Everything is Awesome with the New LEGO Rebrand

Category

Branding

Read Time

7 min

Published

15 April, 2024

LEGO is undoubtedly one of the most recognised brands in the world.

Their toys are synonymous with childhood for millions around the world, and they have built a thriving community of happy customers.

So when they rebrand… it must be handled with care.

The world notices.

Founded in Denmark in 1932, the name LEGO is derived from the Danish words “Leg Godt,” meaning “Play Well.” The company generates nearly $10 billion a year.

They sell approximately 70 billion LEGO® elements and produce movies, TV shows, as well as a range of other things.

Over the last two years, The LEGO Group’s in-house creative and strategic agency, Our LEGO Agency (OLA), and Interbrand have been working on a comprehensive new brand identity.

This is the first project I’ve ever looked at and thought:

“Well… no matter how good Canny Creative are, or how good we get… we’ll never achieve anything as awesome as this.”

So… what is it that puts the fear in me? Let’s dive in.

Building on Strong Foundations

First things first:

The iconic LEGO logo stays. It’s iconic. And I’m pretty sure if they replaced it, hell would freeze over.

The new identity includes an impressive animated logo video, but aside from that, the logo itself remains unchanged. It’s the underlying strategy and identity that required significant attention.

Apparently, LEGO’s brand guidelines were scattered across 23 documents, encompassing 110 principles.

Given the huge range of brands, sub-brands, collaborations, and brand partnerships under the LEGO umbrella, it’s easy to see how the branding has gotten overly complex.

As we often say at Canny, your brand is more than just your logo. This project perfectly illustrates that point.

Over the last few years, The LEGO Group’s in-house creative and strategic agency, Our LEGO Agency (OLA), along with Interbrand, have been developing a comprehensive new brand identity. Their aim is to ensure consistency and connectivity across all of LEGO Group’s brand experiences throughout its entire ecosystem.

LEGO have always been masters of storytelling.

From their famous print ad campaigns, to the amazing LEGO Movie, everything they put out from a brand marketing perspective is perfect.

So it’ll come as no surprise that their new brand identity is a work of storytelling art.

From Interbrand’s press release:

Our LEGO Agency (OLA) and Interbrand dove into the company’s history to search for brand equity that could be elevated. What stood out was the care the company had put into pursuing its vision – to help children learn through play.

Recognising that the company’s youngest fans are still learning to read, Interbrand and OLA researched modes of visual storytelling. They found a promising answer in the semiotics of comic books and replicated these design elements when creating the brand experience.

This included using LEGO minifigures, cells and speech bubbles, as well as Action Graphics – which provide a set of visual tools that allow one to narrate their own stories and feel a sense of emotion when playing with LEGO products.

The LEGO pieces are truly the foundation of the new brand identity.

Lego Clutch System Construction

Lego Clutch System Glyphs

Lego Heart using Clutch System

Introducing the “Clutch System”

Interbrand and OLA created a “clutch system” (named LEGO Brick Pro), enabling the process of building LEGO elements to be replicated digitally in the form of a font (or 130 glyphs).

This design system allows shapes, illustrations, buttons, and other design elements to be built quickly, using exactly the same geometry as the bricks.

For example:

A big instore button made from LEGO bricks could be built at the exact same ratio as their digital touchpoints, creating a seamless transition between physical and digital experiences.

Lego Clutch System in use

LEGO Brick Pro transforms 130 of the brand’s most iconic pieces into a digital format within a font file, enabling anyone to create virtually anything by simply typing.

This system produces playful and quirky silhouettes that can serve as backgrounds, patterns, and structural shapes, all essentially built with LEGO.

That means that no matter what different teams within the company create, it will fit seamlessly with the language of the visual identity.

It makes the whole identity easy to apply. Delightful.

Lego font glyphs

Lego font construction

New Lego typeface

A Flat Top Font

As well as the glyphs and Clutch System, a new typeface has also been created.

Created in collaboration with Colophon Foundry, it features flat endings on curved letters, echoing the modular feel of LEGO bricks, both physical and digital.

The flat tops of several of the characters also add a unique style to the font. The descender of the “g” is a particular favourite.

Lego Action Graphic Shapes

Lego Action Graphics in Use

Lights, Camera, Action!

At the end of the day, LEGO is a toy. Bringing action and play to the brand identity was always going to happen.

So to accompany the Clutch System and font family, Interbrand and OLA introduced new “Action Graphics.”

And this is where you can see the semiotic inspiration from the comics kicking in.

The Action Graphics utilise other famous LEGO pieces to create dynamic background shapes and illustrations.

When animated, the identity takes another step up.

And unsurprisingly, this has all been considered too, with the creative teams involved setting out some key motion principles.

These are branded ways of transitioning, editing or moving design elements. OLA and Interbrand built these based on how people play with LEGO elements, including separating, dropping, and even mistakes based on how people play with the product.

The low frame rate makes me think of old cartoons, but is a clever reminder of the simplicity behind LEGO.

The style also echoes that of The LEGO Movie and The LEGO Batman Movie. They were successful then, and I’m sure they’ll be successful now.

Lego Pirates imagery

Lego Tumbledoor

Lego posters

The Principles of Play

OLA and Interbrand worked across the entire LEGO brand portfolio and kept 5 key principles in mind throughout:

  • Design for your audience
  • Build from its System-in-Play
  • Tell stories
  • Be playful and optimistic
  • and keep it simple.

And the whole identity does just that.

The applications are clearly all mock-ups, lacking a little creative spark for now, but you can see that when designs are briefed in properly, it’s really going to come to life.

Oh… and then there’s amazing brand reveal video. Yes, we’ve unashamedly nicked this from Under Consideration’s Brand New. Go give them a visit!

Pass me a beer. I’m retiring.

Hey I'm Tony, Founder and Director of Canny Creative. I eat, sleep and bleed Canny to be honest. I'm an absolute workaholic (and yes, I know that's not a good thing!).

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