Rounded edges: The AA trades up to new-era brand identity

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The AA has revved-up its iconic look with a revitalised design identity, as the company seeks to future-proof its brand for a rapidly evolving auto market.

It also wants to increase its focus beyond roadside assistance to include the entirety of the driving life cycle.

The AA 

Founded in 1905, The AA is the UK’s leading driver services company, with 14 million members and counting.

Its fresh identity – created in partnership with design consultancy Elmwood – reasserts The AA’s brand presence in an age of innovation; as new subscriptions, tech models and a huge spike in EV ownership transform the industry at lightning speed.

Within this dynamic picture, The AA’s new look recaptures its status as a beacon of trust and confidence for motorists across the UK.

In a radical new landscape, The AA remains the leading authority on all things motoring for both existing customers and a new generation of drivers (with fresh expectations and demands).

This sense of assured brand awareness – as reflected in its new identity – extends to members of The AA’s roadside patrols, too; many of whom feel great pride in being the face of one of Britain’s most reliable and respected auto services.

The new design also feeds into The AA’s mission to deliver sustained growth across both its core breakdown offer and increase multi-service awareness.

AA driving services include Insurance, Breakdown, Driving School, Service and Repair, Buy and Finance, Accident Assist.

Its new identity also gives distinction to the brand’s non-driving areas, including home insurance, travel insurance and personal loans.

The AA’s partnership with Elmwood was forged to realise this ambition, as well as strengthening the brand overall.

Spotting an opportunity to position The AA as an active leader in a changing market, the two companies developed a design strategy built around the idea of “Always Moving” – capturing The AA’s inherent spirit of life in movement.

This concept provided a north star for modernising The AA’s identity with the creation of a more meaningful brand story.

This included a set of completely refined assets designed to engage with a broader audience, providing depth beyond the roadside.

“As driver’s worlds evolve, The AA needs to evolve”, said Will Harrison, Group Brand Director at The AA.

“As part of our ‘Always Ahead’ brand re-positioning and ‘It’s OK, I’m with The AA’ marketing campaign, we have worked with the talented team at Elmwood to evolve The AA’s brand identity – visual, sonic and tone of voice – to reflect the modern and relevant brand for drivers that we are, giving them unshakeable confidence now and for the future with products and services for whatever driving stage or situation they are in.”

The AA’s brand logo, which is already instantly recognisable to UK audiences, is now bolder, with more rounded and softened edges; creating a sense of motion and giving the brand a friendlier and digital-ready feel.

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These qualities were further captured with an updated typeface and a new font, dubbed “AA Sans”.

The iconic black and yellow in The AA’s wordmark has been maintained, but the black colour has become deeper and richer, making the yellow more vibrant and giving the brand a braver feel that can seamlessly move across print and digital touchpoints.

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A sense of motion and movement was also infused into The AA’s secondary colour palette, which was inspired by the different times of day – from sunrise to midnight – helping to communicate the idea of a journey and 24-hour support.

The colours were combined to create richer and distinctive patterns that, again, help to tell an in-depth story around the continuous progression of the brand.

To create flexibility and distinction across The AA’s driving and non-driving businesses, Elmwood created three separate identity pillars, each with a different colour pattern and set of relevant image and illustration principles.

Elmwood has also provided The AA with design concepts for refreshed uniforms that are aligned to the creative ambitions and principles of the new brand identity, with functionality kept in mind.

“Our partnership with The AA has been a real highlight of the year for the Elmwood team,” said Paul Waters, Senior Account Director, at Elmwood.

“The AA had big ambitions and gave us the licence and freedom to be bold in our design approach.

“The result is a more dynamic and future-facing brand that will resonate with consumers of all ages and help to open-up emerging and exciting opportunities for the business.

“We’re so proud of what we’ve achieved together through this partnership to date.”