Participating in the creation of the visual identity of the new Group resulting from the merger was an exciting adventure!
3 questions... on the merger of TOTAL FINA and ELF
What activity did you perform at the time of the merger and within which entity?
I worked at Total as Head of the Institutional Image Department within the Communications Department. I was in charge of institutional advertising, the Group's visual identity, the editions and the annual report as well as the Energies corporate magazine.
What was your initial reaction to the announcement of the merger project?
I left Total in 2005 to retire and the merger is for me a memory a bit distant, but I remember as if it was yesterday my reaction on Monday morning, when Michel Delaborde, then director of the communication, called me to announce TotalFina's OPE on Elf. I remained speechless. At the same time, I said to myself: "Still, what daring and what strategic vision from Thierry Desmarest. After PetroFina, tackle Elf! ". And then, very quickly, I thought that we would have to start all over again. We had just installed the TotalFina signage on the Michelet tower and we were preparing to deploy all the variations of the new visual identity. And not only, it would have to start all over again, but it promised to be a hell of a deal, given the perimeter of the new set!
How did you experience the merger on a daily basis?
As an intense period, obviously complicated in human relationships - even if the merger could be considered later as a success - and exhilarating from a professional point of view. There was certainly a lot of work to be done, because we needed to define and validate the different genes and common values of our three companies to write the brief of the selected design agency to create the logo and the visual identity of the new ensemble. TotalFinaElf. After several months of searching and going back and forth, it is the symbolism of the beam of energies with three colors - blue, red and yellow - which was chosen for the new Total. It was then necessary to decline the new graphic chart on a multitude of supports. Throughout the merger process, the motto of Thierry Desmarest was "fusion between equals", and this desire has been met with rigor. Apart from human resources management, it is clear that the adoption of a new name, a new logo and a new visual identity would crystallize and bring sensitivities to life. I was kept in my position as head of corporate image and my Elf counterpart joined the department. We were able to work in good agreement, almost symbiotic. I had this great luck!