Amrutanjan is an Indian healthcare company and are considered pioneers of pain and congestion management – since 1893.
Their TV ads with catchy, simple jingles of “It’s gone!” enthralled me as a child. The message was clear even to my pre-teenage mind : “If you apply Amrutanjan balm where it hurts, plain will be gone!”
I’m not going to dig into the re-branding per se and why they did it and the pros and cons of throwing away the “It’s Gone!” and bringing in “Pure Healthy Essence”. [ I don’t know how the latter replaces the former but I’m sure there must have been a brief. ]
The old Amrutanjan logo that has been replaced looked like this :
Image from http://amrutanjansince1893.blogspot.com/
Compared to the new logo that has been released, I still prefer the old one. It is simple, it works in black and white, is easy to remember and focuses on the “Since 1893”, which, for a household brand like Amrutanjan, is a key factor in enabling trust. The solid shape, while not unique, accords it integrity, as does the solid color.
The old logo on Amrutanjan products used to look like this :
As seen from the above, the application of the identity was simple and could be further built upon to differentiate the various sub brands. Moving on to the new identity – I dare you to believe this is real.
The Amrutanjan website explains it using the following image / description [ click for larger view ]:
To my eye, it seems that Amrutanjan, in an effort to get back the customers it has been losing, is trying to do only one thing here : attempting to position itself as a brand for young people by using colors and shapes that Amrutanjan thinks the young people like and identify with. Light greens and blues and shiny glass ball. I can understand this – their hearts are in the right places but their designer isn’t. The designer could have translated this need / part of the brief into a much better visual design. Instead, the logo designer has gone ahead and included all possible cliches in the worst visual representation possible.
While I might be able to make peace with the above explanation, I am unable to wrap my head around the typeface usage. Their “Know more about our identity” page explains : “Cursive typography to bring in modernity for easier brand recall and youth connect.” Unfortunately, just using a “cursive” typeface does not do much. The placement, the particular style of cursive selected, the size of the font, etc. are huge determinants of how the final logo will look and who the final identity will appeal to.
It does work on the level of easier brand recall though – because it is so badly executed.
The “shiny ball” is being called the symbol for nature’s essence. Probably because it has blue and green – which are supposed to represent the sky and the green earth and some yellow thrown in to maybe represent sunlight and the red to maybe represent blood. [ These are just guesses, I do not have access to the creative brief. ] Overall, the “shiny ball” ends up looking like a marble. But children in India no longer play the game of “kanchaas”. On a more practical note, if the company / logo designer believes that this approach with multiple colors and shades is feasible in terms of translation and application across all media, then they wouldn’t mind some shading in the logo [ this will become relevant below ].
This logo re-design engagement looks like one of those where the designer probably will not show the work in their portfolio because the client picked the bad design. Of course I am being generous but it could be a possible scenario because I have not been able to trace the agency / designer who did this.
Here’s what I would have done [ and this is without the brief, so please excuse the wild guesses ].
Since Amrutanjan – as a brand name – is very Indian and constitutes a meaning – approximately “something that is pure / like ‘amrut'” – I would have included that in my design brief. The additional “Pure Healthy Essence”, which avoidable, could also be represented by the same shapes / colors as used to represent the Amrutanjan name. I would have kept the design “Indian”.
To make the logo more friendly – with respect to the typeface – I would make it a lower case brand name “amrutanjan”.
For the logo, I would have kept the shape simple and the base colors simple as well and included shading to bring in the “modern” and “youthful” look that Amrutanjan was looking for. Something like this maybe. [ disclaimer : this is just an idea for the Amrutanjan logo – I have not been in communication with anyone at Amrutanjan or their branding agency. This design is representative of what could have been done. I haven’t spent more than 30 minutes on the concept discovery and sketching and final design creation in Photoshop as opposed to my upto 30 working days timeline with multiple permutations and combinations after the concept and creative direction has been finalized. ]
I know this rendition is not perfect but this is only attempt number one and can only be taken forward when there is feedback forthcoming from the brand, which in this case is non-existent. For a brief description on keywords and ideas used to come up with the above : pure, health, essence, element, healing, nectar / amrit / amrut. The symbols elements used represent these keywords and represent Amrutanjan as a more modern brand / company than before and still keeps some of the trust / integrity / solid shapes and colors from the old logo. The typeface gives it an old-world / traditional look while maintaining a formal look without completely giving in to shapeless cursive employed earlier. As a healthcare brand, in my opinion, they should hang on to some form of formality.
Short blog post on the branding aspect can be read on Strategic Moves. I also believe that their ads on the company homepage of Amrutanjan are in bad taste [ there’s a small square-boxed arrow on the bottom right of the shiny-ball-logo on the green Amazonian photo panel ]. Bordering on sexual connotation. Made me uncomfortable.
What do you think went wrong with the Amrutanjan logo re-design? Do you have inside information on how the project progressed?