First, a little background. Tosca is a food logistics company that packages and ships perishables (produce, meat, cheese, etc) across North America. They employ a closed-loop supply chain model: strong, reusable containers are used to ship food from the farm/plant to the grocery store, then the containers are washed and sent back to use again. (The alternative is cardboard, which often results in food waste and adds to landfills.)
We started working with Tosca just as they were coming of age—evolving from a niche packaging manufacturer to a nationwide logistics company. Our assignment was to transform the Tosca brand identity with three main goals: 1. To make the company appear professional, capable and approachable 2. To help reposition the brand as an expert supply chain partner 3. To differentiate from competitors, whose identities communicate “big box maker”
Our designers were part of core the team that developed Tosca’s new brand strategy; as a result, they had thorough understanding of the complex business model, the new mission to “revolutionize the flow of perishables,” and the new position as a supply chain partner.
The team began by revisiting strategic themes like transformation and collaboration, as well as brand attributes such as momentum and warmth. These concepts guided the development of “the wall”—a 20-foot panorama of benchmarks, inspiration material and competitive audits. From this ever-changing landscape the leading brand identities emerged, notably the final design: the Tosca “Infini-T” logo.
The “T” is made of two paths representing the route of the supply chain—from source to store and back again. The two parts of the icon also represent the company’s uniquely collaborative approach, as Tosca works with customers to customize packaging solutions for the commodities that go in them. When deconstructed, the orange and blue paths feature prominently in identity and marketing materials to communicate sequence, momentum and connections. When animated, the paths build the logo and continue to flow afterwards.
The rounded corners of the icon, combined with the vibrant colors and customized wordmark, create the image of a brand that is friendly and approachable. This is in stark contrast to their main competitors, who have cold, hard, corporate identities. This logo helps position Tosca as a supply chain partner, not just a box manufacturer.
The Tosca leadership immediately jumped on the “Infini-T” logo. It achieved all three goals, and cut through the clutter of blocky logos and typefaces common in their industry. They responded to the icon’s instant recognition and ownability as a “T” for Tosca, as well as its deeper meaning as a representation of flowing pathways and synergistic collaboration.
The logo (along with the rest of the new brand) will be shared with Tosca’s employees and customers starting mid-March 2014. Built for versatility, it will appear on items both promotional (collateral, web, video, sales app, apparel) and functional (such as trucks and the boxes themselves). Its launch comes with a detailed set of brand guidelines that offer direction on how to deconstruct the paths to build infographics, when the “T” can appear separately from the name, and how to weave the identity into the story of the new brand.