Agfa Graphics is a world leader in prepress solutions
for the printing and publishing industries. The company provides workflow automation, project management, computer-to-film, computer-to-plate and industrial inkjet printing solutions for the sector. Although Agfa Graphics’ solutions have always been successful – because they covered the entire printing workflow – they formed a complex and unstructured product portfolio.

Living Stone re-brands :Apogee software after extensive benchmarking

Agfa Graphics relied on Living Stone’s strategy and design team to re-brand its :Apogee workflow solution for the printing and publishing industry. After extensive bench-marking, Living Stone came up with a new brand strategy and positioning, visible in the consistent brand architecture and the highly recognizable design.

“We needed a thorough re-branding that would transform all fragmented workflow management solutions into a consistent whole. We decided to re-brand the product portfolio under the name :Apogee (formerly used for the prepress solution), which, according to a survey, was ‘the flag that best covered the cargo’” explains Bart De Pelsmaeker, former Director of Agfa Graphics’ Software Group.

From a software point of view, we wanted the :Apogee Suite to be a solution for the complete printing and publishing industry value chain. Living Stone succeeded in creating a brand strategy and visual identity that perfectly reflects this vision.
Bart De Pelsmaeker | Former Director Agfa Graphics’ Software Group

Creating a consistent visual identity

Living Stone’s visual identity solution rested on two pillars: a highly recognizable icon and the concept of a streamline. For the icon, the name ‘:Apogee’ was reduced to its essence, that is to say ‘A’. This icon indicates not only that :Apogee is an A-level brand, but also illustrates the new tagline ‘Activate, Automate, Achieve’. Furthermore, ‘A’ is easy to understand and to remember, it supports the brand and it is a very clear symbol. All :Apogee marketing communication tools have been developed along the same minimalism.

The concept of the streamline, which has become the trademark image of the :Apogee re-branding, is based on the similarities between this concept and the software solution. In the literal sense, streamlining stands for ‘increased speed’, ‘ease of movement’ and ‘reduced turbulence’. Figuratively, it means ‘making an organization more efficient and effective by employing faster or simpler working methods’. Furthermore, the smoky streamline illustrates the automation of jobs (not people), using the :Apogee Suite. All these meanings perfectly represent the mission and vision of the software package.

“It was also a great idea of Living Stone to make an extensive benchmark of our main competitors and of traditional software providers to see how they communicate about their software solutions. The concept was not to position :Apogee as a traditional package for the graphics industry, but rather as an end-to-end software solution. The requirements for the :Apogee re-branding were thus more inspired by the products of, for example, SAP and Oracle, than by our competitors’ packages. This resulted in a refreshing approach” details Bart De Pelsmaeker.

Living Stone created a consistent visual identity used for the :Apogee Suite’s four modules Publish, Portal, Prepress and Color. In this way, they are presented as one consistent package integrating all stakeholders in the value chain. To make a clear distinction between the four modules, each was assigned a specific color, used in advertising, brochures and packaging.

Strengthening Agfa Graphics’ global image

To develop this concept, Living Stone organized a photo shoot, including location scouting, casting, production, art direction and postproduction. In postproduction, the smoky streamline was inserted onto the photos. On the basis of the branding concept and the photo shoot, Living Stone developed the :Apogee marketing communication tools, including brochures, packaging, ads, software icons and splash screens. Furthermore, a style-guide was created for consistent use of the :Apogee brand’s newly created house-style.

The new brand strategy and positioning is now clearly visible in the consistent brand architecture and the highly recognizable brand design. Bart De Pelsmaeker agrees that this visual identity seamlessly represents the :Apogee Suite.