A new identity for an established manager

Emso case study cover landscape

How do you create an independent brand and give a new meaning to an already established name?

The brief

Following an employee buy-out at a multinational bank, an emerging markets focussed asset manager, Emerging Markets and Special Opportunities (“EMSO”, pronounced ‘em-so’), with $2bn AUM, came to us to create a new brand and identity.

The first requirement was to ensure they stood apart from their former parent company and found a way to turn the EMSO acronym, by which they were known, into a name in its own right.

The second challenge was to find a way to use the brand visuals to convey the meaning and purpose expressed in the old acronym through the brand’s visual identity.


The response

To ensure we had a deep understanding of where the new company had come from, and where it wanted to be, we undertook extensive conversations with the key senior stakeholders, as well as a broad mix of our client’s clients.

Our in-depth analysis helped us to understand what is in the organisation’s DNA. Armed with this understanding, we identified what makes Emso stand out: a relentless pursuit of investment opportunity, an endless journey which takes them literally around the globe.


The result

The acronym’s typography was reworked to give it a contemporary, modern feel and make it a proper noun. Now a standalone entity, the new name represented the new company’s name and identity, and was not just an explanation of the office’s function.

A sense of global exploration was captured in a new logomark. We developed an icon inspired by criss-crossing flight paths circumnavigating Earth, each flight path using a colour chosen from emerging market national flags. This icon became known as the Orbital.

The brand’s further visual identity grew out of our logo exploration. We created a brand toolkit and a set of MS Office templates to help the organisation create a strong separation between their old and new identities. The new templates enabled Emso to recreate all of their internal documentation in the new brand and create consistent client-facing communications.


The relationship

Over time, more aspects and products have been added to Emso’s suite; guidelines for the sourcing, use and treatment of brand imagery have been developed; a modern, magazine-style pitchbook produced and; a simple, templated monthly investor memo produced.

A former in-house entity is now able stand out in its own right.

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