Corporate Identity.

Identity systems work best when they are simple, adaptable and consistent.

When an identity is applied to a country then simplicity is a key factor in keeping the look consistent.

When applied to a developing country like Vietnam then simplicity is imperative.

There are no corporate ID manuals or style guides, no downloadable media with the logo and font, conveniently provided in Illustrator.

It’s not surprising therefore, that the flag is the purest expression of the logo.

Designed in 1940, it’s a big yellow star on a bright red background.

Even the typography found on posters and propaganda is simple, yellow sans serif caps, reversed out of the same vibrant red background.

Steeped in the history of the Vietnamese Socialist party and with obvious links to the hammer and sickle of the old Soviet flag, you see it wherever you go.

Like all good symbols, there is meaning and a touch of urban myth in the design.

The red symbolizes blood and revolution, while the yellow the colour of the mother’s skin.

The five pointed star represents the unity between workers, peasants, intellectuals, traders and soldiers.

Most homes along village streets proudly display at least one flag and there are banners every few meters on the highways and in the city streets.

What makes this such a successful identity is the fact that it is in total synergy with the people’s cultural use of red.

As they prepare for Tet, there are red lanterns, balloons, banners and even red and yellow flowers everywhere.

Red lacquered woodwork, with yellow Chinese characters, are a feature of the temples and pagodas.

All this helps the symbol of Vietnam to seamlessly fit into the landscape.

With much of the country shrouded in mist during our stay, the corporate identity was so adaptable, it was even in harmony with the weather.

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