Brain Sinew

18 Apr 2020

Bunting is one of the most respected brands in the world of magnetics with over 60 years building equity in it’s name and identity. So naturally, when it came time to make significant, but critical changes, there was bit of hesitation.

Established in 1959, by Walter and June Bunting, the company remains a family-owned and operated business with locations all over the world including Kansas, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and England.

The old logo served Bunting well for many years, but has seen very few changes throughout its history. In order to better reflect the essence of their magnetic technology and position the company towards the future, it was time to simplify and modernize the brand image. The greatest challenge would be to bridge the gap of the company’s rich legacy and promising future.

Modernizing the old logo would not only ease internal challenges associated with natural changes, but would also allow the brand to evolve.

Over time, Bunting acquired magnetics companies in Dubois, PA, Elk Grove Village, IL and two in the United Kingdom. This level of rapid organic growth often leads to disjointed internal organizational structures and disconnected brand identity. As many of the company’s various divisions were creating similar products for the same industry, we decided to recognize all the brands under one umbrella during this first transition.

In a second phase the divisional brands and those acquired over time will be consolidated under the unifying master brand that is Bunting. This will reduce overlapping divisional identities and promote wholistic brand cohesion.

01 Brand Development

Boil down gathered information and ideate

Bunting is much more than magnets. They provide expertise in metal detection, separation, and movement equipment for just about every industry. However, most of their product and service is rooted in magnetic technology. With this in mind, I wanted to bypass magnetic parts, and emphasize a larger, more comprehensive vision for their identity. How about the Earth? The Earth we inhabit is one incredible magnet and this analogy could convey a much greater story, while also retaining ties to the company’s legacy logo.

With that in mind, we concluded that while retaining some sense of the company’s historical brand identity in the logo was important, the phrase “magnetics and co.” underserved them, and was ultimately dropped.

As I interviewed Bunting team members, researched their product, and listened to personal insights, these are the keywords and phrases that inspired me to tell their story.

02 Design

Ideas and sketches start to form

Once it really sunk in that Bunting was much more than a kitchen magnet maker, I paired that with the idea that magnetism is much more than a magnet. This notion opened my mind to numerous ideas.

A group of computer sketches and ideas

05 Presentation

Finalize logo options and present

The group of logos shown to the Bunting family and marketing team all conveyed a story much greater than magnets. The decision was unanimous – option one. The team concluded this logo best connected the company’s proud history and legacy brand image with an excitement towards the future.

06 Final Selection

Final logo description

The new logo advances the Bunting brand into the future. What was once outdated and one dimensional is now modern and tells a much clearer story.

The white sphere in the center is now representative of the globe, while the angle created by the swooshes is reflective of the true north alignment. All found in the previous logo, but now with an updated appearance. Additionally, the swooshes wrapping around the Earth represent the magnetic field and are symbolic of the Bunting team, a force of innovation.

07 Application

Brand Structure · Brand Guidelines

Among the many important aspects of this rebrand, two were the most critical coming out of the gate: 1. Unifying and clarifying the brand hierarchy and structure, and 2. Providing a foundation of visual language and branding policies for consistent application across all divisions.

The Bunting name and logo will serve as the parent figure across all divisions. Adhering to a set of branding policies will help maintain and build the Bunting brand in the following ways:

A booklet to provide clarity and understanding of branding policies will help maintain consistency. Here is what I outlined in the booklet:

  1. Brand Foundation
    Brand goals, strategy, and brand focus. With a new brand comes new responsibilities and approach. Without communicating this, organizations can revert to old ways.
  2. Identity
    Explanation of primary, secondary, and other logo options. How to use them properly and what not to do. Providing guidelines on clear space, minimum size, acceptable usage, and unacceptable usage.
  1. Color
    Primary logo colors and supporting colors. The palette of inks and color codes to use for digital and print.
  2. Typography
    Primary typeface, and secondary typefaces are brand specific fonts for usage at all times.
  1. Photography
    How and when to use various photos: brand, industry-specific, product, and abstract photo libraries.
  2. Apparel
    Placement and mock-ups of shirt designs, what material and decorations to use for each.
  3. Brand Assets
    How-to instructions on using brand shapes and making Bunting grids for photos and other design elements. How to place the tagline and 60 year icon in proper context.

Since the rebrand, I continue to reflect on the process of transitioning Bunting into what you see today. As I wrote before I still have tremendous respect for the Bunting family and marketing team for realizing this need for change and having the courage to adopt a new brand.

Thanks to Bob Bunting, Robert Bunting, the Bunting family, Mike Wilks, and many others for their courage and perseverance.

Sample grid and shape usage

Project done for Gardner Design.

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