Redesign for America Online

Internet group AOL Europe, has appointed Smith & Milton to create a new visual identity to distinguish it from its US namesake.

Internet group AOL Europe, has appointed Smith & Milton to create a new visual identity to distinguish it from its US namesake.

The European business is a joint venture between AOL Worldwide and Bertelsmann Online. It owns brands AOL, CompuServe and Netscape Online. AOL Europe’s current identity does not reflect this adequately, says Smith & Milton planning director David Haseler.

AOL appointed Smith & Milton two weeks ago, following credentials presentations from eight design groups, including Coley Porter Bell and Tor Pettersen & Partners.

AOL Europe senior vice-president Bill Burrington says: “Out of the eight companies we saw, Smith & Miltonä demonstrated a clear understanding of the implications for communications via new media.”

The creative brief is to create a flexible identity to represent the three existing brands, says Haseler. The current identity is a blue triangular device from the US.

AOL has over 17 million subscribers worldwide and also owns CompuServe, with two million members. It was first set up in the US in 1985.

AOL recently launched flat-rate pricing to paying subscribers in the UK, in a bid to increase use of the Internet and compete with the growing number of free ISPs, such as Freeserve.

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