McKinsey gets a makeover for the digital consulting era

11 March 2019 6 min. read
More news on

The world’s leading strategy and management consultancy McKinsey & Company has had a makeover – with the updated visual identity said to better reflect the changing nature of the firm’s modern operations.

Global strategy and management king McKinsey & Company is rolling out a sleek new look, with updated graphics, a fresh colour palette, and a revamped approach to data visualisation and photography. The ninety-five year old firm has also made a slight tweak to its logo, with a mildly sharper and more compact serif font and the ‘& Company’ centred and set below ‘McKinsey’.

According to McKinsey, the updated aesthetic is intended to better convey who it is, and what it does today – in that half of the consulting firm’s work is now in areas such as design, digital and analytics, practices which didn’t exist at the firm just five years ago – while maintaining a ‘balance between old and new, heritage and modernity’ – a tension that it says it decided to embrace.

For instance, the firm’s traditional blue is now in a darker, more metallic hue, with the blue-grey pallet set against white contrasts for a washed out, futuristic look – with the idea of ‘high contrast’ a guiding principle for the new identity. “We think the contrast depicts our clarity of thought and our ability to cut through and deliver what really matters,” said senior partner Peter Dahlstrom.McKinsey gets a makeover for the digital consulting eraUnder a ‘One firm. One identity’ tag-line, McKinsey notes that the new visual identity is a set of interconnected assets, with for example the rejigged logo font extending to other written materials as a custom in-house typeface (named Bower, with ‘bold and characterful’ letterforms), matched in turn to and complemented by the fresh, intense-focus imagery and expansive data visualisations.

“We’re excited about the new visual identity, which we think is beautiful,” said global managing partner Kevin Sneader, who has since taking the helm last year had to address a series of potentially brand-damaging accusations. “But this is about more than how we look. It’s about updating how we communicate, so we can engage with the world more effectively, now and in the future as we continue to change.”

Conceived by the Omnicom-owned brand agency Wolff Olins, the ‘confident, elegant and sophisticated’ image update has received almost universal praise, with a review on design website Brand New stating; “It may not be right or woke to fawn over a huge corporate job like this but I do think this is an exemplary case study of identity design at this level. There is a strong sense of confidence from McKinsey in this identity that supports their elite personality.”

McKinsey – which launched its own design services unit last year, highlighting the evolving nature of the firm’s contemporary positioning – follows hot on the heels of its closest rival Boston Consulting Group in overhauling its image, along with a slew of mid-tier accounting networks such as Baker Tilly, HBL and Crowe Global – with the shifting and overlapping consultancy space cited as a common motivating factor.