F-Secure’s “playful” animated logo appears to “scan and protect”

Featuring bespoke illustrations by Chester Holme, Nomad’s “functional” yet “playful” identity for F-Secure seeks to add warmth to the cyber security sector.

Nomad Studio has rebranded Finnish cyber security company F-Secure, with a new logo that appears to be “scanning and protecting” when animated.

F-Secure chose to work with Nomad for its rebrand because the studio had no experience with cyber security, meaning it could start with “a blank sheet of paper rather than a preconceived idea”, says Nomad creative director Ash Watkins. He believes that “personality and emotion” is often absent from the cyber security sector, which is what Nomad sought to implement into F-Secure’s new identity.

The company’s previous logo was the letter F in the form of a shield. While Nomad felt that this was “a bit outdated” for the modern company, Watkins says the team decided that the F should still play a central role in the logo.

Keeping it intentionally simple, Nomad opted to use a quarter circle and right-angle shape that create an F when static but look as if they are “scanning and protecting when in motion”, according to Watkins. He says that the animation of this “functional”, yet “playful” logo indicates when a device is secure or when a scan is taking place.

With a new brand symbol in place, the studio drew a bespoke logotype to complement its features, aiming to reference its shape through the letterforms. The alternative logo is to be used exclusively on merchandise for F-Secure’s developers, engineers and other staff members.

Nomad developed it further by creating a full set of characters and numbers in the style of the symbol, which Watkins describes as “surprisingly legible”. The typeface will be used as a display typeface for F-Secure’s annual conference.

Independent illustrator Chester Holme was commissioned to draw a bespoke set of illustrations for F-Secure. Watkins says: “Cyber security is a really important subject, but protecting yourself online can quite an odd process. We’ve all put a sticky note over our webcams before.”

When trying to capture these “strange moments”, photography can only take you so far, he explains. Holme’s illustrations seek to bring “charm and warmth” to this technical subject without undermining its importance, Watkins adds.

Staying true to its Finnish roots, F-Secure has retained its blue and white colour scheme with only slight changes. In line with its new brand identity, Nomad updated the blue with “a more vibrant shade” and replaced the bright white with a “subtle ecru” – which has grey undertones with hints of yellow and green – to give the palette more warmth.

Watkins says that the most difficult aspect of the project was “finding the balance of introducing a sense of personality to the brand, while doing justice to the incredible hard work going on under the surface to keep users safe”. With F-Secure’s brand strategy centred around the idea of “brilliantly simple”, Nomad sought to design an identity that felt trustworthy “without getting bogged down in the technical specifics”, Watkins adds.

F-Secure’s new identity has rolled out across its website, apps, printed materials and campaigns.

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