Statoil brand identity design and logo design

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logo design

After announcing the change back in April this year, energy and oil provider Statoil have yesterday adopted their new brand identity. The new identity has been received with mixed results. While many give the brand credit for it’s boldness, the final execution has received a bit of criticism.

In ticking off the 5 key features of a good logo design, Statoil’s mark is describable, memorable, effective in black and scalable. But is it appropriate? Many seem to think no.

It’s definitely not the typical image that comes to mind when thinking about oil and energy, but that’s the point. After reading Statoil’s objectives for the design I think the Scandinavian Design Group has done well.

business card design

The press release on the design is available here, along with a 10 second advertisement that will advertise the brand. Some key quotes taken from the press release are;

Our new logo, the star, is inspired by the starry skies of the north. It symbolizes our highest aspirations: continued focus on the Norwegian continental shelf, international growth, and active and targeted work to develop effective new energy solutions…

Along the way we carried out thorough research among the world’s 100 largest energy companies. We found most to be quite conservative in their descriptive symbols and communications. We wanted to differentiate ourselves by making a courageous decision. It’s important that we stand out in an international arena and stay faithful to our desire to lead the way…

By choosing the magenta-coloured star as our new symbol, we make explicit our origins and our desire to cross new frontiers on our journey forward. We’re also making a clear statement that the world can still look towards the north to discover future energy solutions…

Along with the included corporate collateral, and images reception areas, building signage, work uniforms and more.


reception area


3d signs

logos compared

What do you think?

I don’t think anyone would disagree it’s an improvement over the old mark, but I think the new mark stands proud in it’s own right.

9 thoughtful comments on “Statoil brand identity design and logo design”

  1. Omar says:

    Wow, they look like gems on the sign. I like the font choice, though I don’t know how much the emblem matches the company’s field. Not bad, though.

  2. Andrew Keir says:

    That’s entirely the appeal from my perspective though. A focus on innovation, growth and new solutions, not just “we sell oil”.

    They could have gone for the trusty old navy blue square and some heavy sans in construction yellow but then what would they be? Just another face in the crowd so to speak.

  3. Castafiore says:

    Not a fan of the new logo. The font looks like something out of a Word template for party invitations from 1995, and the word STATOIL works much better in capital letters.

    A made-up word with two T’s, an I and and L in it needs all the help it can get in terms of visual clarity. Without the all-caps it’s much harder to decipher for someone who sees the word for the first time. Slaloit? Siatoli? Slaioll? Sfaiofl?

    Oh well, someone got a few million for 15 minutes of work, so… congratulations.

  4. Andrew Keir says:


    It’s been a real love / hate one, this design. I guess we know which side of the fence you’re on ;)

  5. Ole says:

    Actually, “Statoil” is not a made-up word (@Castafiore), its a combination of the Norwegian “Stat” (means State) and Oil.

  6. Andrew Keir says:


    Thanks for the info.

  7. Trina says:

    I hated it when it was first unveiled, but it’s grown on me. I particularly like it on the black background. With the Magenta colouring is definitely noticeable and memorable. It won’t blend in with other oil and energy companies logos. I think the name is more legible in lower case letters and although the font reminded me slightly of the Strepsils font to begin with, that is no longer the case.

    What does bug me slightly is the way the spacing between the “diamonds” isn’t even all the way around. The larger space between the largest and smallest diamonds makes it look like the negative space should be representative of something. I can see an up-side-down musical note… probably not the effect they were after.

    Also the shading and highlights on the individual diamonds is identical all the way around. Shouldn’t it be indicative of a lightsource? The logo works great in 3D so I think I’d prefer the flat version if the highlights and shades were there for a “reason”.

    In terms of the shape, it’s quite a popular shape for Norwegian logos. Although Statoil claim to have based it on a star, a turbine, a drill bit or a windmill, for Norwegian customers it just looks like a re-working of the Selbu rose. This has been used as a symbol or logo for a long time, so it’s not hugely inventive. See the logos for Norges Husflidslag (The Norwegain Folk Ard and Craft Society), Stiftelsen Organdonasjon (The Organdonor Foundation) and the 1997 Ski World Championships.

    But on the whole I like it.

  8. Vagabond says:

    What typeface they have used previously? The bold sans-serif one.

  9. Andrew Keir says:

    It’s tough to say with the limited amount of uppercase characters Vagabond.

    You could try using Identifont to find out if you felt so inclined.

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