I’m not sure where if comes from but I think that it is pretty safe to say that most of us collect things. As children, we grow up with a seemingly instinctual fascination with collections. I remember collecting stamps, coins, baseball cards, rocks and caterpillars. For whatever reason - perhaps it stems from our primal hunting and gathering instincts or from our inherent drive for ownership - people love their collectibles.
I distinctly remember the day when my grandmother placed one of her precious silver dollars in my care. It came in a small black case lined with the most luxurious purple velvet. It seemed so sacred, so precious, so valuable. Her expression and soft-spoken instructions told me that this was an object that was to be truly treasured. As a matter of fact, I still have it and ever since that day, I have always been enchanted by the US Mint and their coin collections. Responsible for the production of all US coins, the US Mint is a fundamental American institution.
On Tuesday, the renowned Global strategic branding firm Siegel+Gale announced that they were developing a new identity for the US Mint. Designed to bolster the image and public awareness of the US Mint, Siegal+Gale has created a new logo for the US Mint that “embodies an optimistic spirit that is symbolic of core American values and the everyday commerce of our country”. The new logo design (pictured below) is of a flipping coin decorated with the symbolic US stars and stripes. The six stars are meant to represent the six US Mint facilities. Detailed on the side of the flipping coin is the phrase ‘e pluribus Unum’ meaning ‘out of many, one’. This refers to the United States history of becoming one nation under one flag.
Siegel+Gale has also created a new brand promise for the US Mint: Connecting America through Coins. This new brand promise was designed to highlight the link between the American people, their everyday lives and their cherished values. In a press release, Siegal+Gale states, “the United States Mint is involved at numerous touch points with Americans, whether they’re using coins to teach children to count or ﬂipping a quarter at the 50-yard line of a football game. By presenting coins as part of the common language of America, as well as the lifeblood of commerce, the organization’s new brand promise demonstrates the many stories and core values of America that unite us all.”
The new branding for the US Mint will first appear on the packaging of the 2011 US Mint’s Annual Sets.
To be honest, the new identity and branding for the US Mint doesn’t really do anything for me. I find that the new logo, although simple and elegant, just isn’t anything special. Black and gold were excellent colours choices for this campaign - symbolizing class, luxury and wealth - however I don’t really like the slogan ‘Connecting America through Coins’. Personally, I find this message a little too far-fetched and desperate. Really? Just because we collect coins and use them in our daily lives, this is supposed to mean that we are all connected, that our values are all connected. I think that they should have gone with a far simpler message rather than playing into American patriotism.