I spent some time on the phone with customer service with Eir, for those of us not in Ireland let me fill you in. Eir is a major internet service provider in Ireland, they’ve had an interesting past, to say the least. Some allegations of dodgeyness are about but I don’t want to get sued so it’s just design I’m talking about.
The title is just a pun, I in no way think Eir going out of business anytime soon – I’d say they have a few left years until another rebrand.
They have had three rebrands in the past so let’s have a look.
Telecom Éireann (meaning “Telecommunications of Ireland”) was established in the 70’s, it was a state-owned telephone company that had a monopoly on landlines in Ireland.
Their logo was clear, uniquely Irish and instantly recognisable – if you’re over a certain age you’ll have a strong connection with it. To me, it’s a huge part of the ’90s in Ireland.
The creators of the logo were Tony O’Hanlon and Peter Dabinett at Kilkenny Design Workshops.
It’s nice to see a revival of this design in particular with very nice jumpers available at Damn Fine Print, check them out. They do really fun courses too, I did one on Riso printing ages ago.
Telecom Éireann becomes Eircom in the early 2000’s.
Long story short – a lot of people got rich and a lot of people got shafted with stock trading. According ICTU (Irish Congress Trade Union):
“The privatisation of Eircom in 1999 must rank as the biggest single economic mistake made by an Irish Government – until the disastrous blanket bank guarantee of September 2008.”
Rebrand to the rescue! The company needed a fresh look, the new name, strategy and identity were conceived by Moving Brands
I really like the job Moving Brands did with the logo. I find the logo dynamic as it would work within every medium, it looks lively and fresh. People in western Europe read left to right – we relate this gesture to moving forward.
A brand that goes forward is positive because that’s the direction of where we all want to go to. Evolve or get left behind.
Here are some of the images from a case study, I believe show don’t tell
In conclusion, a rebrand is just like any other creative process, you have a business and you need a new lease of life. The only difference with a rebrand is that equity exists, people have invested in what you have before.
Businesses go through visuals transitions for many reasons, nothing new there – sometimes it’s even for the best i.e. Google was created under the name BackRub and would you believe two PhD students had a search engine called Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web but they felt Yahoo was a better name. Would you agree?
This baggage needs to be acknowledged and handled with care. For any creative working on a rebrand, extra consideration needs to be taking into what you’re sacrificing.
Side notes, credits and links:
I’ve had a look for who was responsible for the branding of Eircom but I’m come up short on details, if anyone feels like pointing me in the right direction then that would be nice and I’d update the blog.
If I got anything wrong, message me and I’ll update it
Repository – Digital Repository of Ireland – Great resource for Irish Designers to do some homework and find out about the guys who did stuff before us. This website is how I find out who created the original Telecom Eireann logo https://www.dri.ie
Irish Congress Trade Union – Learning from the Eircom Debacle – here
Damn Fine Print – Cool shop. Aidan’s cool for letting me mention them – – here
Last but not least – For the history of the telephone in Ireland and the evolution of the Eircom Logo please click here