Costa’s new brand positioning — built around exploring destinations through unique experiences — includes not only new product features, but also a new way of communicating, which marks the company’s transformation.
The biggest innovation lies in the company logo, particularly its most distinctive and best-loved feature, as revealed by a consumer survey: the iconic “C” that has been accompanying Costa on seas worldwide for over 70 years.
“The new brand positioning marks a deep transformation for Costa, which also concerns the way of communicating. The element with the greatest impact is the new logo. The new Costa logo does not give up its historical value and its link with the great tradition of the company, but it develops in a contemporary and innovative way” – said Francesco Muglia, Vice President Global Marketing of Costa Cruises.
In the new version of the logo, the historic “C” has been updated to better represent Costa’s new positioning, becoming more modern, dynamic and suited to the digital contexts.
The new “C” brings together two different motifs in a sinuous, enveloping embrace: the earth, seen in yellow in the lower part of the logo, and the sea, in blue in the upper part, joined in the same experience thanks to cruises with Costa. It encapsulates the idea of travel as a way of uniting and integrating cultures, and enabling constant growth through the enrichment offered by unique cruise experiences. The letter “C” symbolises and epitomises the very essence of the new Costa, of cruises that accentuate the uniqueness of every local destination as never before, taking guests to the heart of every place and revealing its true traditions.
Even the choice of colours has strong ties to the past, reworked here in a modern key: yellow and blue are still featured, but now in richer, more elegant shades. The same applies to the lettering, which also represents a step towards a cleaner, more contemporary and digital language, which is enriched with the use of some punctuation elements in the yellow of the logo and other minimal but impactful elements.
The study of the Costa logo and visual identity system, applied on all touchpoints starting from the closing of the launch event, has been created by ArteficeGroup.
THE HISTORY OF COSTA CRUISES’ ICONIC “C”
The blue “C” has been used to distinguish the brand since Costa Cruises started life in 1948, when the company decided to focus on carrying passengers on Transatlantic routes and the famous “Linea C” was born. But the colour palette is even older, dating back to the second half of the 1800s: the yellow funnels were inspired by the colour of olive oil, the product carried by the company before it switched to passenger services, while the blue “C” recalled the colour of the sea.
On the funnel of the fleet’s first ship, the “Anna C”, which set sail from Genoa on 31 March 1948, the “C” was enclosed by two inverted commas. The logo also appeared in the early brochures and posters advertising liner services between Europe and America.
Since then the graphics used in the logo have evolved to reflect different phases in the company’s history, but the central motif – the “C” – has never been abandoned. An initial change came in 1958, when the profile of the “Federico C” was added to the logo. The choice of ship was by no means coincidental: launched from Genoa’s Sestri Ponente shipyard on 31 March 1957, the “Federico C” was the first ship designed and built especially for Costa. A pioneering vessel in its day, the ship marked the advent of the “Costa style”.
In 1980 the brand featured in a double blue frame, softened at the corners to maintain the sense of roundness; a yellow flag was added to highlight the profile of the white ship and emphasise the word “Crociere” (“Cruises”), used in the logo for the first time to confirm that the company had completely abandoned its liner services and was now concentrating on cruises.
“Costa Crociere S.p.A.” was officially launched in 1986, but it wasn’t until 1994 during the modernisation and expansion of the company that Piero De Macchi completely restyled the logo: the inverted commas and frame were removed, and the blue letter “C” appeared on one of the 3 yellow funnels, typical of the brand-new ships that had now joined the fleet.
In 1999 Costa embarked on a reanalysis of its entire corporate identity as well as a major overhaul: the logo needed a new sense of dynamism and modernity to reflect the sweeping changes and significant international growth the company was experiencing at the time. This resulted in the most recent brand, in which the stylised funnels were “embraced” by the letter “C” alongside the new “Costa” logo: striking, dynamic, animated, yet strong and recognisable, perfect for application in markets across the globe.
EDITORS NOTE: For more in-depth information about Costa’s new culinary, shore excursion and sustainability initiatives, download individual press releases and supporting photo assets here: https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/xwQ4aECo5M