Brand Union

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Brand Union helps ICS shape the future of shipping

September 21 2017

The International Chamber of Shipping signals its leading role in shaping the future of shipping with new modernised identity

Brand Union delivers new brand identity to modernise and future-proof one of the most respected heritage brands in the shipping industry.

WPP’s global brand strategy and design agency, Brand Union, today announces its new brand identity for the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS). Established in 1921, ICS is the principal global trade association for merchant shipowners and operators, representing over 80% of the world’s merchant tonnage. It is concerned with all technical, legal, employment affairs and policy issues that may affect international shipping. As the voice of the global shipping industry, ICS represents the global interests of all sectors and trades with the various intergovernmental bodies that regulate shipping, in particular the UN International Maritime Organisation.

Shipping carries 90% of the world’s trade. In spite of its importance, shipping’s role is not always recognised and over the next 30 years, new technologies and environmental challenges will completely transform the industry. As the shipping industry looks to the future, more than ever, it needs a voice. This voice is and has been ICS. However, ICS’ brand and identity, although well-respected, did no longer reflect its future-focus and the leading role it plays in shaping a vision for the future of shipping. Brand Union was appointed to address this challenge.

Centering around an update to ICS’ historic logo, the modernised brand pays homage to the iconic silhouette of the East Indiaman merchant ship that has been part of ICS for nearly 100 years. Taking this heritage as a starting point, Brand Union redrew the symbol to be more contemporary in its style, combining the hull of a modern cargo vessel with the iconic sails of the East Indiaman merchant ship. We rotated the orientation from profile to portrait making it stronger, prouder and more contemporary.  Alongside this, Brand Union developed a visual language that breaks from the over used blues of the industry. A bold graphic style, inspired by the language of shipping, that is powerful in both traditional print and the digital world.

The identity was unveiled at ICS’s annual conference on 13th September at the British Library, London to all ICS members and conference attendees. The conference focused on key global shipping topics, including CO2 reduction, new environmental regulations and associated costs and maintain free trade.


Peter Hinchliffe, Secretary General

‘Our modernised visual identity provides a strong signal of ICS’s future-focus and our determination to continue to play a globally leading role to shape the future of shipping for many years to come.’


Terry Tyrrell, Chairman Brand Union

‘Working on this project gave us the opportunity to modernise and future-proof a well-established and respected heritage brand that plays a leading role in shaping the future of a vital global industry that moves the essentials of life to every corner of the world.’