In SMPL Q+A, we interview Siegel+Gale practitioners on all things relevant to branding. Here, we speak with our Account Director Robert Williams, Senior Strategy Director Liz Olsen and Design Director Deva Corriveau about our rebranding work for global steel and mining company EVRAZ.

Why did EVRAZ engage Siegel+Gale?

Polina Savchuk, Head of Branding and Marketing Communications, EVRAZ: We invited several leading international agencies for the tender. Our criteria focused on global agencies and having a strong portfolio we liked. We invited each to submit a design proposal, and our Communications Team and VP’s chose Siegel+Gale as the strongest partner to help curate our new brand.

Robert Williams: EVRAZ chose to engage Siegel+Gale because of our ethos: simple, fact-based branding. They needed informed and curated decisions to shape the brand, leaving no stone unturned. With our dedicated Insights & Research team, we uncovered detail across the globe, which included speaking to many EVRAZ stakeholders across multiple continents. This culminated in a visit to Siberia to gain first-hand experience of the mining process and iron ore operations, where we spoke to people on the ground.

What was the biggest challenge EVRAZ faced?

Liz Olsen: As one of the world’s leading producers of infrastructure steel, EVRAZ had completed several significant acquisitions in Russia, Canada, USA, Czech Republic, Kazakhstan and Italy, making the firm truly global. Bringing together many businesses with different cultures and values made the cohesiveness of the brand and its messaging a challenge. To build a presence on a global stage, unite the business units and sow the seeds for increasing diverse partnerships in the future, EVRAZ needed to uncover its purpose and develop a story that would inform a new brand  and rally employees.

What process was used to define the visual identity?

Deva Corriveau: EVRAZ has a strong and recognized identity, and we were keen to retain the parts that worked. After a full design audit and immersion with EVRAZ, it was clear that their current system wasn’t working hard enough for them. What was needed was a flexible graphic system that was easy to understand, simple to replicate and diverse enough to cover all of the different messages that they’ll need to communicate.

The whole process was about embracing simplicity. We updated the logo to create balance, legibility and a clearer relationship between the English and Russian counterparts. We developed simple but dynamic brand art sympathetic to their needs. We introduced new typography with Cyrillic and Latin characters that build cohesion in the brand’s appearance across the two primary languages.

What was the inspiration behind the visual identity?

DC: Their previous identity was grounded in their process—yellow liquid steel, orange molten iron, and red-hot coal. But we wanted to extend that concept further, to showcase the updated brand platform. We opened up what was previously a very closed brand to tell a more in-depth story that represents the people they work with, the communities they improve by being a part of, and demonstrates their impact on a global stage. We ended up with an identity that represents optimism, a people-first culture and continuous learning.

What role did research play in this partnership?

RW: Our Insights and Research team were fundamental in getting under the skin of the EVRAZ brand. By identifying stakeholders from across the business, we were able to delve deep into each business unit to understand their drivers for success, their challenges at a local level and their aspirations for the future.

Can you explain the new brand strategy?

LO: EVRAZ has real strength to leverage, but this was not being communicated consistently—for example, the company’s distinctive approach to site R&D means it can offer customers valuable insight, but in brand communications, the focus was purely on the product. The company is also highly active through social responsibility programs, but the connection to the EVRAZ brand and story was too fragmented. The new strategy makes real the company’s true capability set, optimism, and future focus.

How did you land on the brand voice?

LO: The new brand provides a clear voice for the EVRAZ ethos to ‘never stop improving.’ It also works to highlight and build internal momentum around responsibility initiatives and technology expertise. The new voice works to create that sense of collective responsibility across partners, people and community, influenced by three fundamental principles: optimistic, rigorous and expert.