Most of us know of or have at least heard of The Economist, a London-based journalism outlet dedicated to fact-based, rigorous reporting that’s been around for nearly two centuries. What’s likely less well known is the greater body The Economist lives within, The Economist Group, and its other many entities.
The Economist Group rightly identified that their many offerings outside of The Economist were getting lost in the shuffle and not clearly communicated through their existing brand narrative, brand architecture, or brand system. To help crystallize their fragmented identity with coherence and style, they sought out the help of branding juggernaut Wolff Olins of Google Workspace, TikTok, and Uber fame.
The Wolff Olins team swooped in deftly, taking the success of The Economist editorial approach and applying it to how the other facets of The Economist Group function within their industries. To do this, they had to first radically simplify The Economist Group, winnowing their over fifty brands down to four. That required creating two new brands altogether, Economist Impact and Economist Education, to accompany the existing Economist Intelligence and, of course, The Economist.
These four unique brands had to unite under a shared mission and brand narrative that Wolff Olins tied together with the brand identifier of a “red thread” design theme. A simple and clean color palette of this red along with black and white is at the core of the brand system, with rectangles of varying sizes at play throughout both in static and animated assets, signifying “The Lens” (Intelligence), “The Steps” (Education) “The Frame” (Group) and “The Stage” (Impact).
Crisp lines, typing cursors, and search bars understandably dominate the new visual identity, with blurred-out photographs that come into focus in particular sections succinctly driving home The Economist Group’s core mission in a savvy, visual manner.