What Binds Metals?
From fragmentation to unification: creation and development of the corporate brand identity.
Business to business companies often offer integrated services, which are facilitated by seamless collaboration at operational level. Yet because such companies are made up of smaller organisations, they tend to have a complex corporate structure, and lack a single, instantly recognisable brand identity. Although companies like Italferro, Fiori metalli, Italmetalli, Cometal, Ecofer, Ekorama, are part of the same group, and all deal with the collection and recycling of scrap ferrous and non-ferrous metals, they are not recognised by the public as sister companies.
To address this lack of corporate brand identity, we designed and developed the “Gruppo Fiori” brand and its visual identity. The new brand was used on all communications related to the activities of the group and each of the companies within it.
“Gruppo Fiori” was the focus of our branding strategy and the most prominent element in our communication campaign. To give the brand greater impact, we revamped its logo, colour palette, and typography. We also publicised the group’s participation at the Ecomondo exhibition in Rimini. The underlying idea of our project was to re-evaluate and present scrap metal as something valuable, not only for recycling companies but also for citizens who recognise that recycling is the responsible thing to do.
For every edition of the Ecomondo exhibition since 2008 we have designed the Gruppo Fiori stand, which becomes the foundation upon which we build each year’s communication campaign. While we develop a new strategic concept every year, the underlying aim is always the same: to communicate to the public what the Gruppo Fiori does through fun interactive activities at the stand.
At this exhibition visitors transformed metals by colouring in drawings of large flowers, formed out of pieces of scrap metal, on the large walls of the stand. The stand comes to life as an art gallery of continually changing colours and shapes.
At the 2015 exhibition, the walls of the stand displayed a 14-metre-long crossword featuring over 300 words. The words related to various aspects of the environment which are crucial for modern ‘mining’ (i.e. recycling) companies like Gruppo Fiori. While visitors enjoyed looking at the crossword, they learned the key words relating to waste collection and recycling, and to the processing of scrap ferrous and non-ferrous metals.
The 2014 stand was a surreal interactive space featuring six ‘wearable’ sculptures. Visitors were invited to put on the sculptures, take selfies and then post them on social networks. In this way visitors not only became part of the ‘Fiori planet’ but they also echoed the activities of gruppo Fiori which transforms scrap metals into diverse new objects that can enjoy fresh experiences and after-lives. The illustrations are by Angelo Monne.
The 2013 stand was a hybrid of a kitchen, forge and lab, where the hidden qualities of metals were revealed to the public. Visitors were invited to make recipes for a sustainable and positive future by combining various metals, each of which was associated with a different value (e.g., tin – lightness, brass –beauty). People were encouraged to take out pieces of metal from drawers in the stand and investigate their different properties: some were heavy, others light; some were cold, some hot. Visitors then weighed the metals on a set of scales, which printed out a receipt for them to keep. A book related to this activity, called La scienza in fucina è l’arte di viver bene (The art of living well comes from the forge), was later published. It consists of 12 stories about recipes which are accompanied by illustrations by Berger&Talleri made out of wire.
A project involving five schools, five school libraries, and 505 science books in transit between the classrooms of Crevalcore, Pieve di Cento and Mirabello was launched at the exhibition. Schoolchildren were introduced to these little ‘mobile’ collections of books, dedicated to the dissemination of scientific knowledge and raising environmental awareness, via a series of workshops and readings which took place at the ‘Gruppo Fiori’ stand.
For the 2008 edition of Ecomondo Siamo tutti minatori (We are all miners), we created an interactive exhibition to explain to young people the environmental benefits of recycling metal. For the 2009 edition, Lettere dai rottami (Letters from scrap metal), our aim was to let the scrap metal speak for itself. We designed an alphabet using pieces of scrap metal collected by Gruppo Fiori. We also commissioned 26 stories about the previous life of pieces of scrap metal from author Matteo Marchesini. For the 2010 edition, Faccia da riciclo (The face of reciclying), we investigated what people think about the collection and reuse of waste material. With the participation of students from the Elementary School of Writing run by Paolo Nori, we recorded and photographed stories relating to ‘domestic recycling’. For the 2011 edition of the exhibition, Formulare il futuro (Working out the future), we designed the stand as a huge white board. Using 100 word magnets, visitors were invited to write mathematical formulas and try to 'work out' a formula for a better future.