AXEL SPRINGER

Empowering free decisions.

BRIEF

Today, as Europe's leading digital publisher, Axel Springer has built up a fast-growing digital portfolio driven by a strategy of establishing content and classifieds as successful business models for the digital world. 

We've worked with Axel Springer to create a sharpened brand positioning and visual identity that reflects its forward-thinking transformative attitude and business strategy. Our strategy and creative revolves around the idea that We Empower Free Decisions/ This purpose is reflected in our brand identity which has been rolled out across all aspects of the business, both visually and via sound branding. 

OUR IDEA

Creative and rebellious, our visual identity embodies the company's twin beliefs of freedom and entrepreneurship. We took inspiration from the company founder's belief in the vital role of freedom for democracy and the rule of law. Working closely with the leadership and communications team, together we developed the brand vision: We empower free decisions. 

At the heart of the identity is the 'impulse', a disruptive branding element that articulates the core belief - that each individual has the right to think, act and live freely. Liberated from the conventions of the design rulebook, this is a flexible identity that can appear alone or with a statement, within an image or provoking it from the outside. 

“We want to express our rapid transformation into a thoroughly digital media and technology company through our visual image as well. But it’s not just about launching a new look with a modernized corporate design; above all it’s about our purpose, which we continue to see as the company’s mission.”

MATHIAS DÖPFNER
CEO Axel Springer

SONIC SOUND

To translate the new visual identity into an audio brand, the team began by holding a workshop with key Axel Springer management. Bold, daring, direct, reduced, minimalistic and loud were the audio attributes that emerged, attributes shared by the organisation's charismatic founder. The sound of Axel Springer's voice and what he said therefore became the starting block for us to create an innovative sound language. 

We took excerpts from Axel Springer's own voice and translated them into percussive dialogue. Consonants and vowels were given different rhythmic elements with the drums mimicking the phonetic sounds of his words. Our sound language, being close to the spoken word, has the effect of a bold punchline.