For more than two decades, Chin Communications has provided Chinese translation services to people and businesses across Australia. Their logomark (秦) has become well-known, paying homage to both the company’s founder Qin (pronounced “Chin”) Lushan and Qin Shihuangdi – China’s first emperor.
The mark represents the positive aspects of Emperor Qin’s dynasty: innovation, self-belief and advancement. In particular, his influence on standardising currency and the construction of both the Terracotta Warriors and The Great Wall of China. Wanting to give a modern lift to a well-recognised brand, Chin Communications approached bird for a rebrand. It began with a delve into research. With history as rich as their namesake’s, it only made sense to investigate which aspects of the past we could bring into designing for Chin Communications’ future. The inspiration for the logo was simple yet profound. When Emperor Qin standardised currency, each coin was inscribed with seal script – an ancient Chinese technique.
With this style in mind, we re-worked the logo, making our own stamps to create an authenticity reflective of the hand tools and craft of the time, and complementing it with modern typography. The inspiration for the colour palette arose in a similar way. We adapted their primary red to a brighter, more modern tone, while taking the secondary and tertiary colours from the ancient Terracotta Warriors. We created a palette that, together, harmonises tradition, innovation and strength. Other branding elements used throughout the collateral show various a deconstructions of a cube to create line. By depicting shape as communication, we were able to represent the numerous and changing interpretations of language – a concept so integral to global translation.
There are certain considerations that need to be taken into account when designing for a multicultural audience. For example, names should not be in red because, in ancient China, red titles were reserved for the dead, and particular white papers don’t sell in China because of their tones. Not only did we get to work with a great client on an exciting project, but we learnt a lot.A complete rebrand is always a big change. A brave change. And for Chin Communications, a change that was successful, celebrated and well-received.2015
Credits –Luke Carson