So, here is Mexico’s new brand identity. Personally, I don’t like it. The previous identity communicated much more of what Mexico is about. This one, while very clear and simple, does not. The video below is in Spanish, and, for the purpose of perception, that makes it a good test. Watch it, and ask yourself: Does it make me care?
Diseñando la Identidad del Gobierno de México 2012-2018 | Bamf! from (Bamf!) Pow! Kaboom! & Diseño on Vimeo.
To me, it doesn’t communicate Mexico, it communicates an attempt to clean up the symbol. And, what they say in the video is contrary to what they produced. Believe me, they’ve created a minimalist concept and have communicated it as a leap forward. They talk about “new and innovative” as if making it less compelling makes it “new and innovative”. Just because it looks like new (to the previous one), doesn’t make it innovative.
This is a clear case of using words to communicate something that is not.
The fact that we are talking about the brand identity of a country is telling. And, it is a shame because the previous branding idea was lauded all around the world as great. For us mexicans, that gave us something to be proud of.
What happened? Did these dudes really put some thought into it? Did they forget our story and how it still carries us? Maybe they thought we need a different story?
Your story matters
For example, my company name is Blu Maya. The story behind it is very simple. The name is a combination of the “Maya Blue“, a unique bright azure blue pigment manufactured by the Maya for various uses. What is interesting is that the Maya Blue is highly resistant to weather conditions. So, many of the ancient pieces that have been found by archaeologist carry some of that Maya Blue completely intact.
Put simply, Maya Blue stands the test of time. It is timeless.
That is what we aim to stand for, timelessness. Through our actions, our work, or anything we do, we aim to make an impact.
Both my business partner and I are aligned with this idea. We never had to talk about it, we just knew it. Every time I tell the story of our brand name, I get great reactions. Most never expect it. And, that is very powerful.
Countries, unlike most businesses, have a strong story to tell. So, when I see this new brand identity that was created for the Mexican government, I didn’t identify with it. I don’t understand what these dudes aimed to create, and don’t think that the people at Bamf! thought about the story being told. In my opinion, they simply aimed to “design a different looking logo”.
Bottom line: With the ongoing talk about innovation, every company over the world is, in some way or another, aiming to align itself with innovation. I don’t have an issue with aiming to communicate a more ambitious identity, what I have a problem with communicating something that is not. Whether or not most mexicans care about this or not, is a different story. But for me, ultimately, branding represents you. It’s isn’t so much about making it fancy looking for the heck of it. There has to be a connection between what is and what could be.