Founded in 1886, Johnson&Johnson is both the world’s premiere consumer health care company and world’s largest medical devices and diagnostics company. From its global headquarters in New Brunswick, New Jersey, J&J currently counts 250 operating companies in 60 countries under its auspices, as well as 222 brands — which, up until 2008, had been created without an in-house design team.
Enter Chris Hacker, J&J’s new chief design officer, who brought with him a vision of creating brand standards and guidelines as well as a fully-functioning design office for the company. Hacker had a long record of success: as former design director at Aveda, he had established the cosmetics brand as one of the world’s most environmentally conscious. While at Aveda, one of his preferred design partners was DISTINC.
Tasked with unifying J&J and launching an internal design office, Hacker turned to the team once again. Over several months, DISTINC worked to rejuvenate and codify the 125-year-old brand’s corporate identity program, creating a set of consistent design standards and bold new visual language.
NIP AND TUCK FOR AN ICONIC LOGO
One of DISTINC’s recommendations was to use parts of the original Johnson & Johnson signature as it would appear on internal communication collaterals and on certain signage applications — conceptually and representationally linking each members’ role in creating the global J&J brand. Paring down the emblem to its essential “son&john,” DISTINC argued, would help achieve three things: pay respect to the heritage of the brand; move it squarely into a new era; and conceptually reinforce the relationship between individuals and the whole company.
DISTINC worked with the company in order to help launch the new mark and establish the personality of J&J’s new Manhattan design office. It authored a comprehensive graphic standards manual to ensure proper implementation of the branding guidelines worldwide, outlining and unifying the visual approach, format, and use of the new signature. A final piece was a 15-foot cube bearing the new mark as part of the Skillman, NJ signage program.
DISTINC’s graphic system naturally defines the relationship of Johnson & Johnson’s logo with its various divisions around the world, reflecting a visual language that establishes graphic standards and leverages the iconic J&J logotype with a bold, fresh twist. With DISTINC’s assistance, an 125-year-old American health care company is visually vigorous once again.