Wednesday, January 13, 2010

‘Ich bin ein Berlingual’ with new name, branding and website using Berlin’s Akzidenz Grotesque.

‘Ich bin ein Berlingual’ with new name, branding and website using Berlin’s Akzidenz Grotesque.

13 January 2010

“Berlingual” is the new brand created by award-winning design agency E-creation for a growing business language school in Berlin. E-creation created the international identity as part of a complete re-branding and communications strategy revamp that plays on the difficulties of metaphors in communications across cultures and languages. The issues around language subtlety, clearly identified by John F. Kennedy’s 1963 ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’ speech, where his famous phrase is also a colloquial way of saying ‘I am a jelly doughnut’, were used as a foundation for the design concepts.

The one month process was part of Berlingual’s transformation into an internationally recognisable brand targetting increased market share across Europe and 75% turnover growth target. Design will play a future key role in achieving this growth, as seen in the success of design-led organisations like Apple and Bang and Olufsen. “E-creation has helped Berlingual to achieve international recognition. The brand stands out internationally, our website clearly differentiates us from our competitors and the business cards are clever enough to win us businesses on their own. They clearly characterise and identify the business problem faced by our clients - communicating effectively in a foreign language – using the visual proposition ‘idioms are the clearest form of language subtlety’” says Berlingual’s founder Leo Waters.

The shape of the logo was inspired by classic ‘quote marks’ whilst avoiding common visual clichés found in communications organisation’s branding. The logo’s font, Akzidenz Grotesque, was created by Berlin-based H. Berthold in 1896, providing a deep and authentic feel to the overall design with genuine history. Akzidenz Grotesque is the basis for one of the most popular ‘modern’ fonts, Helvetica.

The homepage of the website features an animation using traditional English business idioms. Three phrases included ‘top dog’ and ‘bringing home the bread’ were counterpointed by uniquely German imagery (the German shepherd and Swartzbrot) to instantly highlight the issues of communicating through idioms.

E-creation used Adobe Flash to create graphic headings and navigation “on the fly” and avoid a more labour intensive Photoshop route – saving the client time and money to amend it when creating other language versions of the website while maintaining graphical integrity.

“Clever design, historical authenticity and effective use of technology make Berlingual one of the best examples of how simple design is often the best approach. Creating a design ‘experience’ is essential for business success in today’s ‘brand rich’ environments – something E-creation nailed with Berlingual!” says Jan-Erik Paul, MD at E-creation. The branding and website can be found at

Berlingual is a new addition to E-creation’s growing international roster of brand & communications clients which includes Polish, German and US based organisations.

REF New York times