In 2017, the Norwegian company Hydro acquired Sapa though a historically significant acquisition that would place Hydro at the front of the global aluminum industry and triple the company’s employee base. Snøhetta’s design is developed to communicate Hydro’s new global market position while also uniting the company’s 35 000 employees worldwide.
Over 100 employees from all levels of the Hydro organization, from board level to industry specialists, were involved in conceptual workshops at Snøhetta’s offices in Oslo, Innsbruck and New York to develop the new visual identity. The workshops resulted in twelve potential concepts that would convey Hydro’s 112-year history, legacy and communicates the company’s vision for the future. After careful consideration among Hydro representatives, the concept “Unite” was chosen.
Unite stems from the Latin word ūnīre, which means “to join together”. The concept tells the story of coming together for a common purpose or action, and to unify a company where teamwork across borders lies at the heart of every operation.
The new visual identity will manifest itself in all official Hydro material, such a business cards, signage, workwear, website, annual reports and a range of other platforms.
The concept also reflects how Hydro unites aluminum with other metals, enhancing the material properties while retaining lightness, making it the perfect raw material for a wide range of industries – from the food and beverage industry to IT and aviation.
Snøhetta created the new visual identity inspired by the ultimate unifying symbol; the circle, while simultaneously referencing Hydro’s history. The circular shapes can be associated to aluminum billets or a more distinctive and modern Hydro sail symbol. Altogether, the new visual identity creates a strong symbol of Hydro’s past, present and future.
The color palette is chosen to reflect Hydro’s core business, through the use of aluminum grey, bauxite red, and shades of blue that emphasize the importance of water in Hydro’s hydroelectric power business.
The combination of old and new, mantled in a more modern look, acknowledges the renewal of Hydro as a company and marks the beginning of the journey ahead.