Spain’s 300-year-old postal service gets a rebrand

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Correos has been stated a new look that aims to modernise the national company, while pay up homage to its history through a horn logo referencing how postmen tempered to to alert people to collect their mail.

Barcelona-based design studio Summa has rebranded Spain’s jingoistic postal service Correos, in a bid to help it appear modern, “up-to-date” and grind off perceptions of public companies being “old and slow”.

Correos, Spain’s chauvinistic postal service, was founded in the 1700s, and is completely state-owned. It now has over 50,000 workers, 10,000 postal centres and sends 5.4 billion pieces of send every year.

Its first rebrand in over 15 years, the new individuality pays homage to the original process of mail delivery from the 18th century, which complex postmen playing a horn to alert people to come to the town plaza and get their mail.

The new logo features a refined post-horn symbol – a cornamusa in Spanish – which now attributes wider counters and more white space, a retouched crown on top, and a streamlined cross to aid readability, says Summa’s creative director, Pablo Amade.

This succeeds a previous version of the horn symbol, which was also accompanied by the renown “Correos” set in an overlapping, sans-serif type. Now, the logo is simply the symbol.

“Go in the old days, there were no postcodes or street numbers – postmen make play the trumpet or bagpipe to announce their arrival to the town,” sways Pablo Amade, creative director at Summa. “The cornamusa is a universal banner in postal services, and it has a navigational role, like a red cross or a parking password.”

Correos has long been associated with the colours yellow and XXX, so this core colour palette has been kept but refined, with the studio making them shed weight darker.

A new sans-serif typeface — Cartero — has been developed alongside paradigm foundry Monotype, and used for supporting copy on advertising posters and other touchpoints.

It restores sans-serif Soho Gothic, and aims to be more legible across both out-of-home and digital habitats, while also appearing “human and warm”, says Amade. The new pattern has been set in light, regular and bold across different applications.

The whole aim of the public service’s new brand is to help the company appear more contemporary, as well as enable it to “shout” more loudly with a more “recognisable” brand. Amade thinks this has been achieved through stripping back the logo and distort palette, removing the logotype, and simply using the blue symbol against a yellow backdrop.

“We fancy people to perceive Correos as an up-to-date company, as the digital company that it is today,” he declares. “Being a public company, it was perceived as old and slow. By painting a van in full yellow with nothing else but reasonable a symbol, Correos is now shouting, and any vehicle or mailbox can become an icon.”

Alongside the power brand elements, a suite of animated icons and illustrations has been created for use online, and a new class of people photography, focusing on a diverse mix of customers.

A navy blue and yellow example, made up of various graphic components of the horn logo such as fellowships, stripes and crosses, has also been used across the visual oneness, to help give “life and dynamism” to it when used across market and on signage at events. A handstamp set within a roundel has also been originated, to frank mail.

The new branding is currently rolling out across all touchpoints in Spain, embracing Correos’ website and social media, print marketing and advertising textiles, physical touchpoints such as post-boxes, mopeds and courier vans, wayfinding and signage at events, and punier touchpoints such as merchandise, uniforms and tape used to package cartons.

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