Brand identity concept work for Qtel
Thursday, March 14, 2013

Freelancing often means that concept work is subject to Non-disclosure Agreements (NDAs) and cannot be shown for risk of letting the cat out the bag, upsetting a client for internal politics and/or because an agency won't allow external designers to claim credit

I often find myself chomping at the bit to show work because in some way it 'got there first' or preempted a trend. The work I did for Qtel at Siegel+Gale in early 2008 is one such project. I've shown it in confidence to prospective employers but never shared it digitally because of the NDA restrictions

A few years later and the company that was Qtel have rebranded completely to Ooredoo (click on the Ooredoo image above). And, the original project turned into a "Look & Feel' update only, anyway – as can be seen on Siegel & Gale's website. So, it's now reasonable to assume that the NDA covering the work is no longer relevant; you can tell a lot by the keypad phones in the context visuals

This was an exciting project, involving creative teams collaborating across the globe (London, New York and Los Angeles) and directed from London. A lot of work was generated but most of it fell by the wayside. A few contenders rose swiftly above the crowd and evolved

Before 3D modelling and skin-changing identities became commonplace, exhausted and now generally overlooked, I developed the concept above. However, this was no mere skin change, this was 'reflecting family life', because – with the best intentions, Qtel – a major Middle Eastern telecommunications company with a monopoly stranglehold on it's domestic markets for decades that resulted in an extremely bureaucratic corporate culture – intended to 'treat its customers like family'

Perhaps an over-ambitious attempt at a brand strategy, but Qtel was feeling the heat from international competition and needed to do something different. Heavyweight global brands such as Vodafone and local companies with superior brand experiences were winning customers. A more user-friendly brand was required to gain traction, particularly at a retail level and, also, in order to move with greater focus into foreign markets

The concept that I developed (above) came to the fore and was chosen at the highest level to go forward. But, unfortunately, company politics conspired to get in the way and this identity was cast aside. Another round of development was undertaken but a similar fate befell another of my ideas also chosen to go forward (see concept 2). And, eventually, the entire brand identity project was put on hold indefinitely... until Ooredoo