Gumtree has unveiled new branding centred round a simplified tree icon, designed by London studio Koto. Koto is headed up by James Greenfield, formerly of Design Studio, which undertook the AirBnb rebrand in 2014. According to James, the agency was approached for the project in September last year through an existing shared relationship with ad agency Fold7, with Gumtree initially asking for nothing but a new logo.
James says: “I think it had been very clear the previous logo had divided a lot of opinion. They’d done a lot of consumer research and I think it’s fair to say that it wasn’t liked that much: no one knew the reason Gumtree had started so the meaning had become quite lost.”
Koto set about creating a new identity system and logo based on three main tenets: modern, simple and digital. “They’re broad terms but it’s a very broad brand,” says James. “One in three people in the UK use Gumtree monthly.”
The studio initially developed 11 creative routes, which were then whittled down to four that went through to testing with various stakeholders and members of the public. This involved working extensively with the in-house team at Gumtree, through workshops and also through focus groups with people who used the site, previously did or potentially would.
According to James, the final solution was a “very clear winner.” The tree idea ended up being carried forward into the new branding as it was deemed to be so integral to Gumtree’s brand, but was simplified to make it more “ownable.” James says: “[It’s] keeping all the positive natural connotations of growth, stability and diversity whilst making an instantly recognisable icon.
“Practically Gumtree required a logo that works at a massive range of scales from the smallest mobile screen to the largest billboard. Emotionally we wanted a tree that Gumtree could own, something that felt timeless, comfortable to all age ranges and not millennial. The result is a digital ready brand, fit for future purpose that will help reimagine how potential users see the brand.”
The new colour palette aims to stand apart from the bright, poppy colours used by many tech brands, using a vibrant green for its eye-catching qualities and a darker backdrop apparently “inspired by the Rainbow Eucalyptus tree and its unique multi-hued bark.”
Fold7 is currently developing a creative campaign that will launch during next Friday’s episode of Gogglebox on Channel 4.
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