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3M Brand Identity

Identity Strategy & Policies
Identity Elements
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Frequently Asked Questions

Has the 3M logo changed?

The 3M logo has not changed. Our logo is a key element of our identity. It represents all that our corporation stands for and provides instant recognition for 3M brands and products all over the world. The 3M logo has become one of our most valuable company assets, and consistent usage enhances marketplace recognition. The updated identity system has deliberately been simplified so that the strength of the 3M logo can be leveraged on all communications and applications.

What prompted the updated 3M brand identity?

There were many data points which prompted the change, they include:

  • The Global 3M brand health study provided data that suggested improvements could be made to key brand measures that a strong brand identity can positively impact, like awareness, familiarity, differentiation and leadership.
  • Visual assessments suggested that our brand was being presented inconsistently around the globe in a way that was not contemporary or differentiating from competitors.
  • Surveys with employees and suppliers provided data that suggested there could be improvements to the identity system and the tools we use to aid audiences with implementation.
  • Process improvement surveys with global communicators suggested that identity standards compliance ranked highly as an improvement opportunity in the overall communications planning process.
  • The previous identity system has been around since 1992 and was no longer working hard enough to keep the brand relevant and distinctive in the marketplace.

When do I need to change my communications to align with the updated 3M brand identity system?

The 3M businesses and staff groups need to determine how best to transition to the updated 3M brand and what transition strategy makes the most business sense. Businesses should plan their transition to the updated 3M brand identity for all newly developed communications and when the natural cycle requires replacing existing communications. At this time, businesses are not expected to discard current communications if they are still effective. Careful planning is essential, as this change is more than a graphical or visual change. To effectively execute this updated identity for the brand, teams will need to be very clear about their value proposition and develop key messages, imagery and overall design solutions which build off of the value proposition for the product, business or brand.

How do we convey innovation?

For years, "innovation" has been our company position. Consequently, it was used as part of a 3M logo signature. Today we realize that our logo inherently stands for innovation and ingenuity, as well as so much more. In order to strengthen the brand and increase its importance, the 3M logo alone should be used as an endorsing signoff. We will exhibit our innovative approach in how we communicate, the messages we convey and visually in the way we present ourselves and our products.

Why is the 3M font being replaced?

The size of the 3M logo on the new 3M font is more accurate in size to the Helvetica Neue Condensed family of fonts. Also, the 3M Innovation signature no longer is part of the 3M logo font. If you have questions on placing the logo font on your computer, please contact the IT Helpline for assistance. The new font should automatically replace the current logo font. In some instances, you may need to substitute with the new one.

How do I download this 3M font and where does my creative supplier get the font?

3M employees and their creative suppliers can Contact Us. The 3M font will automatically be available on new computers delivered through 3M IT.

Why have we selected Helvetica Neue Condensed as the new corporate font?

In order to present a contemporary image for the 3M brand, a more contemporary version of the Helvetica family has been selected as the primary typeface for our communications. The simplicity of the sans serif face in a condensed weight complements the simplicity of the 3M logo, but provides some contrast with the boldness of the logo. Times Roman should still be used for body copy on most communication applications.

Who should order the Helvetica Neue Condensed fonts?

Suppliers or internal design and communication professionals who will be creating and producing communications should order this new family of fonts. For presentations, Microsoft® Word documents or other internal communications, Arial Narrow is an acceptable alternative and should be used when sent on documents that will be shared broadly. Keep in mind that if you are sending files using Helvetica Neue Condensed, your audiences may not have this font on their systems.

How do I order the Helvetica Neue Condensed family of fonts?

3M employees can request the four Helvetica Neue Condensed fonts by contacting the 3M Brand Identity and Design team.

Creative suppliers can order the four-font package by calling 1-800-424-8973, extension 6026 or 1-781-970-6020, extension 6026.