Contributed by Simon Manchipp, co-founder of London-based SomeOne.

NMA brand identity design

Ten years ago we helped launch the Newspaper Marketing Agency as well as the ANNAs (Awards for National Newspaper Advertising).

The NMA was set up by a group of major UK newspapers to help promote advertising in what was then viewed as a medium in decline.

It was seen as an overly-traditional channel when there were other newer, more trackable ones to play with. Since then so much has happened.

The inevitable rise of digital advertising (as of today, Google’s ad revenue now outstrips ITV in the UK), paywalls, etc. means that newspaper advertising arguably faces is toughest time yet.

NMA brand identity design

But curiously the inverse is true and newspapers can offer more targeted campaigns as well as successfully supporting broader conversations in the media-mix of digital, TV, and newsprint.

Newspapers reach 8 out of 10 people in the UK every week.

We can all name great newspaper ads, but can you recall a significant digital ‘classic’ that isn’t supported or lead by other media?

10 years ago, the identity we created was all about highlighting the uniqueness of newspapers and ‘quality in print’.

Today this seems a bit defensive, especially when newspaper advertising can enrich experiences and develop conversations alongside all the other channels competing for our attention.

To reflect this new age of converging conversations, we have evolved the NMA into a brighter new world of adaptive colourful dialogue.

NMA brand identity design

The conversation that has always been present on the letters pages of the papers is now visible throughout the digital newspaper ecosystem. The broadcast approach to branding is no longer appropriate, it needs to flex to be part of the bigger conversation, not limited to a one-way monologue so often seen in traditional branding.

What ever you call it, multi-channel/transmedia/convergence… the digital age offers newspapers the chance to be reborn as the most engaging and dynamic channels for readers and advertisers… because they create what we crave, content that is timely and effortless to consume.

NMA brand identity design

We didn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. We kept all the good bits that gave the original it’s authority and detail.

We gave it a world to play in by introducing broad overlays of colour that come from the faceted detail in the enhanced brand mark.

These can be changed and adapted for whatever content it covers.

NMA brand identity design

We’ve created a new Brand World that enables communications of any kind to be intelligently branded everywhere — without relying on traditional one dimensional badging.

It becomes more human and approachable as a result.

A revitalised, re-energised NMA for a brighter future.

NMA brand identity design

“We’ve been working with SomeOne for over 10 years and in that time they have continually over-delivered — here they have created not only a refreshed and exciting visual brand identity for us, but a way we can coherently connect the many parts of our offering.”

NMA brand identity design

SomeOne elsewhere on Identity Designed: Eurostar, Wright Brothers.

More on the SomeOne website. Follow Simon Manchipp on Twitter.


May 10, 2011


Looks like an uncomfortable blend between the traditional (typeface) and the modern (logo-mark). The execution across the collaterals is nicely coloured and consistent, solid but unremarkable. (The business cards look a bit cluttered on the back).

Nice work again from the SomeOne studio. I’m hanging on to see what they do for the Royal Observatory in Greenwich.


Like the way they have turned a logo into a ‘brandWorld’

Not sure it should be called ‘BrandWorld’ but that’s a different branding job!

I like the serif. Is it Baskerville?

I like it, but I swear I’ve seen something just like this before. I like when the mark is stacked with the logotype, as in the letterhead. I feel it is way too long on the Rugby toolkit print. Not a big problem, but just a personal pet peeve I guess.

I like this quite a lot. It feels modern without being pretentious about it.

As far as the business card is concerned, yes too cluttered in an ideal world – but sometimes the practical needs of the client can have an impact on the beauty of design and compromises must be reached for the benefit of the business using the collateral.

This is not a bad thing. ‘Design’ should never become so pompous as to think it is the be all and end all of business communications.

I really like the energy that I get from this identity, but I do agree with Richard Baird about the uncomfortable blend between traditional and modern. In my opinion I think if a sans serif was used it would be much stronger than it already is.

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