January was certainly a busy month when it came to news from the branding and logo design world. Let’s take a gander at some of the more notable, including the first viral sensation of the year…
You can put this under “Lessons Learned” I guess. When it came to putting together our year-end Top 50 Logo Redesigns & Rebrands roundup, it took forever and a day. A year’s worth of new logos and rebrands is a lot to research, pare down and assemble, especially during the holidays and with a hard year-end deadline looming. To save a lot of grief when it comes to putting together our 2015 version – some 11 months from now – we figured cataloging this stuff as we go along might be helpful. Accordingly, we’ve been keeping a watchful eye and running tab on new logo releases since the New Year – here’s 24 notables (in alphabetical order, not sequential) that have been rolled out since then..
The logo makeover for Alaskan Airlines was minimal – the previously tatty font was smoothed, simplified and cleaned up while “airlines” dropped to tagline status – that’s about it. Except for the giant fish:
Atlantic records announced a new logo. Actually, it’s more of a retro retread – the “new” mark first appeared on the 1969 debut album of a band featuring Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. If you don’t know who they are, you’re far too young to be reading this blog (hint: lead guitarist and vocalist of Led Zeppelin.)
Destination British Columbia is a provincial tourism initiative founded in 2012 that attempts to co-ordinate tourism marketing with related industries and service providers on a “provincial, regional and local level.” Pretty serious stuff considering the revenue from tourism in BC topped $13.2 Billion in 2013. Such serious business needs a serious logo. This is it.
Agency: Crush Design
Chesterfield is a little hamlet in Derbyshire UK that’s famous for a crooked church spire, the result of a fire eons ago. That spire has been the main focus of the town’s logo for forty years. When the new logo – part of a £13,600 rebrand project – was announced, the response was pretty well unanimous. Everybody hated it. The new logo is certainly an improvement aesthetically and technically, but folks are so emotionally attached to the twisted spire, perhaps they can’t see the forest for the, ahm, twisted church spire. Strangely, there is a Chesterfield Tourism logo that, while still paying homage to the spire, isn’t as literal as the original town logo either.
Nobody seemed to kick up a fuss about that.
Agency: Landor Associates
When you’re a small town in Kentucky that’s existed for 200 years without an official logo, and when your first one is created by Landor, it’s sure to be news. Not just a logo mind you, but an entire branding system (note to self – add “branding system” to hottest trends list.)
Personally I think the thing’s a bit off-the-cuff (literally,) but hey, who am I? The townsfolk are mighty proud.
The new Electrolux logo introduces their name in a new font, exclusive for the company, and puts greater emphasis on their iconic symbol, used since 1962, which remains unchanged. The new logo also features a darker blue. There’s big hopes for the new design within the appliance company.
“With such a distinctive symbol at the forefront, it communicates modern and innovative while maintaining the associations of trust and quality that consumers have come to expect from our brand,” said MaryKay Kopf, Chief Marketing Officer of the Electrolux Group. “A visual identity is much more than a change of logo and color palette. It represents a new sense of Electrolux as a brand, what we and our products and services stand for and how we want to be perceived. The new visual identity will build greater recognition by engaging people in a positive and emotional way; helping to inspire them, identify key benefits and find what they are looking for.”
A lot to expect from a font and color change, but hey, all the power.
The first movie kinda sucked. The new Fantastic Four logo announced another reboot (how many bites of the apple do comic book franchises get these days?) It’s a 4. It’s metal. It has a flare.
Grabbitt is a neat little app that allows concert goers and other purchasers of on-site merch to “Grab it” – buy the poster, T-shirt or what have you and get it delivered later crease, wrinkle and beer stain free (could’ve used this puppy when I bought a great VNV poster at a gig and had to protect it for ten rain-soaked blocks walking back to the car.) Up to now, Grabbitt’s logo has been a bit clunky with a weird-lightning bolt thingamajig bolted on top. No more. The new brand features a new font-only work up (Circular again.) It’s an improvement, just not terribly exciting when seen out of context.
Haven’t watched HLN since I channel surfed into Nancy Grace – who is awful – so maybe not the best to judge their new logo. Not that there’s much to judge. It’s still speech-bubbly but squished. New pointy type. Some dodgy kerning.
Needs moar cowbell..
Sweaty old people have been rocking in leopard-print leotards to Jazzercise for almost thirty years. Which is exactly the image that the company wanted to ditch. So they lost the serif font for a speedy italic one. Then swiped the Pepsi icon, turned it sideways, gave it a coat of paint and put it on a diet.
There hasn’t actually been an official statement about this new logo, nor has it shown up anywhere at the Russian international airport that it’s supposed to represent. It was discovered quite by accident by internet users who noticed the logo in the sponsor’s section of a hockey championship website. It’s a soaring bear. In a blue sky. Ripe for parody. And the internet went wild.
Agency: Taken by Storm
Rotterdam is one of the biggest port cities in the world, so it’s only fitting they have a museum dedicated to all things nautical. In fact, they had two: the Maritiem Museum and the Haven Museum. The two merged late last year and morphed the two logos into one. Oh yeah – despite what my auto-correction thingamajig insists, the name isn’t spelled incorrectly. That’s how they spell Maritime in The Netherlands.
Morning Edition (NPR)
Public radio NPR‘s Morning Edition ditched their blindingly obvious morning metaphor – the steaming cup of coffee – for a more modern, font driven logo. Then they worked a rising sun into the type. Which is cool. Then they did it again. Which is weird. Except if you’re this guy..
Agency: Proud Creative
The word Nelonen is Finnish for the number 4, apropos for a TV channel in Finland that imports programming packages from Australia, the U.S., the UK, and Europe. The original logo concepts were created using folded strips of paper, which were polished during rendering to a more finished form “to avoid any craft clichés” or a handmade vibe. Speaking of logos made out of paper..
Pancreatic Cancer Action
Agency: Studio Sparrowhill (with Jon Stanbrook)
The logo for Pancreatic Cancer Action (UK) is based on the shape of a pancreas and started off as a series of paper shapes cut out with scissors, arranged in various configurations. The thinking was that this Picasso approach, as well as the inherent inaccuracies of paper shapes, would give the design a “handmade quality” and resonate on a more personal level than the old logo (a purple pansy.)
The notion of an actual pancreas carried through to the charity merch – It has also been positioned on T-shirts to reflect the actual size and position of the organ in the human body. That’s the mid-left torso for those keeping score.
Based on the press releases that accompanied Pitney Bowe‘s new brand rollout, the old logo (launched in 1971) was supposed to represent “the intersection of paper-based and electronic communication” (was electronic communication even a thing back in ’71 – I thought Pitney Bowes made postage meters?) The new logo is supposed to represent “the power of accuracy and precision to create impact in the world of commerce” as the company tries to reposition itself as something other than an outfit that sells postage meters (cause we know we’re that’s headed.) Rather than the ubiquitous corporate blue, the new logo features colorful blends that range from violet to blue green. The company name is in lower case which is nice and trendy too.
School of Rock – The Musical
School of Rock – The Musical will feature tunage from the 2003 movie, as well as new material by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Glenn Slater, with director duties going to Laurence Connor (currently on Broadway with Les Miserables.) Previews begins on Monday, November 2, 2015 at the Winter Garden Theatre, with an opening set for Sunday, December 6. Granted, that’s a long way off, but we have a logo to look at.
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather
Asian telco giant Singtel rebranded for the first time, losing the “where were you in 1998?” swooshy thing that’s been their logo forever. Nothing to write home about on the new design really – a couple of dots in an arc with a nice sans serif font. It wasn’t the logo that folks took exception with on this rollout anyway – it was the slogan that came with it. ‘Let’s make everyday better’ was supposed to represent Singtel’s pledge for improved customer service. Grammar pedants were all over it – the tagline should read “every day” with a space, or if using “everyday” it should be prefaced with a “the” as in “the everyday.” They’re still harping about it on Twitter which is good. Keeps them away from spell-checking this blog. Which would be bad.
Agency: Bruce Mau Design
This new logo for Sonos represented the first viral brand sensation of 2015. It was lauded and praised for a week on Twitter, blogs, the Tee Vee and wherever people discuss such things. The reason? The logo looked like a moving soundwave when you scrolled it up and down. Try it:
As Sonos sell speakers and stuff, praise was universal. “Genius!” was the overwhelming consensus. “Awesome” was another. The logo bordered on design sorcery. I wouldn’t have said anything myself, but alas, turns out it was a happy accident. Still, pretty funky stuff.
The old logo for Trans Union – one of the World’s largest credit bureau and reporting agencies – was a little “out there” and dot-matrixy for something in the financial sector, usually pretty reserved and uptight. Their new logo tries a more friendly approach, ditching the icon portion for a text-driven mark and… ahm, another text driven mark. The logo features an ampersandish company acronym on top of the name proper which is a little redundant (I imagine these will get split up over time.) Cool and all I suppose – very Twitter like but everyone and their dog knows there’s an ‘A’ in the center of a Twitter ‘at’ sign – not a TU – which makes this exercise a little weird.
Agency: Colle + McVoy
USA Swimming announced their new logo “system.” They’re not doing away the previous shield, but rather incorporating it into a series of logos for their championship meets. The different designs were based on photo references of swimmers in action and are part of an entire rebranding program in conjunction with Speedo.
The various setups also incorporate the logos of major sponsors including Phillips 66, AT & T and Arena.
The family have used Ziploc bags for years. To be honest, I’ve never given their logo much thought, it just is. They have a new one. It’s a sexier font I guess, but still kinda like the old one. And I probably won’t give too much thought to it either. I’ll still buy the bags, cause they’re reliable as hell and keep my stuff fresh in the fridge. Which is the point of ZIploc. Not some stupid logo.
Walgreens Boots Alliance
Walgreens Boots Alliance‘s new logo, a sphere meant to look like a globe, is a departure from the red “W” that has been a fixture at its U.S. drugstores for years, and is the graphical depiction of a fairly large merger. Walgreens has been chomping away at Alliance Boots for a while now, picking up 45 percent of the European pharmaceutical wholesaler in 2012 and purchasing the the remaining equity, forming Walgreens Boots Alliance, end of last year. The new design was announced two weeks after that buyout. Says Executive Chairman Jim Skinner of the new mark: “it’s an open, growing globe that represents our ability to connect customers around the world to products and services that enhance their health and well-being.” FWIW, the existing logo for Walgreens stores is not changing. The whole thing kinda has a Death Star vibe but hey, if you’ve got the word ‘alliance’ in your name, might as well go all the way. And that, by the way, is the second Star Wars reference in one post.
Cause that’s how we roll.
A very thankful hat-tip to Under Consideration: Brand New, a fantastic resource for new brand releases and a great time-saver when researching who did what. They also go into far more detail – with contextual examples of how a lot of these logos get used – than we ever could. Design Week is also marvelous, especially for UK stuff. Wherever possible, we try to credit designers and agencies for their work. If we missed you, or got something wrong, feel free to let us know and we’ll update.