. They adapted the design to meet the challenges that we face while at the same time creating a visual identity of high quality and sufficiently flexible to be embraced by both councils and all the institutions.”

A symbol of the Nordic collaboration

As part of the update of the Nordic Co-operation’s visual identity, we refined the swan symbol that has been the face of the collaboration for years.

“The swan originates from a Nordic tale about five swans that settled in each of the Nordic countries. To many people, the swan has become an icon for the Nordic countries and the collaboration between them. We chose to continue working with this metaphor,” Bo Linnemann, Executive Design Director, explains and adds: “The original logo was very much a product of its time and had become difficult to use - especially in digital contexts. It was simply too detailed, and the dark blue colour made it difficult to use on different backgrounds making it less versatile”.

In the new logo, we rotated the swan to make it fly forward and into the future - ready for the digital era. Each of the eight feathers on the swan’s wing represents the eight representations in the Nordic Co-operation: Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Greenland, Faroe Islands, Åland, Iceland and Finland.

You can find more info, check out the Nordic Co-operation's website or our case study.