Gene Grossman: Sign of the times

December 11, 2003, 00:30 CET

"Hydros new logo looks and feels fresh, vital and indisputably global."

"The whole idea is to signal change in the company … something in transition," says Gene Grossman, creator of Hydro’s new logo and director of corporate identity at New York-based brand consultancy Siegel & Gale.

"Simple, pure and classic - it should last for a long time."

Ensuring viability

The logo is an important symbol of The Hydro Way brand strategy, which is all about how Hydro helps to create a more viable society by developing natural resources and products in innovative and efficient ways.

SIMPLE, PURE AND CLASSIC: The designer of Hydro's new logo, Gene Grossman, says, "Its more than just a logo, it's a whole way of life."


"Hydro is closely tied to the land and nature. All its products are ingredients in what people use today to live better, more fulfilling lives. Helping grow and prosper is Hydro's goal. Therefore, it is important for Hydro to make its products in ways that are responsible. There are many such attributes associated with this challenge we are trying to express in a compelling way."

"This whole theme is to come through in the company's visual expression."

Visual system

"In addition to the logo, there’s a whole visual system that embodies the way to use it," Grossman explains. "We’ve created a body of elements, including type faces, types of imagery, a photo style – even the way to crop pictures. All these elements put together create the look of Hydro.

"Wherever its markets are, there will always be the look of Hydro. Everything that comes out of Hydro will be visually related, making a strong and powerful global impression. The symbol (logo) is a cornerstone."

Follow through

Once the strategy is set in motion, it is imperative to follow through and bring the identity to life visually.

"Support is just as important as the symbol," Grossman says. "It’s matter of building awareness in the company… and being consistent in the way we execute our design expressions."

From the youngest to the oldest employee, the goal is to "imbue them with the spirit. Give them something they can get behind emotionally.

"It’s more than just a logo, it’s a whole way of life."

Still doing it

Grossman, 72, counts 45 years in the corporate communications field. He is known worldwide as a corporate logo guru. After running his own businesses for 35 years, he "retired for a week." He has been with Siegel & Gale for five and a half years.

"I’m still doing it – and loving it," he says with the verve of a man many years younger.

Grossman has directed corporate identification programs for some of the world’s largest companies. Past clients include many household names – RCA, Citibank, NY Stock Exchange, Hilton Hotels, Lockheed Martin, Sanyo, Komatsu and Boise Cascade, to name just a few.