Branding

Procter & Gamble logo recovers the moon symbol and follows the logotype/symbol combination trend in an effort to build "one company" awareness and trust.

New Procter & Gamble logo The evolution of the Procter & Gamble logo Procter & Gamble, the world’s largest consumer packaged goods company, earlier this year quietly rolled out its new logo. With a low key new logo launch, P&G was trying to leave behind the history of outlandish rumors that its "Man in the Moon" logo had a satanic meaning. The new Procter & Gamble logo had a clear and important goal for the company moving forward, to present a unified and trusted brand, as Landor (the creator of new logo) put it: "For the first time, P&G is starting to talk to consumers as one company, not just as individual brands, in an effort to build awareness and trust.”  The most obvious change from the most recent logo to the New Phase mark is the switch from logotype alone to symbol with logotype. As we saw last year with Microsoft’s new logo, and with logos in general, such a switch is quite common today. P&G’s adoption of this new logotype/symbol combination is squarely in line with current logo design trends. Read the full Emblemetric report .  

Is the new Harvard University Press logo too radical?

Is the new Harvard University Press logo too radical? First, I'm an admirer of the iconic brand design work that Chermayeff & Geismar have done over the years. That been said, the first image that came to my mind when I saw this logo was a jail cell window, not books. Although the simplicity of the design works well in the digital media environment I was expecting some visual connection with the original Harvard Press logo. Perhaps a modern visual interpretation of the 3 books that have identified Harvard and Harvard Press for so long? The new logo in my opinion although clean, feels stark and a bit cold, more appropriate for a bank than for one of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in the world. Too radical of a departure, I wish the character and weight of the Harvard brand was somehow still present. Just an opinion. First, I'm an admirer of the iconic brand design work that Chermayeff & Geismar have done over the years.

How Microsoft and eBay re-branding designs fell short on their promise

If "a brand is a promise" as Walter Landor famously stated, eBay and Microsoft have fallen rather short on the new visual representation of their brands: their logos. eBay has been evolving quietly but significantly and now it's much more than auction-style listings, it has transitioned from an auction site to a storefront. eBay president Devin Wenig said: "the new logo is part of its effort to reinvent the 17-year-old brand and create a new eBay". Unfortunately the new reinvented eBay logo falls short on communicating such a grand promise lacking the visual uniqueness and personality of the old logo which as quirky as it was at least it was memorable and distinctive, key attributes every logo must have. eBay's color palette (also used by Google and many others) by itself is not enough to set it apart and the generic typography dulls the new logo rather than make it shine. The logo is clean but uneventful, it went from all personality to none and so eBay's brand design "re-invention" efforts fail on its core promise: inventiveness.   “It’s been 25 years since we’ve updated the Microsoft logo and now is the perfect time for a change. This is an incredibly exciting year for Microsoft as we prepare to release new versions of nearly all of our products… …so our logo should evolve to visually accentuate this new beginning.” –Microsoft   "Incredible excitement, new products and a new beginning", big words, however the "new" Microsoft logo design does not support the promise they convey. Although the logo does well maintaining consistency of color scheme and the windows concept, it fails  however in fulfilling the promise of excitement and a new beginnings, it's nice and clean but falls short on inspiration and in communicating innovation. Unfortunately Microsoft missed the opportunity to use its 25 year re-branding milestone to make the ambitious "new beginning" statement believable from the brand image point of view. I'm afraid most Microsoft users will barely notice the brand's "update" making the re-branding irrelevant and the "new beginning" promise dubious. If "a brand is a promise" as Walter Landor famously stated, eBay and Microsoft have fallen rather short on the new visual representation of their brands: their logos.

Every Movement Needs a Logo

Occupy Wall Street logo by Javier Romero Occupy Wall Street logo by Seymour Schwast Occupy Wall Street logo by Chermayeff & Geismar "What's a movement without a logo?" claims The New York Times in a recent article pointing to the fact that the growing Occupy Wall Street demonstrations against inequality and corporate greed lack lack a visual symbol, a unifying identity for the cause to rally around. The article features logo designs by well-known designers such as Seymour Chwast  with a "corrupt robber baron" illustrative symbol and Chermayeff & Geismar with a red circle confining the financial center typographic concept. What an interesting design challenge I thought, and took on the design exercise as well. My concept integrates the snake representing greed, the dollar sign and the Wall Street "S" communicating financial power, and the word "Occupy" on a protester's banner slashing through the snake as it claims Wall Street for the movement. Let me know your thoughts or even better. Share your logo concepts. Email them to info@jrdg.com "What's a movement without a logo?" claims The New York Times in a recent article pointing to the fact that the growing Occupy Wall Street demonstr

Peru launches its official country brand

March 11, 2011. Peru launches its own country brand to represent not only its tourism but all the goods it produces for export. The logo design does a good job at balancing a contemporary look with an organic humanistic feel. It is simple and unpretentious so it also comes across as authentic and honest. The "P" is inspired by the concentric circle terraces found in famous Peruvian archeological sites, and it does it without falling into the ethnic trap. The instant recognition that the "P" concentric circles lends to the design makes the Peru brand a memorable one. Read the full story in @issue, The Online Journal of Business & Design.  March 11, 2011. Peru launches its own country brand to represent not only its tourism but all the goods it produces for export.

The most powerful colors in the Internet world

Almost 10 years ago, a Wired Magazine report pointed to blue and red as the most dominant colors in corporate america. Now a report on the colors of the top 100 web brands by colourlovers.com shows that blue and red still outshine the rest. But why? Colors have different associations in different cultures. In China, the red color means prosperity and happiness. In the west means passion and power and of course is a powerful design accent color. Blue is used extensively to represent calmness and responsibility and dark blues are excellent for corporate branding were strength and reliability are important. Many new brands choose colors that are category appropriate. Blue and red dominate many categories, so new companies tend to stay within the safety of those color ranges. Is it a good idea from the branding point of view? I don't think so. If branding is about differentiation I guess color experimentation (within reason) is a must.   Read more on the meaning of color. Almost 10 years ago, a Wired Magazine report pointed to blue and red as the most dominant colors in corporate america.

7 Up, a brand refresh that's not stale

At last a major consumer brand redesign that works nicely. After so many recent rebranding fiascos (remember Tropicana and Gap?) a major brand gets a design refresh that's not stale. Beyond achieving the strategic goals of updating the brand core elements (lemons, limes, bubbles and refreshment) the new design comes across as contemporary and relevant in a clean and uncomplicated way. I like how the "Up" is integrated into the red dot and love the design's geometric simplicity. Read the complete story via Creative Review. Kudos to 7Up and TracyLocke, NY.   

It took 10 years for Japan Airlines to realize their logo wasn't working

There have been a number of high profile rebranding disasters in the last couple of years where consumers revolted and demanded their old brands back (rightfully so, they are the actual brand owners anyway). When the companies reacted they did it bringing their old logos back rather quickly, such as in the Tropicana and most recently Gap rebranding fiascos. But going back to an old logo 10 years later is quite an unusual branding move and JAL (Japan Airlines) has just done that. The old JAL logo was designed in 1959 and 40 years later JAL felt it was time for an update. Unfortunately they went from a logo that conveyed a powerful meaning (in Japanese culture, the crane is viewed as a symbol of long life, prosperity and good health, and red is the color of happiness) to a nondescript logo design. It could have been a coincidence but soon after the new logo was implemented JAL started a steep decline that culminated with a bankruptcy filing in 2010. JAL's president Masaru Onishi just announced that the old crane logo is coming back (untouched, just in case) and so returning to their core values. The japanese consumers didn't revolt when they took their logo away but ultimately they managed to get their logo back. Read the full story in @issue There have been a number of high profile rebranding disasters in the last couple of years where consumers revolted and demanded their old brands back (rightfully so, they are the actual brand owner

Luminis brand identity

Luminis logo We explored a broad range of logo design concepts The original concept of an unfolding map turned into an infinity symbol kyte A staircase serves as a metaphor to convey upward growth and forward thinking A light source beaming through passageway, emanating from a globe An open door brings light and clarity showing us the way A signpost represents direction, finding the way. Guidance at a crossroad An intense light source shines through shades. The negative space reveals a hidden star MicroRate, the first microfinance rating agency dedicated to evaluating performance and risk in microfinance institutions and funds, was launching Luminis, a web-based information service to enable investors to make sound investments in microfinance. The name Luminis communicated well the qualities that the client wanted to convey: Objetivity, Transparency, Quality and Integrity. JRDG was selected to create the Luminis brand identity, brand voice, website design and marketing materials. JRDG conducted competitive research and a series of management interviews to define Luminis brand positioning, personality, attributes, communication strategy, target audiences and business goals. Based on the findings and after a broad design concept exploration a number of logo designs and taglines were selected for presentation.  

Starbucks redesigns its logo to "think beyond coffee". A brilliant branding stroke or a fundamental brand positioning mistake?

  For 40 years Starbucks has been a model on how to use branding as a powerful strategic business tool. They have build a strong, distinctive brand and consistently implemented it while keeping it flexible and in constant evolution (not an easy thing to do). From the logo to the store design and everything in between (packaging, signage, displays...) the Starbucks brand is beautifully designed to provide a unique experience that has so well connected with consumers.     While this outstanding branding has helped Starbucks to be positioned as the "world's leading purveyor of the highest quality coffee", it's puzzling to hear its CEO, Howard Schultz stating that the purpose of the Starbucks updated logo design is "more suitable for the future" and allows to "think beyond coffee".   From the design point of view I applaud the simplicity and focus of the updated design, however I wonder how the brand name will look and where will go. It does now seem more of a global brand but lost the appeal of a local coffee brand which in my opinion it's a key asset. Eliminating the black  in the logo it also eliminated a touch of boldness and elegance associated with the brand.  
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