A new brand image for global market leader Heidelberger Druckmaschinen

The Peter Schmidt Group is supporting Heidelberger Druckmaschinen as it realigns the company's innovative printing techniques and services. The work of the Agency not only includes a new corporate design and strategic consultation on the future brand positioning and development of the company's service portfolio, but also a nomenclature for its engineering and product names.

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG is the world's market leader in sheet fed printing presses, employs more than 12,000 people worldwide and achieved a turnover of 2.43 billion Euros in the fiscal year 2013/2014, yet remains a traditional business. However, even with ever increasing digitisation, the overall volume of printing still continued to rise significantly in 2014 and the company's service portfolio needed to be refocused towards a wider spectrum of the printing industry to remain responsive and competitive. Together with the design and brand agency the Peter Schmidt Group, the company has therefore developed a communication strategy to accompany this change.  The identified values of "listen. Inspire. Deliver." are at the heart of this strategy and comprehensively underpin Heidelberger Druckmaschinen in understanding its customers' needs. Rather than being perceived as solely a manufacturer like in the past, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen is now promoting itself as a solution oriented service and material provider for the future.

A new corporate design, which the Peter Schmidt Group has developed since a successful pitch in autumn 2014, underlines this strategic change. In addition to a stylised revision of the company's logo, a brand icon together with a set of pictograms have been developed to illustrate the many services offered by the company. These elements are to be utilised in all digital and analogue touch points across the company's activities, from classic business premises to Apps and digital services right through to corporate apparel and signage.

Three corporate divisions and a new colour world: The new logo of "Heidelberger Druckmaschinen"

The new logo has not only been updated typographically, but also through an introduction of colour to represent the three business units of Equipment, Consumables and Services. Each of these areas is now represented by a different colour that merges seamlessly into the well known corporate dark blue of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen. The logo now illustrates the change of direction in which Heidelberger Druckmaschinen is currently moving: While its predecessor gave a subtle reference to the process of printing and had been technically devised, the new logo conveys a more open and connected image from which a new brand icon has been derived from the initial "H".

Despite these significant changes, the design team of the Peter Schmidt Group consciously decided in favour of preserving many elements of the company's previous corporate identity. Therefore, not only has the primary dark blue colour been maintained, but also the historically used typefaces of Heidelberg Gothic and Heidelberg Antiqua.. "Heidelberger Druckmaschinen is a long-established company that stands for quality around the world and it made sense to not completely abandon essential elements," said Kristin Janoschka, whose corporate design team in Frankfurt is responsible for this client. Adding that "At the same time, a new website must however make it clear at first viewing that the company has recognised the transformation of its markets and customers and is fully committed to responding to these requirements. With this new brand image we are together sending a strong signal."

Confident communication through a striking pictogram World

A striking feature of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen's future communication is that it will also have its own icon world. This has been designed to describe and highlight the services of the three business units by further extending the graphic style of the new logo. The pictograms are concise, variable and expandable. In large-scale applications their function is far more than just decoration, but serve rather as self-confident statements that make the company's competitiveness unmistakable: Innovative new developments within the field of digital printing, hybrid printing processes, unique web-offers as well as a worldwide service network can now be easily seen at a first glance. A pivotal question as to whether such a distinctive colour combination of pictograms could also be clearly printed in small applications was central to the success of the project's design, to which Kristin has succinctly answered, "Yes they can. Especially on a Heidelberg press!"