In case you haven't heard, MTV updated its logo. "Music Television" has gone the way of, well, music television, which the channel hasn't featured for nearly a decade. In its stead, peering out from a double-amputee M, isn't this generation's Lauper or Jagger, but the "personalities" from MTV's latest reality trainwrecks. The company claims the logo, historically dynamic and malleable, now more accurately reflects MTV's evolution from music-centric content to a broader expression of contemporary youth culture; that it's more honest about what the company has become. Perhaps that's true. But considering the fossil record of MTV programming, a spray-tanned Snookie framed in leopard print signifies neither evolution, nor intelligent design.
Admittedly I’ve never had much use for the GAP, other than the fact it inspired some of my favorite Saturday Night Live skits (“Lay off me I’m starving”). But its newly designed logo seems to be leaving branding experts and fans alike starving for a bit more.
The National Park Service’s 100-year anniversary isn’t until 2016, but it's celebrating early by getting a facelift for its logo. It’s all part of a new campaign rolling out in the next two years called “Find Your Park,” meant to expose the national park system to millennials and multicultural communities.
Logo lovers, here's your Friday roll in the hay—an infographic charting the evolution of 18 big-company logos, beginning with Coca-Cola in 1886 and Pepsi a decade later, and continuing through the Yahoos and Googles of the late 20th century. As a bonus, there's a section at the bottom called "Did You Mean to Do That?"—showing some unfortunate logos, most of which seem to evoke images of pedophilia.
A brand’s logo has the power to hook and create a lasting connection with the consumer, and a new infographic shows just how the specific elements in a brand logo can make them powerful. Elements like color, shape, text and typeface all serve to convey something specific and evoke certain emotional responses that companies like Twitter and Nike want associated with their brands.
Olive Garden's New Logo Is Just the Latest to Be Met With Criticism. Revamping a brand is a tricky proposition.
Logos define brands and they create corporate images because logos are what sticks in people’s mind and creates associations. Think Coca-Cola, Nike, or McDonald’s – what do you instantly picture in mind? Right, their logos. Great logos will never allow their consumers forget about the brand – it’s what prompts them choose one product over alternative: people tend to stick to something familiar, something that brings up positive associations. Here are 10 examples of missteps and how logos can potentially ruin corporate reputations.
How do you create a logo for a company that doesn’t do one thing, but lots of different things? How do you visualize the abstract notion of innovation?
What's in a name? Plenty when the future of a beleaguered college sports conference depends on creating a new brand and logo from scratch, said Mike Aresco, commissioner of the new American Athletic Conference.
After 30 days of testing various different designs, the firm has finally landed on one.
Think of a great brand. What is the first that comes to mind? What is the one thing that company does to build it? Tough to answer?
As adults, our emotional relationship with logos is equally as profound. In fact, it is perhaps the most vital piece of branding there is.
A brand is more than a logo. But a company’s mark is its calling card, a shorthand for all that other stuff--the quality of the product, the level of service, the history of the company--for its composite brand.
Starting in March, Wendy’s will introduce its first logo makeover since 1983. The redesign, only the fifth since Wendy’s was launched in 1969, features an updated, more prominent cameo graphic of the iconic pigtailed Wendy’s character and a sleeker, more contemporary script font.
Behold, the Twitter rebranding. Starting today, there will be no more logo text or the lowercase 't' that users have gotten to know so well. Instead, the social network announced a slight rebrand via blog post, declaring the iconic, ascending bird as the "universally recognizable symbol of Twitter."
Trying to figure out what’s on sale when and then waiting for the next sale to buy particular items can be frustrating to consumers so J.C. Penney Co. — in its first major overhaul of its retail arm since former Apple exec Ron Johnson took over as CEO in November — is attempting to make things much easier. The company this week announced that its stores are doing away with having seven kazillion different items on different sales simultaneously and just “marking down all of its merchandise by at least 40% so shoppers will no longer have to wait for a sale to get the lowest prices in its stores.” The move comes as jcpenney, as the chain rebranded itself at the 2011 Oscars, is re-rebranding with a new logo — following the previous year's rebrand at the 2010 Oscars (check out the logo progression below). What was that about trying to avoid consumer confusion?
The head of Iran's national Olympic committee has complained to the International Olympic Committee that the jagged logo for the London 2012 Olympic games is racist because it spells the word "Zion." (Maybe if you twist your head on the 'N' — but even then it would read "Loin," no?)
When Gap introduced a new logo in October, public response was overwhelmingly negative. With Internet speed, someone created a microsite where readers could render their own Gap-like logo. With the outcry of resistance, the logo was quickly pulled and mea culpas were quickly issued by the retailing giant.
Viacom's Comedy Central network today revealed its new on-air branding coming in January. The new logo features a mark, resembling a loopy Chanel or copyright symbol, and an upside down "Central" — a severely mod contrast to its retro skyscrapered globe now being put out to pasture.
So was the Gap's logo debacle really a debacle, or was it a clever sleight of hand? In response to my post last week, some of you said: wait a second — what if this was a genius move by the Gap, garnering a boatload attention with minimum effort?
Gap has announced on its Facebook Page that it is scrapping its new logo design efforts, acquiescing to a torrent of criticism coming primarily from Facebook and Twitter users. Last week, Gap unveiled a new logo, one it called “a more contemporary, modern expression.” The retailer’s customers were not so thrilled about the change, and Gap decided to ask users for their logo design ideas instead. However, that course of action has now been reversed, as well.
Here's a thought: 21st century organizations need not just half a brain — but a whole, full, complete brain, where both halves work in unison and harmony. Let me explain, by way of an example. It hurts your eyes to look at it. It's making designers world-wide recoil in amazement and horror. The latest installment of Aliens vs Predator? Nope — it's the Gap's new logo.
Gap has finally shed some light on its new logo, which has had the industry buzzing and wondering why the retailer ditched its previous iconic mark. The logo, created with Laird & Partners, New York, is meant to be the latest "evolution" for the brand, which has been updating its product, rolling out pop-up stores and tapping hot designers such as Patrick Robinson. The logo is also in line with the label on Gap's popular 1969 jeans line.
It appears Gap is rolling out a new logo and critics aren't being too kind about the shift. The new logo has replaced the retailer's iconic blue box, which had "Gap" emblazoned across it in capital letters, on the brand's home page. Now, a gradiated blue box is perched at the top right side of the "p" in Gap. The original logo can still be found on the retailer's Facebook and Twitter page, however. The logo is pervasive in American culture, appearing on some 1,200 stores in North America. Gap also operates nearly 300 stores in Europe and Asia. Gap is the 84th most-valuable brand in the world, according to Interbrand's 2010 study. The group values the brand at nearly $4 billion.
If you’ve ever wondered why it seems impossible to fill a grocery cart without adding at least one item whose packaging has been redesigned, the answer to your question is the fact that you’ve asked it. “New look! Same great taste!” openly confesses the blatant goal of catching your eye for no substantial reason. Humans have always noticed novelty, but it’s harder to get our attention in the multicolored and abundant context of a megamart, where one heap of bananas looks much like another. This makes it all the more impressive that Chiquita has received so much notice by being creative with the little blue stickers that adorn its flagship fruit.
Hilton Worldwide has been undergoing a major reevaluation of its flagship brand, Hilton Hotels, and, after completing international consumer research, a lengthy strategic branding process and custom graphic design work, is introducing a brand-new Hilton logo. "We've embarked on the most comprehensive research in the history of the company for the Hilton brand," said Dave Horton, global head of the Hilton Hotels brand. So what does the new logo, one of more than 20 in the company's 91-year history, say about Hilton? Almost the same things the old logo said about Hilton.
K-Mart and Marc Jacobs have something in common: low- and high-end fashion products tend to have less conspicuous brand markers than midprice goods, according to a paper soon to be published in The Journal of Consumer Research. Rather than rely on obvious logos, expensive products use more discreet markers, such as distinctive design or detailing. High-end consumers prefer markers of status that are not decipherable by the mainstream. These signal group identity only to others with the connoisseurship to recognize their insider standing.
The big news for sports fans this week is the redesign of the Pacific 10 Conference (Pac-10) logo, which I must say looks pretty good. The logo was launched with appropriate fanfare in New York City on Tuesday by being projected on a raining wall of mist in the Whiskey Blue, a popular midtown Manhattan bar in the W Hotel.
Identifying with a luxury brand is a lot more subtle among wealthy consumers than you think. "Subtle Signals of Inconspicuous Consumption," a paper appearing in the current issue of Journal of Consumer Research, suggests that high-end shoppers are more in tune with "discreet markers, such as distinctive design or detailing," than obvious brand logos. "Signaling Status with Luxury Goods: The Role of Brand Prominence," another study (this one published in the July issue of Journal of Marketing), finds that "luxury brands charge more for 'quieter' items with subtle logo placement and discreet appeal." Paris Hilton may not care, but brand marketers should.
Mapquest today unveils an easier-to-use, redesigned site and revamped logo as part of the AOL-owned brand's efforts to stay competitive in an increasingly crowded space. Visitors can opt into the new site via a call-out atop the current home page, or by typing new.mapquest.com in their Web browsers. For the next few weeks, Mapquest -- which had 49.1 million unique U.S. visitors in May, per comScore -- is allowing users to switch back and forth between the two sites while it evaluates their feedback.
Launched in the distant dot-com era of 1999, SurveyMonkey has grown to be the self-proclaimed “world’s leading provider of web-based survey solutions.” Considering that there isn’t much competition — Zoomerang and the lovely bare-bones Google Docs come to mind — I imagine the claim is true, but we’re not here to debate the merits of facts stated in About Us pages. Last month SurveyMonkey introduced a new logo.
To our Swedish readers this will be old news and the following brief introduction might fail to convey the political subtleties that this topic entails. In 2006 the four right-wing parties of Sweden — the Moderate Party, Centre Party, Liberal People’s Party, and Christian Democrats — formed the Allians för Sverige (Alliance for Sweden) as a way to stand stronger against the left-wing Social Democratic Party, which has led Swedish politics for the last 70 years.
This is one of those occasions where — and let me show my cards early here — the rebranding effort is so poor it is hard to know where to begin. For those that may not follow the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Golden State Warriors have been in California, and more specifically in the Bay area, since moving out here in 1962 from Philadelphia. The current redesign marks the first rebranding effort by the team since 1997.
Only slightly older than ten years old, founded in 1998, San Francisco-based Esurance is one of the leading direct-to-consumer auto insurance companies in the U.S. and one of the better known providers of such unappealing service. Until now, Esurance had been represented by a very generic sunset logo and personalized in the form of Erin Esurance, an animated, pink-haired superhero. Earlier this month, Esurance went through a complete transformation with a new identity and national campaign titled “Techie Feely,” both created by San Francisco-based Duncan/Channon.
World Cup mania is about to begin and that means one thing: it’s a social media branding opportunity! On Friday, in time for the first kickoff, Bing is going to release a World Cup badge on Foursquare which can be unlocked by people who follow Bing on the service.
BusinessWeek, a weekly periodical catering to the business community (go figure), was recently acquired by Bloomberg Media from their previous owner, McGraw-Hill. Financial pundits saw this as a quick route for Bloomberg, the successful, finance-oriented media outlet started by the mayor of New York, to a strong presence in print. More to the point, it was viewed as an opportunity to make Bloomberg, the unseen hand behind so many news feeds and stock tickers, more of a household name. And so it came to be. Their name now graces the living rooms and reception areas of millions of homes and businesses across the world, announcing its debut by turning a new page in BusinessWeek’s 80-year history.
Six months after rebooting their identity and to coincide with their 25th anniversary celebrations, AOL has unleashed its “2nd Collection” of logos and animations with help from designers, illustrators and animators around the world, with direction by Wolff Olins. To consolidate this effort, AOL has launched AOL Artists, a repository of all the contributors and snippets of their work, a fairly generous move to acknowledge these artists’ work and give them some additional exposure.
In November of last year, Fiat — which owns the majority of what was once Chrysler Group LLC, which itself owned Dodge — announced that it would be separating its line-up into two separate brands: One for the popular Dodge Ram trucks and the other for the normal-sized cars. The first brand is now simply known as Ram and has kept the original ram logo, leaving the second brand, Dodge, to look for a logo of its own.
I don’t consume enough sausages to know which one is the leading brand in the market, probably Kraft makes some rendition of the mystery cylinder meat, I really wouldn’t know. But if you asked me to name one sausage brand I would instantly think of Hebrew National. Not because I know what it tastes like, but because it has a cool name, a cool slogan — “We answer to a higher authority” — and it feels like it plays by its own rules, defying mainstream consumption with a kosher product and, again, what would seemingly be a very limiting name.
Picture this… Kodak is going sustainable. A new logo will now be attached to packaging, marketing and advertising materials to signify environmental products unique to the brand. The logo, featuring a green and yellow leaf, supports its new tagline of “Kodak Cares.” Further proof of the company's commitment to an environmental corporate conscience is Kodak's new sustainability focus, leveraging a growing movement of consumers willing to pay for and support environmentally friendly companies and products.
Brand Australia was conceived by the Federal Government of Australia as a four-year program to position Australia internationally as not just a pleasant place to holiday, barbeque shrimp and wrestle crocodiles, but also a nice enough place to perhaps invest a few dollars. And that’s the key to understanding the place this brand is intended to take; it does not replace the tourism brand created by FutureBrand, rather it sits above it as the overarching brand for global citizenship, culture, business and investment. Confusingly, that same tourism brand created by FutureBrand had been in use as the business to business brand under license by Austrade — the government agency responsible for promoting Australia and Australian businesses overseas. Therefore, it’s a before and after, whilst not being a before and after. Still with me?
Bill Cosby is bringing the giggles back to jiggling desserts. The comedian is reteaming with Jell-O after a decade-long break as its pitchman, only this time around he's not in front of the camera, as he was from 1974 to 1999. Cosby is executive producing its new "Hello Jell-O" campaign which kicks off today with a new logo and series of spots, a multimillion-dollar effort that's the gelatin and pudding brand's biggest marketing effort today
What do you get when you combine two of the biggest telecommunications companies in the UK? The answer is fairly straightforward: You get everything, everywhere. And that’s exactly what the new parent company, starting operations on July 1, 2010, will be called. Everything Everywhere™. It will represent the new 50:50 joint venture of France Telecom (owner of Orange) and Deutsche Telekom (owner of T-Mobile) in the UK market to establish itself as the leading mobile service provider with a combined 30 million subscribers. However, to keep things interesting, both Orange and T-Mobile will continue performing as separate brands, each with their already established brand, but behind the scenes it will all be Everything Everywhere™ — a press release has further details.
Today, Seattle’s Best is announcing a major push in its distribution: By partnering with other retailers like Burger King, Subway and AMC Entertainment (one of the largest movie theater chains in the U.S.), to add Seattle’s Best coffee to their menus, bumping its distribution by about 30,000 points of sale. Additionally, Seattle’s Best will be dispensing coffee via vending machines, although I’m not clear how or where. Along with this announcement, a radically new logo has been introduced, designed by Seattle ad agency Creature.
Apple has granted AT&T an extension of its iPhone exclusivity agreement in a "Faustian" bargain that sees AT&T providing "low-cost and truly unlimited data plans for the iPad." But the extension is only for six months, and then the service goes up for grabs again, much to the delight of Verizon, whose grab for the iPad was purportedly rejected. If it's in the stars, Verizon could be getting access to the iPhone in 2011.
If looking at the above image suddenly inspires an unprecedented urge to grab a smoke and start puffing away, that’s because Marlboro wants you to buy their cigarettes. Or at least that’s how the conspiracy theory goes. Dutifully reported by our blogging peer, Graphicology, it turns that the Ferrari Formula One racing team is trying to sneak an allusion of the Marlboro logo through their speedy car’s new paint job in the form of an abstract bar code that supposedly resembles a Marlboro pack — a tactic made necessary due to a ban on tobacco advertising by the European Union. Fact or fiction? You decide.
Originally established by the Texas Legislature as the Texas State Cancer Hospital and the Division of Cancer Research in 1941, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center — named after Houston cotton merchant Monroe D. Anderson whose philanthropic foundation made great contributions to the center early on — is today one of the leading cancer research and treatment facilities in the world. Up to 2009, it has been as ranked No. 1 in cancer care in the “America’s Best Hospitals” survey published by U.S. News & World Report in six of the past eight years. Employing more than 17,000 people, MD Anderson treated over 96,000 patients in 2009. A new identity, introduced yesterday, aims to visualize the center’s mission, “to eliminate cancer in Texas, the nation and the world.”
Yesterday, United and Continental Airlines, the third- and fourth-largest U.S. carriers respectively, announced they would be merging, creating the first-largest carrier. While the media focuses on numbers of flights, ramifications for shareholders and what will happen to customers’ frequent flyer miles we focus our attention on what really matters: The literal merger of two infinitely different brands.
The bad news at Toyota is in overdrive. Since the recall of the Prius for its deadly acceleration problems, the carmaker has been hemorrhaging sales and consumer confidence. Now, even its luxury brand, Lexus, is under investigation for "stability" problems. Ouch!
Working continually in eleven countries — Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, and India — and providing support to more than forty countries throughout its nearly twenty years in operation, Water for People “helps people in developing countries improve quality of life by supporting the development of locally sustainable drinking water resources, sanitation facilities, and hygiene education programs.” A big part of the Denver-based organization’s focus is not just establishing new facilities or resources, but making sure they keep working and are self-sufficient years later. This past March, Water for People introduced a new logo designed by Duffy & Partners.
At the turn of the century, the internet held the promise of content “streaming,” a splashing waterfall of always-on music and video, but bandwidths weren’t then what they are now, and the whole experience of streaming anything was slow and painful. One of the frontrunners though was Rhapsody in 2001, owned by Listen.com at the time, which provided over 30,000 legally-owned tracks. Two years later, Rhapsody was acquired by RealNetworks, where Rhapsody’s catalog and subscribers continued to grow. This month, with close to 10 million tracks, Rhapsody became an independent company and to break free from the RealNetworks branding, created a new logo.
A brand identity, name, and logo is a company's public face. So you'd think companies would be really careful in figuring out how to revamp that image. Sadly, a good number of recent rebranding attempts seemed to just crash and burn. We spoke with award-winning branding agency Method, Inc. and branding guru Rob Frankel about the worst rebranding disasters they've seen in the past few years.
It was such a long time ago when AT&T ditched its original Saul Bass logo that the discussion about it happened not on Brand New, but on Speak Up. In 2005. One year before the launch of Brand New and, also of importance, nearly two years before the iPhone launch. All this to say: Has it really been that long? But also: Didn’t this happen, like, yesterday? Either way, a lot has changed for AT&T, having risen as the heaven where the iPhone lives to also being the hell where the iPhone dies in the clogged lines of its 3G network with all of its hope placed in the hands of Luke Wilson. No more. Yesterday, AT&T launched a new brand campaign that introduces the theme of “Rethink Possible” and tries to do what few other companies — like Nike, Target and Apple — can, drop the name from the logo.
With nearly 9,000 stores worldwide, more than 6,000 of them in the United States alone, serving 2.5 million donuts and 2 million cups of coffee to more than 3 million customers per day, Dunkin’ Donuts is undeniably one of the most prominent guilty pleasures in the world. I favor Starbucks coffee and de-favor eating donuts altogether (despite their awesome deliciousness) so I’m in a minority that doesn’t frequent Dunkin’ Donuts — a minority that has become even smaller since 2002, when a steaming cup of coffee was added to the Dunkin’ Donuts logo to muscle back into consumers’ consciousness that coffee wasn’t just available from Starbucks or McDonald’s. And, apparently, that change paid off as Dunkin’ Donuts is celebrating its 60th anniversary (it was founded in 1950) with a new identity that not only removes the coffee cup but also reaches back to its vintage roots for inspiration.
One of the classic taglines in marketing today is "Let your fingers do the walking," with the recognizable Yellow Pages 'walking fingers' logo. This is all changing in Canada as the Yellow Pages enter the digital age. There will be "More Yellow, Less Pages" and the new logo will not include an open book. The former Yellow Pages logo is pictured at right, as the new one is unavailable.
Have you seen Logorama, the movie comprised entirely of animated logos, that just won the Oscar for best animated short film? It's an excellent representation of the technicolor tapestry of branding that our world has become. Whether that's a good or bad thing depends on your point of view. But what would the world be like if there were no more brands to differentiate products, inspire us, or give us a good feeling about a company or product we've never tried before? I'm one who thinks it would be bad for brands to meld together into a homogenized mess, and I see that starting to happen in places. At the rate things are going, someday soon all brands will look like Walmart 's Great Value label. Why is this happening?
If there is anyone that learned the branding lesson imparted by the Obama ’08 Campaign, it was John McCain. During the Presidential race there was simply nothing the McCain identity could do to help his chances, especially not Optima, not even at its boldest. Not long after the loss, McCain announced in November of 2008 that he would be running for re-election to his Senate seat in 2010 for the state of Arizona. Earlier this year, McCain presented a new identity for this particular campaign, created by Phoenix-based OVO. What a difference one lost Presidential race makes.
Caribou Coffee, a distant No. 2 in the coffee chain category next to Starbucks, is attempting to bolster its appeal as a branded coffee company by playing down the ski lodge imagery and, yes, the caribou, with a sweeping rebranding. The push, which includes a new logo and print work, comes as the brand attempts to foster a more contemporary, less regional image. With locations in 15 Midwestern and Eastern states, Caribou doesn’t have the national retail footprint of Starbucks and has a fraction of the marketing budget. But it is known for its quality—Consumer Reports ranked it No.1 among java purveyors—and a new management team wants to expand upon that and build a national presence. One way to do that is by rolling out branded ground coffee on other retailers’ shelves. Such sales rose 77 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009, per the company. Caribou is now in 7,000 U.S. grocery stores.
No one has seen more changes to the MTV brand than Judy McGrath. The CEO of MTV Networks started with the network in 1981 as a copywriter and eventually ascended the ranks to her current position in 2004, where she has seen many different iterations of the network and its programming even as fellow pioneering executives such as Tom Freston and Robert Pittman have come and gone. One of those changes came as recently as last week, when MTV unveiled the first major on-air update to its logo in its 28-year history. The redesign was met with mixed reaction. "I don't think what they did is wrong," George Lois, creator of the network's historic "I want my MTV" campaign, told Ad Age. "I think what they did is strategic. And it just proves to me that MTV is dead."
Last year, exactly around this time, when we were thinking about what brand to spoof on April Fools MTV was the runner-up, but only because we thought no one would ever believe that the MTV logo would change. Ever. Now that the time of change is finally here — almost 29 years after MTV and its logo, debuted on August 1, 1981, at 12:01 a.m., to that unmistakable guitar riff — well, not much has really changed, other than what we all already knew. MTV is not about music anymore, and its new logo dispenses with the hindering description of “Music Television.”
There is no Sunday like Super Bowl Sunday: The friends, the beer, the chips, the bets, the ads… and, oh yeah, the game. And just in case you were confused by this year’s Pro Bowl being played before the Super Bowl, heed the news, the Super Bowl is this Sunday in Miami, Florida with the New Orleans Saints playing the Indianapolis Colts. But aside from mentioning the obvious, let us turn our attention to the Super Logo, designed this season by Attik.
I was sitting in church last week, fighting distraction because there was a brand in my face. Specifically, it was North Face—their logo emblazoned on four jackets, all within 3 rows of me and all in my line of sight. I even sneaked out my iPhone and tried to capture a picture of these four very different style/color jackets (alas, it didn’t come out very well).
It’s no secret that I do not — repeat, do not — enjoy the design stylings of Microsoft. But that’s like a 5-year-old saying he or she does not like broccoli, except for the fact that not even with age does the Microsoft taste become acquired. Part of these raging feelings against Microsoft are fostered by their applications that defy user-interface standards of comfort and friendliness. Granted, this is mostly for us, designers, for whom the mere sight of an Excel, Word or PowerPoint file can bring us to our knees, as we struggle to find something as natural as the letter-spacing option.
I gave myself a deadline of January 15 to do a recap of identity work in the 2000s, assuming that it wouldn’t be an editorial faux pas to do a list of this sort well into the new year. So here it is. An admittedly incomplete — it would take months to do this exhaustively — compilation of the most relevant identities of the past decade. The choices are listed chronologically and there is no ranking system, they are simply there as records of the corporations, products and services that shaped the decade and the identities that helped (or didn’t help) shape their perception in consumers’ eyes and minds.
2009 has been a great year for Brand New, with a bottomless source of new and redesigned identities from around the world, and we’ve all had good fun critiquing them in sickness and in health. But it all comes down to this: The Best and Worst. I have gone through all the archives and selected the top 12 in each category. There were some dead-ringers for each category and some that required a little more self-deliberation acknowledging that some identities were left off the list. And just as well, I know my selections may incite some disagreements, which are more than welcome as we bring this year to a close.
AOL unveiled a "new brand identity" Sunday night. Instead of AOL, it's "Aol." -- period included. There are also six new logos -- from a goldfish to a paint swirl. A spokesperson says more are coming. All of it is the result of work with brand consultant Wolff Olins, which AOL hired over the summer. AOL is spinning off from parent company Time Warner this December. Last week, it told employees it needs 2,500 of them to volunteer for layoffs. The company plans to turn itself into a next generation media company, building on the 80 or so blogs and content sites it already runs.
The Kayak.com travel search engine is hoping to "flip" from a well-kept secret among frequent travelers to a tool used by mainstream travelers every day. After discovering earlier this year that 68% of consumers who use online travel sites had never heard of Kayak, the company decided to focus on marketing. This week, Kayak is launching its first national advertising campaign on TV, online and outdoors, created by its new agency of record, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco. The creative features the tagline: "Search one and done," a device that resembles the traditional destination/time flip display boards once found in train stations and airports around the world, and a new logo based on this "flippy" device.
Northfield-based Kraft Foods Inc. said Wednesday that it plans to phase out use of the "Smart Choices" logo, an industry-led nutrition labeling initiative that federal food regulators last week implied could mislead consumers. Packaged-foods rivals General Mills, Kellogg and Unilever also said this week that they plan to phase out the Smart Choices label, which was unveiled a year ago and formally launched in grocery stores in August. Late last week, the Smart Choices program said it would "postpone" operations, and Kraft said then that it had no plans to stop putting it on products where it already appeared.
Founded 90 years ago, with a modest hotel in Cisco, Texas, Hilton Hotels now encompass 3,300 properties in 77 countries through ten different brands, including Waldorf Astoria, Hilton, Doubletree, Embassy Suites, and Hampton Inn & Suites, among others. This amalgam of hospitality powerhouses was most recently known as The Hilton Family but as of yesterday, it will be going by the more corporate Hilton Worldwide. The name, and identity change designed by Landor, coincide with the move of their headquarters from glitzy Beverly Hills to, um, non-glitzy McLean, Virginia.
"Intel Inside" was the first, and arguably the best, "ingredient" branding to come out of Madison Avenue. And thanks to that campaign everyone knows that Intel chips are inside computers. But the success of that ad push, which made its debut in 1991, created an image of Intel as a staid chipmaker.
When it comes to yogurt I have no brand allegiance. Whatever brand happens to cross my line of vision that does not look like it will taste like creamy acid, I will grab. Granted, I don’t eat much yogurt, so I have no problem in brand continuity. Same thing with milk, whatever the house brand is at the grocery store near my home at the moment is the one I buy. For a while, in the halcyon economic times of 2007, we bought organic milk. Prior to writing this post, if you had asked me what brand of organic milk I bought I would not have been able to tell you. It was only as I was going through Stonyfield Farm’s web site that I realized the $5 gallon of milk I had been buying was Stonyfield Farms. This is not a knock on this particular brand but perhaps just my perception of the dairy category: A blurry landscape of cows, prairies and fruit drawings. Most likely, I’m not the target audience. Having said all this, Stonyfield Farm stands out from the crowd as a cow- and earth-conscious company since its modest beginning in 1979 as The Rural Education Center until 1983 when they began (pun alert!) milking their expertise and killer yogurt recipe as a consumer product. Today it is one of the most successful organic dairy product lines in the market, and it recently launched a new identity and packaging designed by Webb Scarlett deVlam.
Would you tattoo a brand name to your skin? A new company does just that. MyBrandz.com is a new start up that offered free tattoos of brands on September 7th ("Free Tattoo Day") to people who really want to "live the brand." One of the founders says: We'd like to let the people do what they want with the brands, enjoy the life of the brands and not only buy them and let the brand owners tell them what to with them. The real attraction here is that consumers get more control over the brand names they love, rather than simply becoming walking billboards for them.
AOL is calling on Leo Burnett USA to help reinvent the brand and give the internet giant a new corporate identity as it prepares to spin off from Time Warner and emerge as an independent, publicly traded firm later this year. The move comes after AOL in July quietly reached out to five agencies, a mix of large, traditional ad firms and small design shops, in what AOL Chief Operating Officer Kim Partoll calls "a very accelerated pitch process."
Volkswagen-owned car marque Audi is changing its logo for the first time since 1990, to reflect a more 'pure and clear' identity and to emphasis the brand's focus on design.
Thumbing through his local Swedish newspaper, Göteborg resident Mattias Akerberg found himself troubled by a full-page advertisement for Ikea. It wasn't that the Grevbäck bookcases looked any less sturdy, or that the Bibbi Snur duvet covers were any less colorful, or even that the names given to each of the company's 9,500 products were any less whimsical. No, what bothered Akerberg was the typeface. "I thought that something had gone terribly wrong, but when I Twittered about it, people at their ad agency told me that this was actually the new Ikea font," he recalls. "I could hardly believe it was true."
Summer may be winding down but the Good Humor truck is here to stay. The popular ice cream maker you might remember from such frozen hits as Strawberry Shortcake, Toasted Almond and Chocolate Eclair launched a rebrand earlier this year. It will adorn snack cart umbrellas, swimming pool menus and packages in the freezer aisle. But where’s the heart?
It can invigorate a company's image or squander its brand equity. To see which gambles paid off, Fortune turned to a few experts to judge some of the most dramatic transformations.
Providence, RI now has a new slogan -- "Creative Capital" -- and a logo, thanks to a $100,000 gig with a branding firm that specializes in helping communities respond to the drastic downturn in employment, investment, and solvent home mortgages with image marketing. If I find out that any Stimulus funds are getting spent on this nonsense, count me in as a parade leader when we march on Washington.
Graphic designers (UnderConsideration LLC), authors, and Internet instigators Armin Vit and Bryony Gomez-Palacio recently closed their influential design blog Speak Up and left New York to set up shop in Austin, Texas. Besides the fact that their mortgage now nets them double the square-footage, not much has changed for the husband-and-wife team: They still run several blogs, including the popular branding blog Brand New, work for clients, and write books, including their newest, Graphic Design Referenced, published by Rockport. The highly-visual guide highlights the industry's technical terms, historical moments, and influential practitioners with over 2,000 projects, so we asked Vit and Gomez-Palacio to dig out the 12 juiciest stories about our favorite brands for some salacious summer design reading. Enjoy!
Mainstream brands such as Godrej, Shoppers Stop, India Post and CEAT Tyres have undertaken rebranding initiatives to shed their old corporate images and position themselves in a new, more modern light. Some have simply upgraded their logos, while others dug much deeper. Which leads branding enthusiasts to wonder, just what is the difference between an identity refresher and a true rebranding—and when is one, and not the other, needed?
The question is not whether a name or logo is important. The important question to ask -- about any and all aspects of your brand -- is: is it appropriate for the feelings that I want people to conjure up and the subsequent decisions which they'll ultimately make?
These are austere times, but the logos recently loaded onto Logo Lounge.com–nearly 35,000 since 2008 – certainly do not reflect it, writes Bill Gardner. And that is how it should be. Wary homage may be paid to marketing in lean times, but not to identity design. These are two wholly different efforts with different goals. Identities should set a long-term course for clients, not fall into the pits carved out by economic phases. Our seventh annual logo trend report, as always, is as much a forecast as it is a study of the past 12 months. The past informs the future, and the recent past has such momentum that designers would be well-advised to stay this course, even when clients are only maintaining the brands they have, not creating new ones. Business may be slow, but it does not have to be dull.
“Make it bigger,” the executive screamed from the corner of the room as I desperately sought a sign-off for an ad featuring a major fashion brand. This wasn’t the first time such a situation came up. In fact, every meeting I had always ended up in discussions about the placement and size of the logo – it was as if that one by one inch space, over time, had become the holy grail of branding – the rest was more a less an ad-on.
I guess you’ll have heard about the Versace hotel, the Ferrari laptop, and the Apple cell phone. Yet, had I suggested any one of these products to you fifteen years ago, you might have been forgiven for thinking that a few extravagant typos had made it past the editor. Yet today, we’ve become perfectly used to extreme brand extensions like these. But, can you go too far? Brands have been stretching their way into such new and unexpected product categories that some product progeny can be impossible to link to their brand parents.
ConAgra Foods has unveiled a new logo, following in the footsteps of food giant Kraft, which also underwent a logo change earlier this year. ConAgra, however, faces a different challenge.
As if we needed any more proof that the venerable patron saint of mass consumer design, Target, attracts designers, my inbox has been jumping with designer e-mails about the new look and name of its private label brand: Up & Up. The chunky arrow logo is replacing Target’s red bulls eye in all the products in the health and beauty care category, from diapers to sunscreen lotions. As CNNMoney, one of the first to pick up the story, reports, the new design is just beginning to be rolled out and by the end of the year there will be 800 Up & Up products, which are typically priced 30% below brand names. And in this rough economic times, 30% less to pay for anything is, well, right on target.
“We thought we’d update the logo a little.” “It’s not a new tagline. It’s just a catchy phrase that we are using instead of the tagline.” “We thought the icon would make a great decorative element.” “We are thinking about creating a new name for the organization.” “We developed a new product so we created a new brand for it.” “We created a different tagline for each audience. Pretty clever, huh?” “We were getting so tired of the old logo.” “It’s more fun to present the brand in a wide variety of colors.” “There was no room for the icon so we left it off.” “This is a funky stylized version of the logo targeted at younger audiences.” What is it about marketers that cause them to want to create something new all of the time?
Copenhagen’s clever new campaign has a huge range. Open Copenhagen is designed to transcend and reinforce promotional efforts for tourism, business, events, investments, and more. Previously, each rogue group boosted their similar programs independently without any coordinated brand to tie it all together. OPEN COPENHAGEN arrives at a time when the city’s northern european neighbor cities have launched similarly rhetorical proposals to would-be visitors — I AMSTERDAM deploys a similar wordplay.
With all the commotion about Pepsi's recent makeover of its brand, you would think a new, fully global effort would try to strip out its old logo from every nook and cranny of the globe. Think again.
Jack has risen, hallelujah. After being hit by a bus in a Super Bowl TV/Web commercial Feb. 1, Jack -- the grand-tete CEO-mascot of Jack in the Box -- emerged from his coma March 4, newly inspired. At Jack's direction, the San Diego-based restaurant chain will undertake a brand makeover this spring, including a new logo (Duffy & Partners, Minneapolis), redesigned store environments and a new corporate website that launched Monday.
Forget the Nike Swoosh or the Starbucks Mermaid. Get ready for the ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) circle!
Without much fanfare — nor an update to their web site and much less a press release — Jack in the Box has been slowly updating their restaurants in San Diego, where they are headquartered.
Kraft Foods today unveiled a new corporate logo and brand identity, a move analysts say could better position the food company against private label goods.
One of the hardest challenges is reinvigorating a brand and visual identity without changing the logo, it's as if you were trying to do a fashion makeover with a pair of jeans that have been in the closet for years. To continue the lame jeans analogy: A good pair of jeans goes well with everything, so MoMA's simple, iconic logo is prime material for building around it.
A leaked pdf outlines the thinking behind the controversial new Pepsi logo. It may be one of the most ridiculous things ever perpetrated by somebody calling himself a designer.
Has Pepsi aligned its marketing graphics and rhetoric too closely with that of President Obama's election campaign? That issue has been ricocheting around the blogosphere of late and Pepsi brands chief Frank Cooper officially addressed it as part of the company's pre-Super Bowl press conference this week. At one point, Mr. Cooper almost seemed to suggest that the Obama campaign may have found the inspiration for its own logo in Pepsi's marketing images -- rather than visa-versa. <div style="padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px;"> <a href="http://adage.com/video"><img src="/images/random/video_alladage417bar.jpg" width="417" height="40" border="0" /></a> </div>
Since the roll out of Pepsi-Cola's new smiley-face-type logo and optimistic-themed campaign, plenty have drawn comparisons between it and President-elect Barack Obama's message. The soft-drink giant will solidify that connection with a major presence in Washington during next week's inauguration festivities.