Rebrand for advisory firm Apax.
Apax Partners LLP is a leading global private equity advisory firm focused on long-term investment. Headquartered in London, with joint CEOs in London and New York, this private equity firm operates out of seven offices worldwide, including Hong Kong, Mumbai, Tel Aviv, Munich and Shanghai.
The firm, founded 50 years ago, have raised and advised funds with aggregate commitments of more than $60 billion.
In 2019 a project was initiated to communicate Apax Partners’ competitive difference, led by the joint-CEOs and their branding advisor, crystallised the core brand idea in a sharply defined mission: “Inspiring Growth” which had the potential to speak to the goals and spark the imagination of prospective partners, investors and internal audiences.
Motel were engaged to demonstrate the power of creative execution to Apax Partners’ top leaders. The goal: literally bring the new brandline to life.
Our initial work became the springboard that helped convince the CEOs to undertake a total brand refresh of Apax Partners’ 30 year old identity (formerly created by Lippincott Mercer). This included a complete design re-skin of the new corporate website and a brand film to inspire key audiences about the strategic brand direction.
We co-led an integrated team that re-energised Apax' 50 year old brand by:
- Energising the original logo with a new design element, the 'spark’ – reflecting the company’s energetic leadership style and focus on growth.
- Refining typography to subtly ‘humanise’ the logo – modernising the personality of the wordmark while retaining the recognition of the original wordmark.
- Developing a full, integrated set of sub-brand logos – part of a new ‘masterbrand’ architecture to align and simplify future branding decisions as the company grows.
- Introducing violet as a new key brand accent colour – replacing the previous and ubiquitous corporate blue, to differentiate the brand in its competitive field with greater vibrancy.
- Designing bespoke icons to distinguish sectors and brand values – using brand colours to bond the brand identity at every level.
- Building a new image vocabulary, defined as 'light, bright & white' – reflecting the brand’s human difference to stand out from the predominantly dark, industrial, stainless-steel imagery in the category.
- Mindfully expressing imagery through fresh photography styles and tightly cropped, often unexpected images – strong, unique images can telegraph ideas and benefits with more immediacy than words.
These design elements were brought together in the design of a new bespoke and responsive website communicating business sectors, teams and partnerships. In that context, we created a brand film to answer the question of prospective partners – ‘Why Apax?’
To ensure internal company-wide understanding and precision in execution, we codified Apax’s new branding package with a set of design guidelines. These introduce the new Apax brand identity, outline the strategic approach and explain core brand elements, along with guidance on usage.
Consistent design thinking and rules were applied across all applications in order to bring the brand to life – we continue to advise Apax with our strategic-led design on the rollout of their new brand.
We establish continually evolving, long-standing relationships.
The brand refresh had an immediate and positive impact, empowering us to clearly articulate Apax’s competitive differences to our key audiences and helping us to capture the imagination of prospective partners, investors and employees. It was important for our brand to evolve as we grow, but equally important that we remained true to our values and heritage, which is vital for a firm with a 50-year history such as ours. This work has been able to achieve that, modernising and energising our brand and visual identity while still providing an important level of continuity.