Pentagram refreshes American Express' visual identity for first time in 37 years
- Ruby Boddington
- 9 April 2018
As part of a new global brand platform titled Powerful Backing: Don’t Do Business / Don’t Live Without It, American Express has refreshed its visual identity with a design by Pentagram’s Abbott Miller, who has updated its iconic blue box logo, originally introduced in 1975 marking the first update to the brand’s identity in 37 years.
The refresh is part of a larger communications project that highlights Amex as a “diverse business and essential part of consumers’ lives,” with one of the primary goals being to “rinvigorate the brand identity and optimise its performance across various platforms,” introducing a visual continuity. The wider campaign features work from mcgarrybowen, Ogilvy, Mindshare and Digitas, as well as advertising by director Lance Acord and photography by Mathieu Young,
In order to achieve this, the identity preserves the well-known blue box logo, retaining its composition of two bars of outline lettering crossing through the centre of a blue square. However, the update also introduces an alternate logo for small-space digital use, such as Twitter and Instagram icons. This new version of the blue box crops the larger wordmark to capture the “Am Ex” of the full logo.
As well as the updated logo, the system of graphic elements and patterns, along with the photography and illustration is adaptable, responsive and open offering “great flexibility in creating applications and expressions of the brand.” The new visual identity represents the strength and simplicity of the brand, bringing a cohesive look to American Express while also building on 168 years of its iconography.
About the Author
Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor.