Rebranding North Korea: Design Firm Creates Visual Identity Makeover for Maligned State


Sweden design firm, SNASK, has put together a complete rebranding package for North Korea to help the maligned country turn itself around in the eyes of the world.

The package includes a new logo, typography, business cards, uniforms —even a redesigned currency and a new flag.

And even though the North Koreans didn’t ask for it, nor will they likely use it, SNASK has offered it all at no cost to the reclusive state on one condition:


 

They must first prove to the world that they are a free democracy.

As part of the rebrand, North Korea would also have to take on a new name: “Love Korea”.

The SNASK team explains: “We didn’t like to further emphasize the geographical border but rather focus on the new main value for their brand, love.”

north-korea-kim-jong-un-rebranded-snask-branding-in-asia


 

We asked Freddie Öst, a South Korean adoptee raised in Sweden and co-founder of SNASK, what inspired a thriving agency with a long client list to take the time to put all this together.

“We always had this as a dream project,” Öst told Branding in Asia.

“So, when we got the request from ICON Magazine asking if we wanted to do a rebrand of any existing brand in their section Rethink, we took it. We set out to do it as a full on project, but not with the purpose to actually change North Korea, but rather to give people a view of what it could be. Showing that love is better than hate with the help of design.”

Refashioned North Korean uniforms.

Refashioned North Korean uniforms.

Öst said the final result has been largely well received by the public.

“95% of the reactions have been very positive. Though, we have had a few people who don’t get the idea of the project and think that we believe that our rebrand is going to change a dictatorship into becoming a democracy. Some have been outraged that we replaced the communist star with a heart.”

The new flag

In a statement composed directly to North Korea, the SNASK team wrote:

[su_quote]We decided to keep a lot of the aspects from your existing identity to make sure we didn’t venture too far away from your existing brand. After all what we’re after is a change of direction of the brand and the country rather than a totally new visual style. If you have any questions on our process or any part of the visual identity don’t hesitate to ask us! [/su_quote]

Now, we just have to wait and see if (the real) Kim Jong-un is willing go along and take them up on what we think is an excellent offer.


The Rebrand

Full identity makeup

How about a new hairstyle?

How about a new hairstyle?

The Love Korea national flag

New currency

New currency

North Korean post cards for tourists

North Korean postcards for tourists

north-korea-map

North Korea map

north-korea-rebrand

Identitiy rebrand in progress

open-letter-to-north-korea-rebrand

An open letter to North Korea – For better view of full text, go here.

mail-to-north-korea

Waiting for an answer


You can download the entire identity package for free at the #LoveIsKorea site.  You can also visit SNASK on their site here to see more of their work.

Fredrik Öst: From Korean Adoptee to Swedish Brand Designer

 

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