Addison Lee unveils new service-focused branding

The visual identity – completed by ad agency Whistlejacket London – is the company’s first rebrand since it launched 41 years ago.


Ad agency Whistlejacket London has worked on a new brand identity and ad campaign for Addison Lee, with the aim of positioning it as the “leading service orientated brand in the private hire car sector”.

Whistlejacket London was commissioned to work on the campaign and rebrand in January, and was briefed to move the identity on from the original design completed in the 1970s, according to creative director, Kathy Kielty. The rebrand features an updated logo, made up of a bright yellow AL symbol.

“The yellow is a visual shorthand for taxis,” says Kielty, “and because the brand is often seen on the streets on cars that are passing by quickly, we also wanted something that stands out and grabs your attention.”

References original logo

The division between the A and the L also represents the two sides of a road, in a nod to Addison Lee’s original logo, says Kielty.

Whistlejacket London has also redesigned Addison Lee’s website, which now includes less black and more soft greys and white, in order to “breath a bit of light and fresh air into the brand,” according to Kielty.

“Addison Lee had been perceived for a long time as really masculine and it was our intention to make it a more unisex brand, and much more appealing to both men and women,” she says.

£5 million marketing campaign

The rebrand and website redesign are part of the brand’s £5 million marketing campaign over the next 12 months, which also includes a new advertising campaign emphasising the services it provides – such as free wifi, courier services and pet-friendly vehicles. All communications now also feature the strapline: “Addison Lee for me”.

The rebrand and advertising campaign rolled out today.

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  • MIchelle Rose-Innes September 18, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    I’m thinking fashionista brand positioning rather than a ‘service’ orientated brand. I can see where they are going with personalised ‘me’ approach of ‘service orientated’ campaign messages. Yellow branding with a serif font for a transport service is brave! It’s the least visible colour to the eye – unless it’s featured on a dark background, a caveat to the brand guidelines I’m sure.

  • Michael Wolff September 18, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    I’ve now actually seen this ‘mess’ on an Addison Lee van on our streets.
    It’s worse than the unveiling images in the press.

    Although none of my remarks are personal (we can all make mistakes) this one and the dreadful ads, is a whopper of an eyesore. This needs to be veiled again, and re-conceived and the re-launched.

    I suspect someone had a pleasant dream about Alan Fletcher’s brilliant and iconic V&A which then turned into a nightmare and then became a terrible reality

    Like the recent British Steel nonsense, here I’m afraid is another example of banal, facile and third rate design which does nothing but add to the graphic litter in our city and let down the community of the many outstanding designers in the UK, many of whom would have done a trillion times better than this.

    Addison Lee always looked terrible but now, with this lame pretence of waking up and being a more lively and visible brand, they look even worse. It’s shamefully poor work and a great pity that instead of enriching London it will literally deface it.

    Thank God I can still look with pleasure and pride to Transport for London, to the timeless underground symbol and Edward Johnston’s beautiful work which is still the best graphic design in London’s streets and does justice to Thomas Heatherwick’s beautiful and bold design of the glorious red double deckers.

    I’m very surprised by this new Addison Lee ‘look’ when there’s such a high standard set by the Hailo, a great name, look and symbol, and a far better service and ‘app’ than Addison Lee’s or anyone else’s.

    And why A L? It’s in no way a symbol and does nothing but leave Addison Lee with the ambiguity of a second name ‘A L’ which, although much better than the previous contortion, is now presented to us with these superfluous and horribly badly drawn letters.

    Before I get too gloomy, I can reflect that Great Western, like Hailo, is another recent example of a seriously thoughtful, well designed and joyful brand – a great piece of design that stands out from all the shockingly badly designed railway brands in the UK. But these well thought out and coherent designs are sadly in the minority.

    You can tell, I’m sure, that I’m angry because this new A L will continue, as the former and equally terrible Addison Lee design did, to bring facile design to the daily look of London’s streets.

    Whatever Addison Lee’s already spent on this shameful work, they should take several very deep breaths, gasp, swallow hard and then think and start again. I doubt they will but I hope they do.

    Is this another cause for a massive petition? If someone has the conviction and the energy to organise one, I’ll sign it with pleasure.

    Regretfully and reluctantly,

    Mr Grumpy.

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