Baker McKenzie is the strongest law firm brand in the world, according to the Acritas Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index. So when the firm gives its logo and overall visual language a major overhaul, it's kind of a big deal.
The old logo (see below) dates back to 2007. Gone are the capital letters, the ampersand and the green and yellow colors (that looked like something out of a 90s PowerPoint template). The period at the end is new - supposedly nicknamed "the mic drop" by one partner.
- It's a deliberate design element and one we carry through in the broader visual identity, using the rectangle. But it signals a confident statement – we are Baker McKenzie, period, says Laurie Robertson, global head of BD, marketing and communications.
The dark red color that's been in use for decades is accompanied by a brighter, bolder shade. What was the reasoning behind the choice of colors?
- The darker red in the logo is the same as our current logo so represents the stability and continuity. The more vivid red we use for "Baker" is bright and optimistic and confident.
Is the logo change part of a broader rebranding?
- The re-design came at the end of a strategic review. We wanted to look at our core strengths from a client perspective. Our discussions with them show they feel it is a volatile, unpredictable world.They face the complexities of globalization, economic and political uncertainty, disruptive new business models, cyber insecurity and multiplying layers of regulation. This is what keeps them awake at night and they feel law firms generally are not responding quickly enough to their changing needs, says Robertson.
- We feel well-placed to reassure them and give them confidence that we can help them navigate this challenging "new normal". We have tremendous experience of working in difficult markets for over 50 years, and we wanted the branding to reflect this - we simplify the complexity. Taking it from all caps to lower case is more approachable, and that's what we feel we are. Clients tell us that they don't feel that law firms are changing, and we want to get out in front of this so the new look does signal change.
The psychology of color
According to marketing experts, blue signals security, trust and dependability. Many law firms incorporate blue in their logos, as do banks, police forces and tech companies such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Black, another favourite among firms, signals business, status and luxury.
Red, used by Skadden, Allen & Overy, Pearson, Latham & Watkins, Norton Rose Fulbright, ReedSmith and swedish firms Lindahl and MAQS, can evoke feelings of urgency, excitement, energy and passion - or danger and aggression. Green was chosen as the dominant color for this website as it signals creativity and renewal.