IMEX Group Unveils Bright New Brand at Frankfurt Show
After nearly 18 months on the drawing board, IMEX Group’s bold new brand refresh went live at IMEX Frankfurt, which took place May 23-25 at Messe Frankfurt. The design incorporates elements of its legacy brand, while infusing it with a fresh concept that keeps inclusivity in mind and features the company’s first-ever sonic logo.
The brand review process was conducted by IMEX’s in-house design team, led by Design Manager Anna Gyseman, who was a seminal member of the team that launched Grazia magazine into the U.K. market. Gyseman recruited ex-colleagues Tony Chambers, former editor and creative director of Wallpaper magazine; Suzanne Sykes, award-winning creative director, graphic designer and brand innovator; and Jonathan Clayton-Jones, creative director at the Telegraph Group.
Dot, Dot, Dot
Prior to the redesign, IMEX felt its existing identity no longer reflected the company or its live show experiences. Extensive workshopping with staff revealed a strong loyalty to some aspects of the old brand, however, it was agreed those elements representing people (the classic dots) were a legacy to be built upon, not thrown away.
“The minute the design team presented the winning concept to our staff, we knew they’d nailed it,” said Carina Bauer, CEO of IMEX Group. “It captures our belief in the positive power of people from all over the world meeting eye to eye, face to face and shaking hands on a business deal or new friendship.”
In clean, contemporary pastel colors derived from its heritage brand, the new design embodies the heart, purpose and business value IMEX stands for, according to Bauer.
“It works brilliantly as part of our show experiences and on our websites, signage and more,” she said.
Inclusive Design Thinking
Using the latest inclusive design principles, the team created a soft brown tone affectionately called “IMEX biscuit” for use instead of classic white as a background color. The non-stimulating, neurodiversity-friendly color is designed to make readability easier for a broader range of people.
Given the importance of online expression for a global brand, IMEX also has a unique sonic logo for the first time. Developed with the help of Brighton, U.K.-based Buff Motion, the soundtrack was designed to cleverly build anticipation of people coming together for a big event and embrace the fact that humans the world over celebrate community in the same way — with their hands and voices. Click here to play the sonic logo.
IMEX Group brought the new brand to life in various ways throughout the Frankfurt show.
“The atrium at Messe Frankfurt was the focal point for many of our ‘hero’ pieces,” Bauer said. “IMEX Frankfurt was a living showcase for the new look.”
Photo: Carina Bauer, CEO of IMEX Group, and Ray Bloom, chairman of IMEX Group