In 2014, ING Group’s insurance and investment management operations were spun off to form NN. The NN IPO was the largest IPO on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange (AEX) since KPN in 1998. Two years before the IPO, we were asked to collaborate on a new name, and to develop a new logo and visual identity.

For two years, we investigated more than 300 brand names and tested various logos across several countries. The name ‘NN’ came out on top. This was due, primarily, to the strong name recognition that Nationale-Nederlanden still had in several key markets (sometimes more than 65% recognition in countries where the rebranding to ING had taken place years before). The new logo was also far and away the favourite in testing.

The new visual identity and communication style were developed in close collaboration with working groups from various countries. In the meantime, the new style has been rolled out in all countries and markets. An important tool in the rollout is the NN Brand Portal, https://nn-brand.com , which was developed together with Total Public.

NN is active in 18 countries, primarily in Europe, and has more than 12,000 employees and 15 million customers. In addition, NN Investment Partners has offices in Singapore, Dubai, New York and Atlanta.

Illustration style

Our illustrations are composed of two layers. Layer 1 is the top layer: a simple black line drawing, drawn by computer or by hand. The thickness of the lines varies subtly. The general rule is: less is more, keep it simple. No shadows, no intricate perspective, simply a pleasant and identifiable drawing. With the second layer, we add personality and warmth. For this purpose, we use the watercolour technique. Watercolours are organic; they continuously flow and change, just like life itself.