Gretel's rebrand of tech company NI balances 'rationality and creativity'

Global design studio Gretel has created a bold new brand identity for NI, renaming it from its previous National Instruments.

Aiming to move the company's brand strategy away from the usual approach seen with the tech category, the new look focuses on "connection, expertise, and a newly articulated purpose: Engineer Ambitiously", according to Gretel, looking to highlight "the humanity, ambitions and bigger picture behind NI."

Photography of staff and customers is at the heart of the new branding, with people rather than products at the fore. A new earthier colour palette with a "friendly" green at its heart was introduced, alongside a modular logomark that "balances hard and soft to imply the balance between rationality and creativity, intellect and emotion, hardware and software that sets NI apart," says the studio. The new typography system also illustrates this balance through a mixture of serif and sans-serif type.

This is the first significant brand and identity update for NI since its founding in 1976. The company specialises in software-connected automated test and automated measurement systems, and its rebrand was in part driven by the change in its customer needs from individual software and hardware products to holistic systems and services.

"Before working with them, we had a very complex way of presenting ourselves to our customers and the market. [Gretel's] process helped us distil down to the most important and impactful part of what we do," says NI's Piñeyro Sublett.

The new branding is used across every touchpoint, from presentations to print publications to campus installations and digital platforms.

"NI's new, modernised brand persona crafts an image of NI as connectors of people, ideas and technology with a clear expert perspective– someone who sees opportunities throughout the process," says Gretel. "NI is intelligent, active. It's all about putting pieces together, connecting systems, finding new ways to think about complex ideas."


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