1989 to 2015 (and counting): the changing look of M&M Global | M&M Global

1989 to 2015 (and counting): the changing look of M&M Global

M&M Global has a new brand identity. We spoke to the creator of the updated design, plotting how M&M’s look has developed in recent years, and the reasons behind those changes.

M&M Print 670

For those readers too young to remember, M&M in its various guises has been around for over a quarter of a century. Inspired by the growth of pan-European media buying in the 1980s, it has enjoyed many designs, all of which brilliantly reflect their era. Have a look at some of those classic covers below.


In 2007, M&M Europe (as it was known then) was acquired by C Squared from Emap Media, and the first issue was released in January that year using the existing design.

The first redesign came later in November 2007, being outsourced to design agency Transfer Studio, an independent design practice founded in 2006, with offices in London and Stockholm.

“The design was stripped right back, using very clean fonts, lots of white space – an overall limited colour palette,” says Gee Ibrahim, head of design and production at C Squared, and creative director at Mobius Creative.

Deputy editor at the time was Pip Brooking, who became full editor in 2010, overseeing a second redesign which was this time done in house by Ibrahim herself.Content strands

When asked about the thinking behind the redesign, Ibrahim says the reasons were simple: “We wanted a refresh.”

“Seven strands of content and stories were created with lots more pull-out information and data, and the magazine needed to reflect that. Each content strand had its own colour and icon,” she adds.

The new look did, however, have its drawbacks. “The magazine became visually impactful and colour coded to help readers but it became too much. Too many stories came under different sections,” admitted Ibrahim.

A third redesign subsequently occurred in early 2012 under new editor Sonoo Singh, carried out once more by Ibrahim. Reflecting on those changes, Ibrahim says, “The seven content strands were removed to not only de-clutter but to simplify the design and navigation of context.

“As a result the new design became graphically impactful using more visual elements and data. The pallet became more black, white, and red,” she adds.

Not long after, in early 2012, M&M magazine changed its frequency from monthly to quarterly, and the last printed version was issued in Q2 2012. See that final front cover below.M&M Print

Today, M&M exists primarily in the digital landscape, with one print issue focusing on international media trends released annually, as well as its famous industry wallcharts. This year’s ‘M&M Global Presents: International Media 2015′, issued in January, boasted more new branding, again completed in house by Ibrahim.

Which brings us up to date – and to the striking new look unveiled this week. The most significant change has been to the logo, offering an alternate look from the previous ‘MM’ and ‘M&M’ lettering.

“The ‘&’ was dropped because we wanted to make it [the logo] simMMGple yet a striking form”, says Ibrahim.

“Strong lines have been used to denote trust and authority, and ensure recognition offset with a curvaceous ‘G’ to emphasis the fact that we are a global brand.

“The core logo is made up of three tones of purple to add a friendly edge, creating a sense of community feeling.”

The new look will evolve as M&M Global expands its portfolio across digital, mobile, print, awards, and events channels. Let us know what you think of the new design.

Joe Revens


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