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History of the Telecom Italia brand

12/10/2009 - 00:00 AM

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The evolution of the brand to some extent mirrors the changes Italy has undergone in recent decades. Visually, the brand identity has been transformed to reflect the company’s change from a monopoly to become the world's sixth largest telecommunications provider. Telecom Italia's ceaseless technological innovation has been and continues to be a driver of Italy's modernization and growth.

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1994: the founding of Telecom Italia  

Telecom Italia S.p.A. was founded in August 1994 through the merger of five companies: SIP, Iritel, Telespazio, Italcable and Sirm.

The company took its place in a complex and rapidly changing market. Telecom Italia ceased to be simply a telephone company and began its transition into one of the world's top telecommunications industry competitors. At last, Italy had a single telecommunications company in charge of its domestic and international operations.

The company chose to highlight continuity as it forged a new identity and combined its multiple brands. The new Telecom Italia company logo retained the four red wavy lines that were first used in SIP branding in 1983, with Telecom Italia written in the same pearl grey font.

So the decision was to adopt a brand based on the graphic sign of the SIP logo, so as to not waste the heritage of brand image, and not disorient customers too much.

The SIP brand was characterised by a tetragram: the four line musical stave used as notation for the Gregorian chant.  But antique musical scores were not what the creators of the new logotype intended to bring to mind, instead it was "a red wave of communication - as reported in house organ "Selezionando" in May 1983 - symbol of the cables our voices travel over".

So a tetragram, to ideally link the past and the future, and more: the new brand also retained the grey colour and font type for the text.

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2000: the internet bubble and the first changes to the brand

The internet bubble exploded at the end of the 90s, reaching its peak early in 2000. The competition between telecommunications providers, already intense in fixed and mobile telephony, extended to data transmission, the true door to enter the world of the internet and the rapidly evolving world of applications.

So like the other providers, Telecom Italia needed to highlight a new direction: a renewal of the image and identity of the brand.

One of the first changes was the colour: full red, instead of a Pantone warm red.  But it was also necessary to change the texts supporting the brand, to emphasise the increasing internet vocation of the Company. For this reason, in Autumn 2000, the text “www.telecomitalia.it“ was introduced in the lower part of the brand, aligned to the right, in red.

Again in 2000, the symbol year in the race of telecoms companies to internationalise and expand into the world of the internet, Telecom Italia launches its "Come vorresti che fosse il futuro" (How would you like the future to be) campaign, a direct question to the public, implying answers that only a leading ICT group can provide, for everyone, in an authoritative and reassuring way.   Illustrious figures acted as testimonials: Nelson Mandela, Marlon Brando, Woody Allen in the first round; Leonardo Di Caprio, Rita Levi Montalcini and Sonia Braga when the campaign resumed the following year.

And it was precisely then - in the summer of 2001 - that the first true payoff was introduced: “TELEFONIA FISSA (LANDLINE), MOBILE, INTERNET, MEDIA, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, THE NEXT THING” positioned in the upper part of the brand. An even more direct way to talk about the convergence of technologies and the opening to the world of the internet; but also a concept that expresses a reassuring sense of projection towards the future.

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2003: restyling the brand

In early 2003 the Telecom Italia brand changed, or, rather, was tweaked: this was needed to adapt to modern times a brand that was still appreciated after 10 years, and to renew its force of impact. So it was a way to improve its readability without making any radical changes.

The market context had changed, the internet bubble has subsided, and the development strategies changed too: the focus shifted from hardcore technology to the value of communication.

In this scenario, the new campaign with the message “Comunicare è vivere" (To communicate is to live) started a few months after the restyling of the logo. The intention was to refocus attention on values and conquests that are sometimes taken for granted.

A strong message. The decision was to propose this alongside the brand as the new pay off.

 

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2004 - 2015

There have been no changes to the Telecom Italia brand in the last 10 years. Instead, it has been supplemented at various times, with the development of a new brand architecture for derived brands. The new guidelines have been applied to create the brands for Group companies, divisions and special projects.

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2016   

With the launch of the new TIM's logo, a new iconic branding system is created that will also involve the Telecom Italia trademark.  

Our historical archive

Our historical archive

The oldest papers in our archive date back to the end of the nineteenth century. Besides the documentary and image archive, the newspaper collection and the large audiovisual section, Telecom Italia’s historical archive also contains some museum pieces.