'A happy accident': How Nomad disrupted cyber security cues with a new brand for F-Secure
To rebrand global cyber security service F-Secure, Nomad paired a brilliantly simple brand idea with a slick new logo that speaks to modern security demands without feeling cold or inauthentic.
For most people around the world, a growing percentage of everyday life occurs online. We work, watch, shop, chat, search… all that and everything in between has become part of our digital experience.
But while the average person lives their online life to the fullest, online security feels quite the opposite. The category is full of intimidating cyber-crime graphics, overly-complicated plans; jargon-riddled language and lifeless stock photography leave the sector feeling cold and inauthentic.
The Finland-based firm F-Secure wanted their brand to speak simply to the online-savvy people it serves, without using scare tactics or intimidating language - they brought Nomad on board to make it happen.
To support F-Secure's new brand strategy of "Brilliantly Simple", Nomas created a visual and verbal identity for F-Secure that combines clarity of message with a brand personality dialled into the all-encompassing experience of online life.
"F-Secure doesn't simply secure your photos; they secure your memories of that weekend camping in the mountains," explained Ash Watkins, Creative Director at Nomad. "They don't secure your living room smart speaker; they secure heart-to-hearts by the fireplace." These digital moments brought to life with candid photography from Rennie Solis and charming illustrations created by Chester Holme, are the emotional core of the new F-Secure brand, building a real connection by showing true empathy for what online life is like.
The previous F-Secure logo of a shield felt somewhat arbitrary in today's landscape of digital products. The updated logo features a simple 'F' that comes to life in animation, representing F-Secure's digital products through scanning and protection motion behaviours. The simple shapes of the logo also became the foundation for a modular graphic system to literally 'protect' imagery.
The logo was born out of a stroke of luck, according to Nomad's Watkins: "Before it was developed into an abstract 'F,' the logo actually started life as an animated symbol to replicate the ideas 'scanning', through the radar-link quarter circle, and 'protecting' through the perimeter shape. These are the common denominators for cyber security, and we wanted to find a simple way to express this. It was a happy accident that we found this could create an 'F' when static and positioned correctly."
Although a simple 'F' when static, the logo is born to move and carries out many important tasks across the brand, like showing scans in progress or when devices are protected.
Nomad crafted a new brand voice for F-Secure alongside the fresh visual identity. The simple, straightforward but friendly tone of voice avoids jargon, instead drawing on the often unusual ways that online threats can appear in our lives; the brand voice uses light humour to shine a spotlight on these instances. Elsewhere, the name "F-Secure" is used in messaging as a verb showing how the brand fits in with every part of your online life: "Subway streaming, F-Secured."
The new F-Secure positions digital security with the same level of importance as life, home or car insurance. It's presented as an essential product by tapping into the empathy of online life, rather than using scare tactics to persuade and instead pushes expectations of the industry to become a more faithful representation of our online lives.
The result is a brand that shows the importance of digital security in today's world cannot be undervalued, but this does not mean that it can't be surrounded by a rich experience full of personality.
"Trust is clearly very important when talking about cyber security, but this does not mean a brand has to be overly serious; there's plenty of that already in the cyber security space," Watkins told Creative Boom. "We wanted to build a brand that feels more tuned in to the all-encompassing way we live our lives online, picking up on the moments where threats appear in our lives and the sometimes unusual things we do to keep ourselves safe, showing F-Secure as the simple alternative."