Entries Tagged as 'logo design'

what the hell?!

 Can you spot the wasted money in this picture

Can you spot the wasted money in this picture?

No, I’m not kidding. That IS Verizon’s NEW logo.

The first logo was kinda stupid. The new one is asinine!

The Z!!!! The Z was the only modestly interesting thing about the old logo and, and, and….it’s gone.

Somebody got PAID for this new piece of crap?! In real dollars?!

Oy!

Oh, maybe I should be clearer.

I do not like the new Verizon logo.

google this!

The before and after of the Google logo change revealed today

The before and after of the Google logo change revealed today

My swell friend and fellow voice-talent Elaine Singer pinged me on Facebook tonight regarding the recently revealed Google logo change, asking “So, Peter K. O’Connell, what am I supposed to think about the new Google logo?”

It occurred to me that I really have been lax in my logo reviews. Mostly because I was of the mind that I was one of the few people I know (who aren’t graphic designers and I aren’t 🙂 ) who notice these things and have strong opinions on them. I was beginning to feel like when I was writing about logos, I was coming across as more obnoxious than usual. So I trailed off – plus this is primarily a voice-over blog with a dash of marketing and advertising thrown in.

Clearly, though, some people have been awaiting my logoed opinions. So for this post, blame Elaine.

You might have missed this announcement today, subtle as it was, with Google making the first major Google logo change in, like, 15-16 years. It’s a pretty big change for one of the world’s biggest brands (which is why it’s news).

What’s the same: The colors and the font spacing are pretty much the same (the colors might be a shade softer). The new logo is also flat, no dimension, like previous most recent Google logo. This flat logo design has been a trend in much of the tech industry’s branding coming into the past 5 years (boy, there’s a real broad brush stroke of logo analysis – don’t ask me to back it up with evidence as I have no time).

 The old and the new logo layered on each other to highlight differences

The old and the new logo layered on each other to highlight differences

The biggest difference for me: font and attitude. Going from a serif font to a sans serif font is change enough but this logo has attitude, I think. My first thought was that it was childish. Then I changed my opinion to child-like and then I settled on fun.

Fun is the attitude that this new Google logo came to mean to me. Why.

A couple of things stood out to me that made me think “fun” was the objective (in my totally subjective opinion) of the new Google logo.

Start with the second “g”. In that font, that small “g” always looks like a smile to me. In fact, for years, Goodwill took that smile to the forefront of their logo.

Then I looked at the “e”. They kept it very similar in angle to the old “e”, which really looked like a laughing “e” except in the old logo (with it’s formal Garamond-like font) the rest of the work mark’s formality didn’t make the “e” seems as fun as this new font does.

BTW, my guess is this new font, like the old one, is specially designed with it’s own name and patent- meaning it’s like a million other fonts with a millimeter of a pixel difference just so Google can, with full hubris, call the font its own. Whatevs.

Then there is the big “G” (not to be confused with General Mills‘ big “G”). To me, it seems jolly, certainly softer and more easy going (as are all the letters in this word mark) than the old logo. Note also that these are pretty straight on “o”‘s too, not angled like O’s in the most recent Google logo. Together with the rest of the letters and the colors, this all combined to make me think Google is going for the child-like wonder we enjoy when we explore the web and discover something for the first time. Child-like fun and wonder.

Now, just so you know, I’m not the only idiot that writes this kind of drivel about logos. There are hundreds of blogs tonight writing about this same topic. Many/most/all of them have much better artistic and design analysis on this logo than I can offer. And they will probably offer the insights of the company and the designers who can tell you what it’s REALLY supposed to mean (and, thereby, just how far off I am in my opinions).

But screw all them. Brand perception is all individual anyway. 100 people shown the same logo will have 100 different reactions. The designer and the marketer’s hope can only be that the majority of opinions have something positive to say about a logo (which then reflects on the brand).

I like the new logo (not love). I don’t know why in this age of high-end resolution we can have logos that has some (even a little) reproduce-able depth to them, but that’s not the trend. If they were going for fun, child-like exploration of learning new things with Google and its products, then it works.

What do YOU think of the new Google logo? And while you answer, here’s what Google thinks

cleveland fumbles the brand

Cleveland Browns 2015 Logo

ESPN reports the Cleveland Browns have updated their primary logo.

Voxmarketising reports all the Browns really did was put lipstick on a pig.

Tell me, tell me I dare you, where are the oohs and aahs in this big brand change? A new panatone orange and a brown facemask? A better typeface?! Well OK, the typeface IS better.

Forget imagery for a second….do you know how much it costs to change signage and imagery for any big business, let alone an NFL franchise?! Millions of dollars! Millions….for this crap?!

Back to the imagery, the brand, the look. Supposedly the uniforms will be updated in April and will compliment this new helmet. No, no they won’t. Only a brown paper bag will compliment this helmet and that has been worn before many times at Cleveland Browns games (pretty big talk coming from a long suffering Bills fan, I’ll grant you).

The Browns team president noted the helmet IS the logo for Cleveland and with it’s rich, storied tradition blah, blah blah the city would implode if the Browns changed the helmet to include a new logo (well, he didn’t say that exactly).

No, no the city wouldn’t implode but the city of Cleveland should be pretty pissed off if this is the result of two years worth of NFL branding research. Clearly, the Cavaliers and the Indians are the modern sports leaders in Cleveland.

‘Put a fresh coat of paint on the logo and call it new’ is not what a city like Cleveland deserves or needs. It says alot that a new secondary logo for the “Dawg Pound” comes across as more professional than the team’s main logo which, again, is a helmet.

A football helmet. That’s the logo. THAT’S what passes for creativity in Cleveland. There is a pretty terrific creative arts community in Cleveland and they have got to be collectively screaming “WTF!” Again.

I didn’t know the Browns were focusing on a branding change before I read the ESPN story. Yet, some weeks ago when the internet started to go crazy for a bunch of unsolicited helmet designs from a company called Deeyung Entertainment, I was totally wowed by Deeyung’s Cleveland Browns helmet design. It really stood out to me at the time.

Cleveland Brown Helmet Concepts Design DEEYUNG ENTERTAINMENT

Cleveland Brown Helmet Concepts Design DEEYUNG ENTERTAINMENT

A mean-ass dog perched, waiting for you in the shadows. THAT’S football imagery. That screams toughness, meaness, FOOTBALL for God’s sake!

The logo says ‘Our offense will run all over your defense. Our defense will chew up and spit out your offense.’

People don’t get bit by Tigers, Lions and Bears much but more than a few people know what it’s like to get bit by a mean dog. That’s a logo that speaks to your football audience.

You put a paper stick underneath the Browns’ ‘new’ 2015 helmet design and you’ve got yourself an ORANGE TOOTSIE POP! That’s not football! What a missed opportunity for a brand with unlimited potential. Oy!

So I guess I’ll summarize by making a declarative statement. I don’t like the new Cleveland Browns logo. 🙂

a thoughtful branding change

An updated logo for Levi's Jeans

An updated logo for Levi’s Jeans

OK, so I like logos. Anyone who’s read this blog over the years knows that.

But beyond the art of it, to which I am drawn, there should also be some real thought put into a logo’s place in the complete branding of a product or service and some sound reasoning behind the change.

Often times when companies change their logo or publicly address their branding, they issue fluffy, non-sensical press releases usually written by their design agency team who have drunk their own Kool-Aid based on the content of their reasons for making the branding change (hint: the real but never stated reasons are usually about low sales, change in management or a self-inflicted catastrophe). They also craft cool videos (for which many times I am a sucker ) telling the story of the logo’s development.

In this case, Levi’s Jeans (to whom I have been a pretty loyal customer) really kinda came clean on their logo missteps over the years and laid out a very simple, straight forward case for the new branding going forward. I’m not sure there is any business category where branding is more important than clothing (maybe alcohol or perfume).

But I think when any business is thinking about how to explain the graphic part of their branding, this video shares a pretty thoughtful base upon which you might start a discussion about your own branding.

Otherwise just enjoy the pretty pictures.

lamest radio station logos

Lamest Radio Station Logos Logo

There are many things that frustrate me about the current state of radio. But one of the things that drives me the most crazy are some of the absolutely not attractive logos that radio stations come up with for their formats! The stations are probably great but what’s with these logos?!

I want YOU to send ME your least favorite broadcast (not internet or LPFM) radio station logos. I will post them here (for fun only – we’re not trying to cause problems here). Let’s try and keep them modern – these would be active radio station logos – nothing from decades past, in other words. Send your files to peter at audioconnell dot com.

These are logos that it seems somebody created on their PC or had their child create on their Etch-a-Sketch or that somebody pasted together without any professional, graphic sensibility at all. They are unworthy of the great station they represent and should be re-designed. These station very likely sound better than they look — they need better visual branding and maybe this blog post will help encourage the stations to do that – or maybe this post will be as ignored as all the others posts :).

But of course ugly is in the eye of the beholder and since it’s my blog, I will be the beholder and thus the final arbitrator of whether a radio station logo is truly unattractive enough. Maybe with some professional focus, these stations can get a logo that’s a bit more attractive – something nicer to slap on the side of the station van. So in no particular order, here we go…

WYDB/Dayton (2014)

WYDB/Dayton, OH (2014)

WECK/Buffalo, NY

WECK/Buffalo, NY (2014)

KMRN/Cameron, MO (2014)

KMRN/Cameron, MO (2014)

KKVS/Las Cruces, NM (2014)

KKVS/Las Cruces, NM (2014)

WTKG/Grand Rapids, MI (2014)

WTKG/Grand Rapids, MI (2014)

WHMI/Howell, MI (2014)

WHMI/Howell, MI (2014)

WKXW/Trenton, NJ (2014)

WKXW/Trenton, NJ (2014)

vote for your favorite t-shirt design

audioconnellaologoMARK_RGB_HORIZ_TRANS

Here’s a fun little break from the daily grind for you…

I want to create some t-shirts for audio’connell Voice-Over Talent to give out this summer. Obviously they are promotional and I want to feature the branding. I don’t have a million dollars to promote the logo so I have to keep the design simple to basically introduce the new branding to the world.

The following designs are for a white t-shirt although I could also do black and red as well. I just would like to see if there is a consensus on which design is most popular. So PLEASE VOTE in the comments below! Please only pick ONE. Thanks!

DESIGN OPTION #1:

audio'connell t-shirt design option #1

audio’connell t-shirt design option #1

DESIGN OPTION #2:

audio'connell t-shirt design option #2

audio’connell t-shirt design option #2

DESIGN OPTION #3:

audio'connell t-shirt design option #3

audio’connell t-shirt design option #3

DESIGN OPTION #4:

audio'connell t-shirt design option #4

audio’connell t-shirt design option #4