Cannes Lions

Bahlsen - The Bahlsen Family

MUTABOR, Hamburg / BAHLSEN GMBH & CO. KG / 2019


2 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
Presentation Image
Supporting Images
Supporting Images






When the family grows, it is often difficult to maintain cohesion – especially when it is an international family business. The traditional German food company Bahlsen wanted to postulate the family working atmosphere as the basic principle for its umbrella brand with a new corporate design. The challenge was to develop a brand under which the diverse Bahlsen product brands can harmoniously be subordinated and to combine the rich company history full of innovations with its future ambitions.


The inspiration for the new design came from Bahlsen's design history. Based on advertising posters and packaging from the beginning of the 20th century, both logo and typography were developed. The red TET seal of quality, which the company founder had once introduced, returns to the new trademark. The Grotesk type is based on a handmade typography from the 1920s and it expresses the family background directly in the name of the new umbrella brand: THE BAHLSEN FAMILY.


The digital guideline tool provides the best reference for implementation. Here you will not only find all design elements and all rules and standards, all distances and dimensions, all do's and don'ts to represent the brand THE BAHLSEN FAMILY. The tool itself has also become a brand ambassador. The color world is inspired by the Bauhaus. The unmistakable primary colours Bahlsen Blue and Yellow are complemented by the secondary accent color Bahlsen Red, which comes from the TET seal. The most distinctive element, however, is typography. The special characters such as umlauts with their diacritical characters make the typeface so characteristic. The special: If the line spacing is narrow, the dots on the capitals move under the glyph's cap line. International diversity is Bahlsen's great strength. This also applies to the typeface. For this reason, the special characters of various languages were specially designed for Bahlsen Grotesk.


The new corporate design is collected in a comprehensive digital guideline tool and serves as a briefing for external service providers on the design of business stationery through to packaging. The exclusive special edition of baked biscuits has been produced 300 times and has since been used for special occasions. All in all, the design process has led to an intensive examination of Bahlsen's history, which has also led internally to a new awareness of the company‘s origins. The new design supports this corporate culture.