Tuesday, May 30, 2006

2. Overhaulin' Logos.

Everyone knows how easy it is to be a monday-morning design critic. However, take a quick peak at the following identity overhauls. Though admittedly more modern, each one seems somehow less ...despite the money, reputable design firms and research employed by each company. I'm not saying I hate the new versions, it's just that I question the rationale for messing with the old logos in the name of modernity.



Quark's quest for a new mark was particularly messy. The first version (on the left) was designed by SicolaMartin, a division of Young & Rubicam Brands, and got them into a little plagiarism trouble. In the middle is the pedestrian original logo. And on the right is the final logo, which I believe was designed in-house. There's a cleaner version of the final out there that I like better, but overall the result is very uninspired. Especially when you consider what it is that Quark does.

But, you say you want an example of a major logo redesign, done well. Here you go: Unilever. Designed by Wolff Olins this new version transitions this formerly stodgy, dirty-factory company into one that is lively, friendly and inviting. Some might say that this design is too complex for a logo mark, but this design reproduces beautifully even at small sizes and demonstrates a rare show of whimsy by a large corporation. (The small icons represent all the different brands within Unilever.) Approving this logo took guts, but I think it will pay off. Even though it uses a questionable script font, at least you feel like it's making a statement and will stand out from all the other swooshy, arc-laden, highlighted, drop-shadowed cliches out there.

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