Perhaps this collective self-assurance accounts for the fact that they feel they don’t really need a corporate identity. Even the use of the company name is inconsistent, sometimes appearing in the shortened version of “McKinsey”, at other times “McKinsey & Company”.
“They appear to have put no effort into it at all,” says Hathaway. “In a way I prefer that attitude to Goldman Sachs, which just looks dated. But if you’re just going to use a simple piece of type, you should use it well. They should have had a decent version of the font specially cut, which would at least have been a way of hinting at their heritage.”
Hathaway concedes that there are many other ways of putting over corporate personality, notably in printed literature and signage through use of colour, layout other design variables.
McKinsey’s rather anonymous logo is probably a deliberate ploy, intended to appease its broad base of clients – it offends no-one, but it doesn’t turn anyone on either.
McKinsey’s reputation for secrecy and a sense of mystique is reflected in its plain, no-nonsense logo, which gives little away.