change calling

Nokia is changing its logo to move away from its mobile manufacturer image

The last big revamp was in the lates 1960s, when the iconic blue block-letter Nokia logo debuted.

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A look change.
A look change.
Illustration: Nokia (Fair Use)

Nokia is changing its logo for the first time in 60 years.

The Finnish 5G equipment manufacturer announced Sunday (Feb. 26) that it would introduce new branding comprising five different shapes forming the word NOKIA. It’s also swapping out the iconic Nokia blue for a range of colors, depending on the use case, Reuters reported.

“The company’s new logo is emblematic of an energized, dynamic, and modern Nokia, demonstrating its values and purpose. It has been designed as a symbol of collaboration, which Nokia believes to be critical for realizing the exponential potential of networks: unlocking gains in sustainability, productivity, and accessibility,” the company said in a press release.


Nokia, whose motto back in the early 2000s when it was a leader in the mobile phone market was “connecting people”, is looking to distance itself from its handsets-first image. The company left the business of making phones nearly a decade ago, and is now a “business technology company.”

Quotable: Nokia is focused on “networks and industrial digitization”

“In most people’s minds, we are still a successful mobile phone brand, but this is not what Nokia is about. We want to launch a new brand that is focusing very much on the networks and industrial digitalization, which is a completely different thing from the legacy mobile phones.” —CEO Pekka Lundmark in an interview with Bloomberg ahead of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Sunday.


Nokia’s business, by the digits

€24.9 billion ($26.3 billion): Nokia’s sales for the full year 2022. The company’s opportunities to serve wireless service providers with network equipment have especially grown amid reduced competition courtesy restrictions on Chinese rival Huawei

8%: Share of Nokia’s top line last year that came from enterprise business—selling private 5G networks to companies—was close to €2 billion. The next target is to push the segment to “double-digit” territory through organic growth and smaller acquisitions, according to CEO Lundmark

The Kia problem with Nokia’s new logo

When Kia released its new logo, hoards of people were left confused. Because the company didn’t put the crossbar on the letter “A,” the carmaker’s logo looked like it said “KN.” Close to 30,000 people were googling “KN” cars each month last year.


Some Twitter users diagnosed a similar “deconstructed letter business” with the new, more futuristic-looking Nokia logo. With its half-finish “N,” it posed a similar legibility issue to Kia. Even the “K” looked like a “C” to some. That would read as “AOCIA”—a far cry from Nokia.

A brief history of Nokia and its logos

1866: A year after Fredrik Idestam built wood pulp mills on the banks of the Tammerkoski rapids, in southern Finland, and by the Nokianvirta river—the place that gave Nokia its name—the company designs its first logo. It features a salmon, possibly inspired by a river near the first Nokia factory.


1898: The company started manufacturing rubber. Its logo changes drastically to feature a red triangle where “1898 S.G.T.O.Y NOKIA” in it, including a hat tip to the the Suomen Gummitehdas Oy rubber factory, to whom the emblem once belonged.

1965: The Nokia Corporation is created and its logo design is a black and round emblem, with the word “Nokia” written inside in all caps.


1967: The word Nokia is written in block capitals in blue with 3 black arrow-like illustrations on the top right corner, which are meant to demonstrate mobile phone connections to the cell towers. Since then, minor tweaks have been made like dropping the three arrow, adding the slogan “Connecting People” and then scraping it, and changing the font to a slightly simple sans serif.

How are Nokia phones still being sold in the market?

Nokia-branded phones are being sold by HMD Global, which became the licensee in 2016. The phones promise long battery life and easy repairability, key characteristics of the first handsets sold by the company.


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