3M is perhaps most famous for Post-it® notes and Scotch® tape but such well-known consumer brands are a small fraction of its 60,000+ products.

It has long been among Fortune’s most admired companies, and it’s almost impossible to get through a day without coming into contact with 3M materials. They’re in cars, planes, mobile devices, hospitals, factories, offices, and homes.

Despite its status as an innovation powerhouse that makes vital contributions to everyday life, the brand is relatively invisible. We were asked to help change this by leveraging the overarching brand platform: 3M Science. Applied to Life.™

We worked with Chief Design Officer, Eric Quint, and Global Creative Director, Donna Root, to create a new identity that would reflect the transformative power of 3M. The company needed a smart system that would be flexible enough to resonate with business partners and customers around the globe.

“Our visual design system must bring life to the 3M experience, elevating every touchpoint”

Eric Quint, Chief Design Officer, 3M
About the system
The visual identity brings forward strength and symmetry. The core graphic elements were developed with science in mind, and the typeface – 3M Circular – is more distinctive. The system incorporates epic and lifestyle photography, highlighting the world at large and the people solving problems using 3M products.

“We were excited to co-create a system that would empower everyone to tell the story in a creative yet distinct way”

Jan Eumann, Design Director, 3M

The new system was revealed at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas in March 2015 and deployed worldwide in a carefully phased program. Reaction from 3M’s widespread businesses has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic, and dynamism now defines the brand experience.