CX Insights

TNT Post vs PostNL: Testing the first rebranding effects

5 min read
On May the 31st TNT | post launched it’s new logo and brand identity for the mail division, which will be rebranded from now on as PostNL. This is part of TNT’s divestment of the mail division which will be turned into an independent company with activities in Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, the UK and Italy.
The old TNT | post logo and the new PostNL logo

As TNT announced in it’s press release on the 7th of April:

“Our new name PostNL symbolises the reliability and down to earth approach of our company. This name does justice to our past, something we are very proud of. By the same token we emphasise that we are a true Dutch company, with ambitions that go beyond mail and operations that reach beyond our borders. Our three-sided logo symbolises the heart of our company, with mail, parcels and e-commerce at the core.”

TNT Post through a foreigner’s eyes.

As a foreigner, who has been living in the Netherlands for almost five years I can tell that the orange Royal crown logo of TNT | Post has been quite an iconic brand for me. A logo that has welcomed me every time I was receiving a parcel with delicious goodies from my Greek grandmother or postcards and mails from my friends all around the globe. Besides the weird name that reminded me more of Wile E. Coyote than of a post office, I had start to love and trust the brand.

Wile E. Coyote
Hence, I was caught by surprise when I heard the news of rebranding TNT | post to PostNL. However, after doing a bit of a research it seems this is not the first time the Dutch postal service changes name. In fact, it is already the fourth renaming in a decade! First it was called PTT Post, until 2002, when it became TPG Post, and then in 2006 it became TNT Post, to change in 2011 to PostNL.
Old PTT Post logo, used until 2002
Old TPG Post logo, used between 2002-2006.

So, I thought this was a great opportunity to test how the new logo scores and how do people really perceive it, so we can see beyond the usual flamboyant press releases.

Testing the two logos

To get a first impression of how do people perceive the two logos I set a quick Usabilla test. Through Twitter I recruited 47 participants. In the test I asked participants to click on the three words they think that characterizes each logo the best (out of 18 words in total).

Heatmap: Which three words do you think characterize this logo the best? Click to enlarge.
Heatmap: Which three words do you think characterize this logo the best? Click to enlarge.
In the end I asked them to pick which logo of the two do they prefer the most.
Heatmap: Click on the logo you prefer the most. Click to enlarge.

Comparing the two logos

Analyzing the results, the TNT | Post logo is considered by most as a boring logo, but also a serious and professional one. The crown, a strong Dutch symbol,  inspires reliability and responsibility, as some of the participants noted.

“They don’t have a crown in their logo for nothing…”

(Responsible) Because of the crown! They have  a Dutch symbol in it so they need to be responsible otherwise they wouldn’t have it.

Graph: How the two logos scored

On the other hand, the PostNL logo scored very high as a modern and friendly logo, but also a fussy one. Looking back at the press release, where TNT states:

“Our new name PostNL symbolises the reliability and down to earth approach of our company.”

I think they did well with symbolizing down to earth, but failed with toning reliability. Moreover, there were quite some comments on how ‘clean’ the design of the new logo is. It seems that the shape of the logo and the shaded background colour don’t really help.

“(Loud) i think the orange faded background is a little nasty and over the top”

“(Ugly) to me this does not say ‘post’, i wish i could explain it further”

“Weird (just the triangle-like shape)”

“I don’t mean modern in a good way, i mean modern like trying too hard i do like the font choice”

” (Loud) Too big. Background color is taking over the text”

In the photo-finish, when participants were asked to choose a logo, TNT | post won by only one participant difference (51% against 49%).
Photofinish: Click on the logo you prefer the most.


It’s always very exciting to see the effects of big rebranding efforts from huge institutions like the Dutch postal service for instance. The TNT | post was an established logo that certainly had an equity and an important place in the Dutch visual landscape. It didn’t excite people, but did inspire trust and reliability. Essential factors for a postal service. Now, the new logo carries over the orange color, the crown, and the lowercase typography. But with the three-pointed holding shape tries to become friendlier and more modern. The typography is a good evolution from the old one, however dressing it up in shading and placing an unfortunate stroke around it makes the logo weaker and fussier. In the end, both logos scored almost the same, and now we only have to wait how the new logo will  fare in contrast to the familiar TNT Express fleet and packages that will still roam the world.

What do you think? Share your opinion at the comments thread below ;)

Photo: The new PostNL carriers that will deliver our parcels.

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Loucas Papantoniou
Usability Analyst @ Usabilla Jack of all trades, immersing passionately and sometimes obsessively in my interests. Greek living in A'dam, missing the sun.