Sindoh had established itself as Korea’s market leader in the production of copiers and office equipment when we were challenged to help the company make the leap to becoming a global brand. Its engineers had come up with an ingenious way of allowing A4 copiers to produce A3 copies, and the CEO Dr Woo Suk-Hyung realised it could become a serious player under its own name. “Sindoh was ready to reach out to the global market,” Dr Woo says. “But we needed our own design identity.” A key element of the challenge was working across cultures with very different ways of working and thinking.
Office equipment had traditionally focused much more on functionality than appearance, but Dr Woo talked of wanting his office machines “to be ‘objects’, to be sculptures”. Sindoh and our design team were convinced a marriage of form and function could become a key company selling point. A stylish re-design of the copiers not only led to a series of awards, they also sold well. Looking to build on that success, tangerine worked with Sindoh on a new corporate identity, challenging staff to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their brand. Perhaps the most startling conclusion from the process was that ‘Sindoh’ wasn’t really a brand at all. It was a badge. What also emerged from an intense period of brainstorming was that, despite its lack of brand, Sindoh was still seen as a thoughtful, creative and expert organisation. The spirit of love for country, workplace and people, evoked by its founder Woo Sang-ki, shone through.
Taking those strengths, we worked together to shape a new corporate identity that announced Sindoh as a confident brand in its own right. A word strange even to English ears had to be translated – ‘trimobious’ – a three-sided shape made from three triangles with the intriguing properties of a Möbius strip. “We wanted the powerful spirit of three which underpins the company’s principles and strengths to be reflected in a new logo,” Darbyshire explains.
The design story
The client says:
"tangerine have become like family to us,” says Dr. Woo Suk-Hyung. “Martin clearly explains his thoughts behind design concepts and at the same time considers the position of Sindoh. When adjustments based on our staff feedback were needed, he came up with the best solution without breaking the entire concept. I have come to trust his philosophy.”
Dr. Woo Suk-Hyung, Chairman and CEO, Sindoh