PWC’s Mighty Morphin’ Logo Adapts to Web, Print, and Beyond [Video]

The new logo is designed to be scalable to a variety of media — and transform into a full-on graphic campaign.

There’s a glaring problem facing any brand in the day and age of online annual reports, websites, and smartphones: Logos are usually designed to sit static and prim on a page. But media is constantly moving and shifting — and a person seeing your logo might do so on four different types of media in one day. Hard to make much of an impression on anyone in that kind of environment.


But the London office of Wolff Olins recently unveiled an ingenious solution to that dilemma, in a mark for PWC, the accounting firm formerly known as PriceWaterhouseCoopers. The new logo isn’t static. Rather, it morphs in endless varieties. (Akin to this logo by Pentagram, which we recently covered.)

Thus, it’s able to serve as the background of a website, an animation on TV, or as the visual tie running through an entire ream of printed brochures, letterhead, and collateral. “From the start, we didn’t want a simple logotype that just sat in a corner,” says Chris Moody, the creative lead on the three-year project. “Our solution is more of utility that can adapt. It can be toned up or down. It can deliver lots of different types of content to lots of different types of people.”

The crucial, clever stroke is the logo’s scaling panes of color, which can grow to encompass an entire web page, or shrink to fit on a business card. The red color scheme was chosen in particular to stand for warmth, in a field of accounting logos which are almost always cold and blue. And for the typeface, Wolf Olins again parted ways with competitors. Rather than a sans-serif — which has become standard for any company wanting to look “modern” — they went with a friendly, warm serif. “It’s an editorial typeface, meant to be read, and it represents a conversational way of speaking,” says Moody.

Naturally, that’s meant as a metaphor for how PWC sees itself: Friendly, open, and personal, with myriad touchpoints. “This allows a much stronger presence in the digital world,” says Moody. “Because today the relationships a company builds often happen first through a screen.”


[Examples for print]


[Examples online]

[The sign on a PWC building]

About the author

Cliff is director of product innovation at Fast Company, founding editor of Co.Design, and former design editor at both Fast Company and Wired.