Pentagram has designed the new brand identity of Rolls-Royce, to be rolled out from September. The new visual language is aimed to resonate with the younger demographic of clients.
"As the marque's digital presence increases, there has never been a more important time for the visual language of the company to reflect our standing as the leading luxury brand in the world," commented Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive, Rolls-Royce. "We have embarked on a fascinating journey of modernising our brand identity to echo those changes seen in our portfolio, our client demographic, their lifestyle and the luxury world that surrounds them."
Rolls-Royce appointed Marina Willer, partner at Pentagram to create a new brand identity that could move beyond the mechanics of being the 'Best Car in the World,' to encapsulate the brand's presence and standing as a true House of Luxury. The identity was designed to appeal to the new demographic of clients and all that they represent both digitally, and physically.
Pentagram embarked upon a deep exploration of Rolls-Royce, including its products - both new and old, its design ethos, its designers, items that are sacrosanct to the marque, and, the unique relationship the marque maintains with its clients. They spent time in the manufactory, understanding the very essence of Bespoke and how this was key to the establishment of contemporary Rolls-Royce.
"What soon became apparent is that Rolls-Royce has evolved from being regarded as an automotive manufacturer into a leading light in the world of luxury," said Marina Willer. "It was essential for us to ensure that the brand's new identity reflected this shift. We needed to present Rolls-Royce in a forward-facing, fresh and relevant way - speaking to new audiences while respecting the company's loyal clients."
Willer was able to approach the re-design from a completely fresh perspective. "I do not come from an automotive background. This vantage point provided me with the opportunity to observe Rolls-Royce as a manufacturer of luxury products," she noted. "My ambition was to celebrate the luxuriousness of the brand while providing it with the means to visually communicate with Rolls-Royce's younger, increasingly diversified audiences."
The Spirit of Ecstasy
The Spirit of Ecstasy is an instantly recognizable, modern icon of British luxury. Having graced the prow of Rolls-Royce motor cars since 1911, today, she remains one of the world's most famous symbols, embodying beauty, luxury, style and perfection.
The Spirit of Ecstasy will now gain increased prominence in the marque's brand identity. While the sculpture that leads each motor car in silent grace remains unchanged, an iteration of the enigmatic figurine has evolved into the form of an illustration - one that reads clearly in today's virtual world.
When choosing a color palette for the new identity, Pentagram's design team initially turned its attention to the company's products. Rich in textural materiality, wooden brown hues and graphite-colored technical fibers complemented a colorful array of Rolls-Royce leathers. Although true to their artisanal origins, brown and slate palettes confined the identity to the past. The desire was to seek a more expressive, luxurious color palette, one appealing to both male and female clients, one with a future vision.
Pentagram was drawn to purple hues, specifically those with a deep and majestic tone. Historically rare in nature and with roots in mythology, art, piety and royalty, purple has always signified wealth and power. In a nod to the Spirit of Ecstasy, a color named Purple Spirit will pave the way for the future of luxury by becoming Rolls-Royce's signature color.
A metallic Rose Gold is chosen to complement this color. This elegant and modern hue will be reserved for items of longevity and used only in printed form. A wider palette of expressive colors has been determined to be used alongside these primary tones.
"Purple Spirit has a deep and powerful tone," explained Sami Coultas, Bespoke Colour and Trim designer, Rolls-Royce. "It is a colour of modernity that evokes connotations of the dark and majestic night. It has an energy that conjures emotion with thoughts of strength and ambition - a tone well suited to inspiring greatness. This will be complemented by a foiled Rose Gold which will add elegance and grace to the marque's printed materials."
The Noir imagery which surrounds Rolls-Royce's Black Badge range is now punctuated by bursts of color, reflecting each model's launch specification, illustrating the bold nature of its signature alter ego.
Badge of Honour / Wordmark / Monogram
The double 'R' Badge of Honour is a timeless expression of true luxury. The badge, representing Rolls and Royce, the marque's founding fathers, is known worldwide as a symbol of engineering excellence and the very best of human endeavor. It is no surprise, therefore, that this famed signifier remains unchanged. The Badge of Honour will reside on the marque's products alone - reserved solely for the precious creations born at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, West Sussex.
The Monogram also retains its original form but replaces the Badge of Honour on collateral, while the Wordmark 'Rolls-Royce Motor Cars', as found presiding above the door of the marque's establishments, was found to be corporate and unrepresentative of the marque's standing as a House of Luxury.
Pentagram uncovered typography in the marque's archives from the 1930s and used an art-deco style as the basis from which to envisage a new Wordmark - one suitable for the modern-day Rolls-Royce. The words 'Motor Cars' have reduced in size, with the emphasis reverting to Rolls-Royce, in recognition of the marque's significantly wider influence outside of the automotive industry. The Wordmark has become more refined in its appearance, depicting the quiet, whispering power of contemporary Rolls-Royce. Special significance has been paid to the letter 'R', to provide additional stability and prominence to this important character in the Rolls-Royce script.
Pentagram's design team explored multiple typefaces in search of a font that depicts luxury, without being overly decorative. They believed the font must also demonstrate the connection with the marque's rich history. The chosen typeface, Riviera Nights, stems from the same family as Gil Sans Alt, the marque's previous font, but with additionally crafted and beveled letters.