A Psycho(metric) Brand


SHL, a psychometric company that works mainly for corporations, recently developed a new logo design and brand as part of a recent merger with a US company in the same industry, PreVisor. This is a genre of logo design that we do not often write about, but an interesting one nonetheless.

The old logo design had all of the visual devices normally seen in logos of its era (a decade or so ago): pop colours and lower case rounded lettering along with a techy feeling font below. There are is a swoosh-like line dividing the pink and purple colours, along with angled ends on the upper tips of the letters. These give a feeling of movement.

While this UK logo design was fine in its times, it has a couple of major flaws. First, it now feels out of date, and not in a stylish, retro way. Also, the feeling of movement has little to do with the industry. The logo design is not relevant to the company’s line of work. It seems generic, irrelevant to SHL itself.

In a consultancy business, it is important to present a brand that is both modern and relevant. No one wants to pay for services that are not both.

The new logo design has fixed these flaws. The new font is more modern, and the colours have been changed slightly to be more appealing to a modern market. The new strapline is more descriptive and actually presents a product benefit. In addition, there is a human head where the swoosh used to be. This is definitely more relevant to the line of work.

Not only was the old logo somewhat generic, the company materials suffered from this flaw as well. They used stock imagery that did little more than fill the spaces between print. The new materials use bespoke graphics that tie into the logo and represent the brand uniquely. Different images are used for different areas of the company, such as ‘employee development’. In all, this required the work of nine different illustrators.

The use of a human head in both the logo design and the company materials is important because the industry of psychometrics is really all about people—their personalities, their talents and their minds. All of the SHL materials were redesigned to be part of the new brand, including the website, marketing, stationery and promotional materials. These will be used throughout the company’s global business.

If you are using a logo design that does not uniquely represent your company, you are doing yourself a huge disservice. A logo is not simply an image to place on a sign; it is a representation of what your company is. It communicates important information about your company’s strengths and weakness. The old SHL logo portrayed the company as outdated and impersonal, without showing any strengths whatsoever. The new logo is a very personal design that shows what the company is about and even accomplishes this with style. That is a change that will surely benefit the company in the future.