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McKinsey x Wolff Olins

WOLFF OLINS, London / MCKINSEY & COMPANY / 2019

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

McKinsey & Company has always helped clients gain insight and set their strategic direction when it matters most.

The firm has changed enormously in their nearly 100 years as a global thought leader. Over half of the work McKinsey does for clients now is in areas that didn’t exist as little as five years ago. To reflect this change we have developed a new identity for their entire global firm.

Objectives:

1. Express heritage: Reflect who McKinsey are as a Firm, their core values and heritage (e.g., working as CEO counsellors to create change that matters), with a modern expression that attracts today’s clients and talent.

2. Demonstrate confidence: Demonstrate the distinctive, bold, confidence that comes with being a global thought leader for close to 100 years.

3. Convey quality: Express the premium McKinsey command as a result of having unique insights, capabilities and the best people.

Idea

In a world where professional services are feeling increasingly homogeneous, we made sure that the final identity would not only elevate McKinsey above their competitors but give the organisation the impact they desired to attract new clients and talent.

Whilst some things about McKinsey are changing enormously, others – like its commitment to hiring and developing talented individuals – will always stay the same. We therefore decided to embrace this inherent tension by making the idea of ‘high contrast’ a guiding light for the new identity. The idea of high contrast represents McKinsey’s clarity of thought and their ability to cut through and deliver what really matters.

"...it had to be creatively distinctive while also simple enough to be used at scale by our 30,000 people working on client sites of various kinds, all over the world, every hour of the day." - Peter Dahlstrom, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company

Execution

Made up of a series of interconnected assets, the new visual identity represents McKinsey’s changing role in the world.

A new dynamic element sits at the heart of the new identity. The ‘Partnership Mark’, is always in perpetual motion and symbolises the agile ways McKinsey work with clients. The Partnership Mark also resolves into a short-form icon.

The new logo was redesigned to balance a reference to McKinsey's heritage with a modern character and to maximise its digital and physical presence.

The brand remains blue – but a new ‘McKinsey blue’, contrasted against a clean white, helping to cut through the visual noise we all interact with every day.

To make sure they communicate with confidence and clarity a new bespoke typeface was introduced. Furthermore, a custom photographic style was developed to give unique fidelity and focus to all imagery.

Outcome

The new identity was released globally on the 25th February 2019 and will continue to be rolled out across all McKinsey channels and touchpoints in the coming months. It has been warmly received internally as well as favourably reviewed in the design press. However, it’s too early to gather quantifiable data or statistical analysis to measure its impact. We’re excited to see what effect it will have for the Firm.

“Now that the identity is live, everywhere in our Firm, we are seeing it being embraced, not only because it looks much better and is more distinctive, but also because it triggers a self-realisation and conversation about who we are today, as a Firm.” - Peter Dahlstrom, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company

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