Agency: Elmwood
Project Type: Produced, Commercial Work
Packaging Content: Electronics
Location: UK

Elmwood breathes new life into an old classic with a new identity for tech brand, Alba

Global brand design consultancy, Elmwood, has given one of the UK’s longest-standing technology brands Alba the biggest and most vibrant identity overhaul in its 98 year history.

Elmwood was charged with giving Alba new relevance to modern day shoppers, targeting both a new breed of cost-conscious shoppers looking for great value product as well parents buying first-time tech for their kids.

Despite insight that kids are switching from toys to tech from age seven and engaging with technology as part of everyday life from an even earlier age, no other tech brand currently owns this market. Available exclusively at Argos, Alba’s great value pricing means that everyone can access the brand, with a phone for just £30 and a tablet for just £60.

Elmwood’s brief was to create an identity that tapped into the younger audience and their emerging sense of independence, without alienating a second more ‘grown up’ audience buying products for their other bedroom or holiday home.

In addition, the new identity needed to create visual impact to stand on its own within stores, the catalogue and across digital channels.

To deliver on the brief, Elmwood immersed themselves in the lifestyle of kids and tweens, auditing everything from TV, music and social media, to movies and other technology brands. The insight work revealed a world that is colourful, bold, expressive and confident; all qualities that fed into the creation of a vibrant new marque.

The Alba products themselves are bright and colourful and so the new branding needed to carry similar levels of fun and energy. Illustrator Chris Lemmens at Twisted Carpet created four abstract orange, purple, blue and white illustrations that sit at the core of the new identity, representing a portal to an exciting world of entertainment.

Each illustration is designed for one of the four product categories; TV, audio, portable and accessories. They convey suggestions of volume dials, shattered glass (with its sound wave connotations), ambient shapes suggestive of the positive feelings music and film can create, and 3D shapes and splatters for a cooler, edgier tween feel.

Elmwood extended the new logo and assets across packaging, digital, catalogue design and guidelines, as well as within the product software itself.

Steven Shaw, Design Director at Elmwood, said: “The tablet has become a core part of day-to-day family life, as every parent fed up of their kids stealing their iPad will know.

“Our challenge was to appeal to a younger audience’s sense of self, while delivering an attractive value position to modern tech shoppers. We’ve created an identity that speaks to the key technology ‘wants’ for both audiences by communicating that bold tech attitude alongside carefully pitched price messaging, delivered in a clean and impactful way.”

Alastair Chalmers, Senior Brand Manager at Alba, said: “Elmwood has created a new identity that we love, and will support us as we look to an untapped opportunity in the technology market for kids and tweens. Their refreshing new work builds on the existing approachability and trust around the Alba brand, but gives an edgy, bold look that is eye-catching and we’re confident will push the reappraisal we are after from new customer groups.”