Because of various company restructures and buyouts over the years, the consultancy’s name has shifted from Fitch to Fitch Richardson Smith to Fitch RS and back to plain old Fitch again, but these enforced changes haven’t stopped the company from having a rather flexible approach to its corporate identity. Its main logo always appears in a box – outside it, you’ll notice a small squiggle, this detail changes to various other punctuation marks depending on the application. On business cards, too, character and personality are highlighted by the introduction of symbols pertinent to each employee’s personal interests or hobbies.
“The [Fitch] logo is difficult to understand,” says John Powner. “It’s fussy, with its different weights of type and punctuation marks. It’s modern, but meaningless.” This, he ventures, is because Fitch is operating in a relatively immature industry; design as we know it is only 20 or 30 years old and is still struggling to define itself. In addition, Fitch is a multi-disciplinary company working in several different territories. “The market is still shifting, they’re having to communicate to different cultures – no wonder there’s something slightly schizophrenic about the identity,” he says.