Finnish telecoms firm Nokia has redesigned its logo to remind the world that it doesn’t make mobile phones anymore.
“In most people’s minds, we are still a successful mobile phone brand, but this is not what Nokia is about,” Nokia CEO Pekka Lundmark told Bloomberg. “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.”
Nokia revealed its new brand identity on Sunday at MWC — the first major redesign of the firm’s logo in nearly 60 years. The company has come a long way since its founding as a single paper mill operation in 1865. Its original logo featured a salmon head — a reference to the B river by which the mill was established and which gave the company its name.
Nokia once ruled the mobile world but failed to adapt to the smartphone era spearheaded by Apple and Google. The company sold its mobile phone business to Microsoft in 2014, but the deal was a disaster.
By 2016, Microsoft had lost at least $8 billion on the acquisition and began winding down its own smartphone business, which failed to take on iOS and Android. That year, the Nokia mobile brand was sold to a new entity founded by former Nokia employees, HMD Global. Android handsets began being sold under the Nokia name once more, though they’re now manufactured by Foxconn subsidiary FIH Mobile.
HMD confirmed to The Verge that Nokia’s rebrand does not affect its own use of the original logo. “The classic Nokia brand has an incredible history in mobile phones,” said Lars Silberbauer, HMD’s chief marketing officer. “Our Nokia branded phones such as the three new devices we announced this week, the Nokia G22, Nokia C22 and Nokia C32 continue the great momentum associated with the classic Nokia logo.” HMD revealed the new repairable G22 just days ago, complete with the original Nokia logo.
Nokia itself now makes money through businesses including the sale of networking equipment and the licensing of its many patents, including to mobile makers. The company has also been pushing hard into 5G, with this portion of its business buoyed by bans on equipment manufactured by Chinese rival Huawei.
In a blog post, Lundmark said the company’s new logo “captures Nokia as we are today, with renewed energy and commitment as pioneers of digital transformation.”
Said Lundmark: “We built on the heritage of the previous logo, but made it feel more contemporary and digital, to reflect our current identity ... This is Nokia … but not as the world has seen us before.”
Update, February 28th, 07:53AM ET: Story updated with statement from HMD Global