The gloves are off at MullenLowe, where everyone gets their own octopus

MullenLowe’s octopus logo, introduced in 2016, was always an odd but distinctive agency brand.

They’ve decided it needs updating so there’s now a new, more abstract octopus that no longer wears gloves like the original. It’s so fluid that every employee can twist and stretch the image to create their own version, using an app. Personalised merchandise is in the pipeline.

The word “MullenLowe” deliberately retains a more staid look, to remind us that it’s a serious global business.

This project was led by João Paz, head of design at MullenLowe U.S., who likes the octopus for its famed intelligence and bizarre genetic abilities of reinvention but not the punchy masculine vibe (below).

There’s usually a lot of guff around a redesign, but MullenLowe is pretty down to earth about it. They are not Wieden + Kennedy, they say, so they can’t just show their work and expect the world to look; they need a visual identity that makes an impression.

So they can be forgiven for the bit where staff were asked to come up with Instagram-style inspirational quotes. Seen on coffee cups, they are on the theme of positive dissatisfaction and include lines like “Question everything. It’s the only answer,” “If it doesn’t move you, move on,” “Always being responsible is irresponsible,” “Find some heels to nip” and “Hide the safe slide.”

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