Building upon a legacy brand.
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.
- Letter B: Explore the letter B to tie into their name and heritage.
- Magnetic Field: The Earth’s invisible magnetic field has amazing visuals. With a bar magnet and metal shavings, you can see it illustrated quite nicely.
- Compass: This device is a visual manifestation of the Earth’s magnetic pull. It also represents direction and knowing where one is headed.
- Earth: This planet is one big magnet and speaks of magnetism on a much larger scale. It also says Bunting is a global company.
- Atoms: At a microscopic level, atoms are at work and in action. These visuals show magnetism and scientific expertise working together.
- Particles: It’s very interesting how particles organize and change directions depending on their magnetism.
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.
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.
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:
- Position Bunting: Establish Bunting’s identity as a global company.
- Clarify Offerings: Make it easy for prospects and customers to understand and choose their offerings.
- Take the Lead: Help Bunting take leadership in a larger group of diverse industries.
- Support Sales Staff: Support Bunting sales staff by presenting a clear, consistent, and professional image.
- Standardize: Establish a standard method to name new products and services, including those from acquisitions.
- Build Equity: Continue to build equity in the Bunting brand, setting the stage for the company’s future.
A booklet to provide clarity and understanding of branding policies will help maintain consistency. Here is what I outlined in the booklet:
- 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.
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.
Primary logo colors and supporting colors. The palette of inks and color codes to use for digital and print.
Primary typeface, and secondary typefaces are brand specific fonts for usage at all times.
How and when to use various photos: brand, industry-specific, product, and abstract photo libraries.
Placement and mock-ups of shirt designs, what material and decorations to use for each.
- 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.
Project done for Gardner Design.