I am on the younger side/moved to New York recently. Without knowing the history of the Met logo I have always found the (new) logo fairly iconic- the stickers visitors wear, and the various paraphernalia with the logo look good to me. I find it clean and sharp. I think I actually prefer it to the old logo (which I do not remember seeing before today)
I try not to care about corporate logos too much, but I have to say I was little betrayed when my football team changed their typeface from a unique font to a more generic one, because I feel that represents me and my city (even moreso than my city's local museum, whose new logo I don't prefer, but I don't let it get to me).
People devalue the past is another.
"The Mets met at the Met".
And what did they meet? Was it also the Met?
I doubt an American museum could ever change that, embracing something so generic is limiting for identity & brand awareness IMO.
One might think it'd be similarly aiming to capture the hearts and minds of tourists, but TfL's been so aggressively pro-Oyster, then/now contactless, that afaict it's always been just about as hard as possible for tourists while still being convenient for Londoners. It makes some sort of sense, it's subsidised by the London taxpayer after all - so it is 'by Londoners for Londoners' - but I think surely it would be possible simultaneously to make it easier for and capture more money from tourists. I digress - point was I think to be that TfL doesn't really care about brand, especially not globally. Maybe I'm wrong to assume that 'the met' does.
Human language ambiguity and locals have their shibboleths - we don't have to optimize for tourists.
I don't think one very small country should be the primary blocker to their branding decisions.
Would this conversation ever happen?
I'm going on holiday to New York City. I'm going to the Met to check out their impressionist paintings.
Oh, they turned Scotland Yard into an art gallery now?
I'm applying for a job at/in (the only tiny difference) the met
Nevermind all the sentences you could come up with where the context is revealed only later, so yes you immediately realise you had it wrong, but you had it wrong.
It's not really about 'people will be confused' anyway, I just mean it's bad brand awareness, it weakens the identity.
The only example I can think of with a strong brand for a generic name is Apple.
I mean, yes, the UK is not the same scale as the USA, China, India etc, but I'd put to you that it is not so very small
I agree we're small, much smaller than the USA by any metric, but surely we're talking about population rather than land mass here.
Nobody outside of the UK is thinking about police foremost when they here 'met', (unless there's similarly named constabularies elsewhere perhaps, wouldn't surprise me if someone piped up from HK/India/Australia to say their city's police is also 'the met' for example) but that doesn't matter to that met.
Say there's some artist called so-and-so Park, you'd be ill-advised to start a gallery called 'The Park', it's not at all unique, it's poorly googleable, it's unlikely to ever be the first thing that comes to mind when someone hears the name.
Another example: I think OnePlus (or is it OnePlusOne? I honestly don't even know) - the phone company - is held back by its poor choice of name. I'm not denying its success, I just think it's despite the name, that it could be a lot bigger, have a much stronger brand.
It's pretty confusing.
The old logo was honestly a bit messy, too, though.
Lower serifs on the Ts though, those I dislike very much.
Is it as bad as the Met's new logo? Probably not. Is it pretty objectionable, and universally maligned? Yeah, definitely.
Anybody else got one to share for our shared schadenfreude?
scroll down until you see the man with his penis on fire. It's on all their signs.
Why does he also have no arms?
Wow, this took me a second but now it’s the only thing I can see.
The 2020 MLB spring training hat logos were universally hated, but the Padres had a notably bad one: https://www.crossingbroad.com/2020/02/padres-changing-spring...
I think it is supposed to represent two arms grasping each other, but that wasn't the first thing that came to mind when I saw it.
I used to call it "brain sponge" when I was a PhD student there. (I liked that university a lot, don't get me wrong, just talking about the logo).
Yeah, this new OUP logo looks great for a surf school too. Definitely a wave in the circle.
It's modernist, minimalist crap, indistinguishable from all the other modernist, minimalist crap. Everyone might as well rebrand as solid-color circle distinguished by a numerically unique RGB value.
Their old logo was much better, since it harkens back to a literal coat of arms, which isn't something you see every day.
Undoubtedly influenced by Oxford and Cambridge but it's a design style adopted by so many universities it's practically generic for 'some sort of university thing logo'. I don't have strong feelings about the new logo either way but the idea the old one is some distinctive masterpiece seems misplaced.
It's like the GP comment complaining about 'modernist, minimalist crap, indistinguishable from all the other modernist, minimalist crap' never ran across one of the most recognizable university press marks out there:
I am a big fan of modernism even minimalism done well. MIT is an engineering school and its logo fits. I just object to lazy or default minimalism.
Except that a coat of arms has got to be THE most common logo for anything university related. I don't like the new one at all, but if you'd showed me the old one and asked me what it was for I'd have had no idea. Not memorable or recognizable at all, even if it is their coat of arms.
And the generic geometric object with some subtle styling has got to be THE most common logo for anything period.
Which is, like, just your opinion, man.
Maybe here not there, but A quick google search suggests a university with a coat of arms logo is very common.
So no big deal.
Although. There is Steve Jobs line. Where's he's trying to get engineers on the original Mac to eek out just a slight faster boot. We're going to sell 100 million of these things, can you make it boot 25 seconds faster? If you do that will save cumulatively 90 years worth of time. That's a human life. Can you save a human life!
I mean it's dumb and maybe funny but a minor annoyance over a long enough time and enough people could be worth complaining about.
The new logo is not one I could take seriously.
Airbrushed and homogenised in favour of a tire.
Thus, it must change because the purpose of a university is not to retain cultures and histories when no one else cares, it's not to improve the mental capabilities of the students.
It purpose instead is to pursue equity in 2 senses: no especially talented people of the wrong* parents are allowed to gain inordinate skills and the foundation makes gobs of money.
(*) Determination of wrongness changes over time, and the adage "2 wrongs don't make a right" is considered tomfoolery.
Do the marginalised peoples include the native Britons who were conquered by the Romans? Or is there a cut off point in your view of history? If the now native Britons, like me, want to retain links to the past, then should that be disallowed?
I like the Latin inscription, as it keeps a connection with the past. Good and bad, it is history I want to be connected to. I find the idea that it needs to be airbrushed bizarre, and the idea that Latin is solely a tool of "oppression" a complete misreading of history.
Spend some time researching the subject and it will make more sense.
This type of reaction eats itself. If you're a person who prioritizes "actual innovation," why are you spending so much time complaining about a fucking logo redesign?
> explaining that these objectives are often in fundamental opposition to one another.
No, they're not. Is Apple innovative? Is Google? Both examples of companies who have demonstrated tremendous amount of investment in design updates over the years. Heck, they even created custom fonts for their blog posts.
I totally understand and appreciate design critiques. Aesthetic opinions are valuable in and of themselves. I even happen to agree with the author that the new Oxford Press logo is worse than their old one. But I have to jump off the wagon when this sort of exaggeration shows up.
Because that logo redesign does not produce any actual innovation.
> Heck, they even created custom fonts for their blog posts.
These companies have lots of money, lots of managers, lots of designers. Those people would have nothing to do if they don't rebrand, create new fonts etc. They can't just sit idle in office and take salary. If those fonts were not made, nothing would have changed right now, the company would not have any less progress in any way.
People also do these to have something big on their resume, to get promotion. This is what lots of humans do now, bullshit jobs even though there are much bigger problems to fix in the world.
Traditional cyphers, monograms and other iconography are time-bound to the pre-20th century (n < 1901). In recent years I've noticed an acute shift to brutalism, minimalism and a loss of individuality in all facets of life. One needs to look no further than something as mundane as bollards, forgive me for my tangent but consider these two examples, one from the 19th century  and another from the 20th . Granted this is not a scientific or thorough analysis, it is surely riddled with bias, but there is an unmistable trend towards not just forgetting, but neglecting our history of design and ornamentation.
Not everything needs to be redesigned, not everything needs a modern sans-serif font. Oxford University is the worlds foremost academic institute; founded in 1096; the Press founded in 1586! The previous logo represented this ancient authority and acts as a vessel to a far-away land in this present day.
This type of craftsmanship can not be created anew for they are not of this time, the juxtaposition of such symbolism paired with a modern institute would be nothing less of disingenuous. Therefore we must - for the good of history - preserve these works.
> Not everything needs to be redesigned, not everything needs a modern sans-serif font.
If the new typeface reads better then why not use it? If the new logo fits a wider variety of placements or prompts a better response from this generation then why not use it?
It's not just a "perceived" loss of individuality. The new logos discussed in that linked article, especially the fashion ones, suck in my opinion because they're boring and they all look the same. They at least used to have some good degree of variability.
Revolut was founded in 2015, the time when a huge number of startups (including my own) had blue logos with a light gradient. This is such a cliche logo that it's almost laughable to even take seriously. Do you not remember 2015 and the wave of blue tech logos?
The new logo is objectively less distinctive as a shorter sentence can completely describe it.
However, there are objectively millions of ways to setup a blue color gradient around white letters that all look the same. There is exactly one way to have a pure black font.
Therefore the second logo is objectively less distinctive.
You created a subjective measurement.
There is an infinite number of ways to design a black logo. There is an infinite number of ways to design a blue logo. So which infinity has more distinctive logos?
Anyway, for any distinct set of black logos you can map them to a larger set of blue gradient labels therefore the number of distinct blue logos with gradients is larger.
That said, a lot of traditional logos had a huge amount of fine detail that doesn't work well on mobile. While not the only factor, it's at least one motivator for a lot of the rebranding/logo redesigns that you're seeing.
We overestimate the individuality and even the capacity for individuality of old things. Yes, anyone could add different squiggles and different Latin words -- but I doubt this is what you mean by "capacity for individuality within the style".
Modern logos are very minimalist, which I agree leaves less space for expressive individuality (basically by definition). But great modern logos are still possible, and they still often convey a deeper, more individual meaning.
Modern technology has different reasons for a similar purpose. Resolution may be poor because of your screen or network rather than battle smoke, but the idea is similar.
The OUP logo isn't a battle flag, and could afford more detail than this logo. But OUP is a living entity. Its history is important, but so are its ongoing contributions. They don't want people looking at their books and thinking, "This logo is very old-fashioned; maybe the book is also out of date."
Were it me, I'd have at least hinted at its prior logo. To me, the problem with the new one isn't its minimalism, but its lack of personality. You don't need a lot to have personality; the Twitter logo is very much theirs. Even the Facebook "f" logo, dull as it is, at least has a letter linking to them. (A circle isn't an O; it might even have worked better if it were an O with the same theme.)
Indonesia is Poland distressed (and vice versa).
(See: <https://www.wikihow.com/Know-if-a-Union-Jack-Has-Been-Hung-U...> for general concept.)
There are near-identical flags as well, including Chad and Romania, Indonesia (again) and Morocco, New Zealand and Australia, Ireland and Cote d'Ivoire, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, Senegal and Mali, and clusters such as the Nordics (blue/red cross/field), Latin America (yellow, blue, red), and Slavic states (white, blue, and red).
There's the challenge between readily identified and readily distinguished.
I am kind of in GP's camp, design culture has gone to shit in last 20 years. It's not even Brutalism/Minimalism in the true sense of the word, those movements were post-modern starting from 1950's triggered by the zeitgeist of Bauhause in 1930's. What you're seeing today is deep lack of understanding and following each other like a mad mob. It is to nullify identity, doing exactly what it is not intended to.
Hell, even macOS and Windows look similar today. They're converging on a singular global monoculture.
From my simplistic outsider perspective, sometimes I think that designers read “perfection is not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away,” and take it so literally that logos and brands start to converge on a single style (simple coloured shapes, sans-serif font).
Not that we should be surprised by lies - all war is waged by deception.
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaiser_Wilhelm_Memorial_Church... - The initial design included the demolition of the spire of the old church but following pressure from the public, it was decided to incorporate it into the new design.
The church from 3 really does look atrocious though - though even there, the interior where you are surrounded by stained glass seems like it would be quite impressive to experience directly.
Note that I also think other styles of monumental buildings are breathtaking. I was recently in Florence and could barely take my eyes off of the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral (with its 19th century Gothic Revival facade), and similarly when I saw the Duomo in Milan or the San Pietro cathedral in Rome. But part of the beauty of architecture is seeing different styles. Another stunning building was the Pantheon in Rome - which is extremely minimalistic when compared to medieval cathedrals, but still outstanding in its design (knowing you're walking into a >2000 year old building also adds to the feeling).
I'm sure architects will eventually have their fill with brutalism and invent something new after it, and there will also be beautfiul examples of that new thing, and horrible examples as well.
And if there was a multitude of styles being built, I would be inclined to agree to disagree, subjective opinions will differ, and leave it at that. But they are not - 90%, if not more, of new buildings, especially large ones, all strive for that minimalist, steel & glass, unpleasant sterile aesthetic. It is not 30% modernist monstrosities, 30% art deco skycrapers, 30% art noveau, 10% classical revival.
> I'm sure architects will eventually have their fill with brutalism
Ironically I am quite fond of some brutalist buildings. They can be quite pleasant. But if any of those count as brutalist, they are far too 'cold' for my taste. Again, that would not be a problem if it wasn't all of architecture striving for that same 'cold' aesthetic.
I am with you in bemoaning the fact that there are so few art deco and art nouveau buildings, though - those styles passed by far too quickly.
Having them covered with graffiti would actually be an improvement in this respect.
Is there really evidence of this? Those stylistic developments are 100+ old and have been part of everyday life for much of the last century. There's definitely been a much more recent uptick of commentary that's uncomfortably (and occasionally deliberately) close to some classic complaints about 'degenerate art'.
Looks like a bunch of people went to do the same thing in OUP. They probably launched a campaign labeling the thing on the left “skeumorphism” or its equivalent.
I remember when Apple’s interfaces were iconic and user friendly. Then in iOS 7 I couldn’t figure out where the chrome ended and the webpage/document began anymore. The search bar in Google Chrome on iOS was literally a blank white space. I had to tap there to discover search.
Apple… known the world over as a UX leader for its UX guidelines since 1980s … became a follower … of Microsoft’s new mobile interface. Which was later totally discontinued by Microsoft. Well, at least Wozniak liked it.
The consultants must have been high-fiving each other after that one landed, it's like trading in your car only to find that the saleswoman has sold you your own car back, at a profit.
(SGI later collapsed due to "Corporate Campus Syndrome", and other companies, including Google, now occupy the wacky buildings they spent even more money on. It's kind of like a higher order of hermit crab).
* University of Portsmouth
* The University of Portsmouth
* Portsmouth University
Guess it was for English only
Why would a superficial similarly to "MIT" be any be useful?
Any potential student should be able to look past that.
 Yes, that's not -exactly- an acronym
It's not an initialism, like IBM, but it is an acronym, like Benelux.
That said, SGI had an iconic logo of a cube formed from a single periodic pipe before.
I was using SGIs daily at the time and I almost cried when they did the rebrand.
The rebrand replaced it with a contemporary (at the time, mind you) typography logo that would look outdated if the compamy still existed.
To their credit, the rebrand did include a typeface design for use with all their design, i.e. detached from the logo.
The resp. fonts would have the aforementioned issues though -- one variant was used for the logo which is kinda cheap.
But at least they had a tyepface designed and it was recognizable. That rarely happens. Commonly a rebrand will just swap the old typeface for something different but already existing.
Rebranded in 1999, according to Wikipedia. I would think the old logo looked really bad on the web at the time, with monitors being 640 × 480 at 256 colors, if you were lucky. It also would have been expensive to reproduce well on letterhead, and I wouldn’t dare think of how that looked on photocopies (often monochrome at the time)
Now, could they have stylized/simplified the old logo and keep it nice? I wouldn’t know.
Now this is just silly. By 1999 most web users had at least True Color displays at SVGA if not XGA. While VGA resolutions with 256 colors were a design consideration those users were not the norm.
With that said, the old SGI looked just fine even at 256 colors. The shape was distinctive and it was all grayscale so 256 color palettes had all the colors needed for the logo with little noticeable dithering. There were even good 1-bit versions that were very distinctive.
The old SGI logo was cast in plastic as a 2.5D version on the workstations, color printed in color brochures and otherwise there was a much simplified black and white version.
It's sad what happened to them, as in their prime they really were a category of their own.
I remember sneaking over to their cafeteria, from the Landings office park across the street (where I did stints at some startups). They didn't bother to check badges. I met up with a bunch of old cow-orkers from Apple and just kind of hemmed and hawed when they asked what group I was in. :-)
But the lessons are clear: Watch your competitors carefully, and don't build a stupid corporate campus because the gods simply hate that kind of hubris.
They built single big machines and gave away the best swag. The leather jacket, in particular, was coveted.
I understand why graphic design has taken this direction. Everything needs to be able to scale to the tiniest little profile icon on websites, but it doesn’t make it much better.
I also think a lot more graphic designers these days lack a more traditional art background and so you don’t see the same amount of artistic flourishes.
Because every damn hipster with a custom mechanical keyboard who can install Photoshop on his Mac is now suddenly a Designer. This is beyond appalling. These people must be beaten very hard with metal poles.
The old logo was, well old, very forgettable and not particularly well constructed in the first place.
The new logo presents the society as a modern scientific institution, and the logo itself is executed well. And the animation actually works, a rare example where logo animation is not gratuitous.
We only use artisanal free-range wooden spatulas to deliver "corrective encouragement" in a carbon-free manner.
This means that you are taking a recognizable easy to spot image that says: 'this book is vetted and serious, trust it like you trust us', and replacing it with a logo that is less recognizable (and by my prediction won't be around in 100 years). For anyone who browses shelves this will, in fact, reduce utility.
It's a small thing, but it is worth considering.
This feels like a stretch. And almost breaks what little interest I have here. :(
Also, why do folks always impart way more significance to logo/label than makes sense? I can get the desire to want to change. That is natural. The idea that all changes matter is silly, though. Especially to the degree this one will be talked about. Probably less vitriol and energy is put into the literal buildings of the institute.
I'm not sure we can imply importance from the volume of communication; perhaps the opposite. After colors and names, logos/icons are probably the third easiest thing to bikeshed.
In fact, I would fully support any organization I'm in having a change most every year. I do appreciate the connection to the past and something old that many get from it. That said, it is easy to metaphorically make that connection by acknowledging what came before. The control and autonomy that you give to the next generations feels way more important.
In this case Oxford Press changed an iconic statement with a stupid generic say-nothing that could be a tire or a bagel company.
Think of it like a banner of an army. You don’t want stand behind a banner that says “I am with stupid”
It’s hard to convey to non design folk, but design does have an impact, even if it doesn’t bring world peace, it’s culturally significant.
What I don't get, is the odd idea that there is a universal iconography that every should agree with. For one, I don't find this rebranding that much worse than the old one. I actually assumed both icons on the first tweet were the new thing, as I easily think both are kind of bleh.
Finally, though, some nitpicks. Military banners are incredibly silly looking. Flags? The same. Usually with much simpler aesthetics that rely more on overall color than they do any iconography.
And saying it "could be a tire or a bagel company" is also idiotically offensive. What is wrong with tire and bagel companies? This betrays a sense of class belief that is hilarious when juxtaposed with many of the criticisms given. (Specifically, the old class having the better icon.)
Pretty sure a lot of people would answer “tyre company” or “gear manufacturer” or something. So it does not communicate well.
About the banner nitpick, banners needed to be seen from afar, during chaotic scenes, so were often quite easy to distinguish from afar :)
For bagels, I think you have a slightly better argument, but even then, https://99designs.com/inspiration/logos/bagel doesn't really look like what is on display here.
My nitpick on the banners was more that the iconography of them was not at all key in folks building an identity with them. I should have expanded and said it wasn't the banner that builds the identity. Rather, it is more likely the shared identity that builds the love of the banner.
I think the inverse is true: being in visual design means branding matters to you. Just as audio engineers wince at imperfections that no one else even hears.
And even that is probably more measurable than this; the people that came up with the new one are also "in design". Now you might say to that that it's different, because they were getting paid. But everyone in design is getting paid for design, so it's unsurprising they'd want to all talk about how important design is. But if you can only convince other designers, then that's a bit telling.
I mean, I like good product design as much as the next person. But it's extremely easy to overstate its importance.
Sometimes you have these crazy stages in the design process where the client choses the design by committee, and you get the blandest dullest compromise of them all. This looks a bit like that. This logo certainly feels like that.
There are a lot of schools in design, but it doesn’t mean there are no criteria. It really depends on who made this, how it was made and so on.
I feel design really fits into our and any culture. Think of iconic designs like coca cola, or nike, or apple. Also everything you own is probably designed at some point. Yeah maybe it’s not “world peace” significant, but culturally it is, it’s a social phenomenon.
First impression of the new logo: boring. Second impression: nice play on an open book and capital O, very clean lines, will look good in print (perhaps with some light gradient/shading). The new typeface reads very well.
It’s pretty amusing that this is on the front page at the same time as the below.
Outside of military use and maybe some rare other state uses, there wasn't much insignia, and especially not much insignia that you would call a logo by today's application.
These came in many styles and had a lovely variety which sprang from the message the person wanted to send and what they thought looked cool.
There are also too many logos that look like the new logo. The first blue circle logos that spring to mind are Blue Circle Cement/Tarmac/Lafarge  and Oxford Nanopore .
(The generic sans-serif font is also visually similar to many logos)
The issue is not that it’s unpopular. That’s the actual University of Oxford coat of arms. The thing is 600 years old.
Should it be changed because every institution which wants to look somewhat respectable is copying Oxford?
However, I don't see a problem with people, artists, businesses, places updating their individual branding. To me it's a sign of a refreshed outlook, a new way to both see oneself and to present oneself to others. Clinging to the past because it's (a priori) old is not the right motivation.
I think the open book metaphor gets lost in the aggressive roundness of the O. When I first looked at it, I thought why would they make it look like a turbo fan…? Now in the case of Raytheon, a turbofan makes complete sense.
Hindered by this bias, it took me a bit to arrive at the open book representation, and was only able to do that because it’s OUP.
I used to do a lot of logo design, some for the replacement of time-honored logos even. Spicy jobs those were, both on pro and con sides!
One thing I learned was that new, individual, and fresh leadership psychology often brings new logos into being. Differentials in psychology can't help but expose new perspectives on organizational concepts. And that's what a logo is, a conceptual organization pointing to a new or updated organizational concept! :-)
Some of those fresh perspectives are normal elsewhere, but have been ignored in a given organization for so long that they seem prophetic when a leader considers them. And so sometimes even the doomed new logos I saw developed were like prophets sent from on high. They might not have been well-loved, they might not have lasted 5 years, but they meant something, and it was often a big something.
In my experience, when the new Director of Whatever deemed that the amazing old woodcut logo had to go, it wasn't usually that this individual hated history and tradition. It was their expression of an obvious need for a new concept.
To the outside world, the need for radical change is not always as obvious as it is to even just a small set of insiders, people who have developed what you might call "woodcut PTSD," along with some damn good ideas for how the org needs to change, and soon.
So, to me--no opinion on the graphical look, since it's often a red herring in a bunch of ways. But some big "!" interest in the individuals and perspectives behind the scenes, due to the nature of the change.
(Also, seeing people redesigning the new logo to much applause is kind of a cringe. Again a big risk here is that they are unwittingly reconnecting a really unhealthy feedback loop, based on assumptions from an outsider's perspective/demand on the organization.)
So yeah, the coat-of-arms/bookplate format of the old logo is not where he’s headed.
Absent from the OP is consideration of the new logo on its own terms. I get an O for Oxford, the turning pages, and hint of a Möbius strip. It works for me.
On the other hand, the translation of the Latin on the old motto is “the Lord is my light,” paired with the crowns invoking royal fiat. Traditional, yes, but…
Another signal in the new logo may be a declaration of independence from the University of Oxford itself, because the old logo was just the University’s coat of arms.
[I worked at Pentagram for a while, though not on branding. I have seen plenty of vanity projects from big CEOs.]
Could it be that new leaders feel they have to demonstrate they're in change, and initiating a logo replacement is unfortunately much easier than doing something that is genuinely positive for stakeholders and shareholders?
While not outside of the realm of possibility, it's actually rare to see that kind of thought process play out in practice of working with businesses & NPOs on their logos.
Much more common is that there is a base of support for change from above, outside, and below.
Maybe related to the fact that "I changed our logo to suit myself" isn't broadly seen as a masterstroke in objective leadership practice.
I'm sorry, I have no idea what that statement actually means.
How do you quantify "a base support for change"? Would you ask staff if they'd prefer a pay rise ... or for that money to be spent on a new logo? Would you ask customers if they're prefer improved products ... or a new logo?
There is a reason I wrote "initiating a logo replacement". If a new-in-the-job boss pitches up in a meeting and announces "I think our logo is old. I think we need a new, fresh, relevant, inclusive logo", then who do you suppose is going to tell them they're wrong? The yes-crowd of middle managers just nod and agree. And there's your logo replacement process started.
No need for data, no need for any actual reasons to do something, just someone new in the neighbourhood marking their patch, like a dog at a lamppost.
It's really not that bad of a rebrand. Brands are important. People care about them. They need to be updated with the times. Perhaps the author would care to show some alternative modernizations to illustrate a better way to do it.
Disagree fam, I think you drank too much of the kool-aid. A logo ought to above all communicate about the brand and now I'm gonna mix up OUP with Apeture Science.
My point is not that you're wrong, but rather that design is firmly in the land of opinion and your staunch 'objectivity' is bankrupt. I hope you didn't pay anyone to acquire that opinion.
Your comment begins with a fallacious statement, which is an ad hominem.
> A logo ought to above all communicate about the brand
It's a 3D scroll stylized as an "O," which obviously stands for "Oxford." Help any?
> and now I'm gonna mix up OUP with Apeture [sic] Science.
The Aperture Science logo is a stylized flat aperture. The OUP logo is a 3D scroll. Hope that helps.
> My point is not that you're wrong,
That's wise, because I am not.
> but rather that design is firmly in the land of opinion
On the contrary, graphic design is an academic discipline based on fundamental principles that ultimately are rooted in mathematics. Without any background or education, what you've done is assume you know things about design which you do not. Please consider Wittgenstein's advice: "whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent."
> and your staunch 'objectivity' is bankrupt.
You've closed your comment with a fallacious statement, which is a straw man.
(There are some cases where the new brand has grown on me, to the point that I have come to prefer it to the old one. The most recent examples I can think of are the 1999 rebrand of Northern Electric as Nortel Networks—I do still love that globemark!—and the 2015 sans-serif Google logo which has become so ubiquitous as to make the previous serif version look weirdly quaint. But I liked neither of those at the time they were unveiled.)
Am I just a stick in the mud? Can you point out some rebrands that have been so wildly popular that I might begrudgingly admit that I actually liked them?
Some of the old LEGO logos aren't great (this may partially be from years of consistency, however).
But most of the "best rebrand" articles you find on google are just "logo in one font became similar logo in slightly different font".
I will give you this one, but…
> Some of the old LEGO logos aren't great…
True, but in the context of my original question, I don't think it's reasonable for me to have an opinion about rebrands that occurred before I became aware of the brand, and LEGO has been using the same logo since I got set 20 in 1977.
I _do_ vaguely recall the old Federal Express slanty logo, but I must admit I don't remember the rebrand _as such_, so I'm not sure how much I can count this one. But yes: a good example of a definite win as far as rebrands go.
There are plenty that I confess I don't like. But I would be struggling to put any actual significance to a label. The new street fighter one, as an example. I agree that it feels off that they are ditching the styling that they have used for literal decades. That said, I fail to see how that is at all important to the success/failure of the game they are building.
The MIT Press had an amusing amount of thought that went into their logo. But... I would wager the vast majority of folks just don't see it.
Reminds me of that parody pepsi logo document. (At least, I think it was a parody?)
I'm not claiming that a bad rebrand spells doom for the entity (though I guess there are probably examples of that)—only that I can think of few rebrands where the new brand _made me more positively disposed towards the entity in question_.
And I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one; consider this list of brand U-turns: https://www.yourprojector.com/rebranding-u-turns/
The last one is particularly hilarious, because I attended the University of Waterloo in the late 1990s when they rebranded from a crest even older than the one shown as "original". In fact, that older crest looked just like the "final" crest. I'm glad they've finally brought it back; pity it took more than a decade to rectify the error.
> Reminds me of that parody pepsi logo document. (At least, I think it was a parody?)
No, I'm pretty sure that was actually real. At least if it was a parody, even CBS fell for it: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/pepsis-nonsensical-logo-redesig...
Would be interesting to see what the others are like. The GAP is an odd one, to me. As they, notably, don't have branding on their clothes. At least, not universally? (Do I just not see it on the ones I'm checking?)
Burger King: https://jkrglobal.com/case-studies/burger-king/
Simple, but fun. Retro, instead of over modern. Better than the logo is all the supporting fonts and imagery. Super aesthetic.
Pretty recent, tech company, not a beloved brand at the time of rebrand, but wow it's a great rebrand. Way more character, way more fun.
Subtle changes, embraces the character, modernizes the packaging, makes a consistent design system. Maybe not what you're looking for, but still a cool example of new design done well and embraced.
New York State Parks: https://id29.com/our-work/new-york-state-parks
Clean and happy.
Big name, awesome rebrand. Tons of character, no one misses the old logo or vibe.
Really interesting supporting logos and graphics. Maybe a little too heavily minimalist, but man that's a cool idea to have a dynamic icon for your logo!
Tons of fun, reflective of blocks and pixels.
Good example of modernization without losing character.
These are some bigger names, but honestly the really interesting stuff is inside smaller companies who don't have to worry so much about legacy. There's some beautiful, character filled work out there.
I like this one. Not spotted the new logo in the UK yet, but it would definitely make me less determined to avoid the company's restaurants.
I'm not really familiar with this company so I don't really have any feelings about the rebrand per se. I do like the new logo, which is clever—but after looking up what it used to look like I can say I prefer the aesthetics of the original.
Again a brand I'm not familiar with. Fair point about the consistent design system, but again I prefer the original logo.
> New York State Parks.
Again not one I'm familiar with, but here I can say I LOVE the new logo: who can not love it when an organisation makes it so obvious they wish they were Canadian?
This one I definitely was familiar with. Hadn't seen the new branding. My reaction is "looks weird; those letters make me feel uncomfortable".
WTF. The new logo is cool in and of itself, but this rebranding makes me actively angry:
- The MIDI logo has been used as a symbol to identify connectors for decades. Changing it will cause unnecessary confusion.
- The important feature of MIDI is that it is _digital_, but the new logo is all about _analog_ waveforms.
- It's also stupidly confusing. Literally the first thought that passed through my mind when I saw the new logo is "did the MIDI organisation get bought by Meta??"
I'll give you this one. The new logo is pretty bad, but the original was _awful_.
I am literally* crying. (* not literally).
> These are some bigger names, but honestly the really interesting stuff is inside smaller companies who don't have to worry so much about legacy.
I think this raises an important point. Smaller companies without much history do not destroy much when they throw their old branding away. Bigger, older companies do.
Most previous versions were complicated messes. Windows 7 was I think the best version of the four color version.
I remember seeing the '95 start-up screen and its new UI for the first time - I was quite amazed by how much better it looked (I was at an impressionable age back then).
The Windows XP logo was a massive improvement.
I do wonder if I'd have liked it if I'd previously been familiar with the original woodcut logo, though.
Yes. But it's normal. People who weren't involved in the project, or don't know design, very commonly have strong negative reactions to a company they know rebranding. I don't know why.
Come next year you'll have either completely forgotten about this, or have no opinion at all.
I doubt it. There are still so many rebrands / logo changes that I get angry thinking about. Off the top of my head (in addition to the ones mentioned in my replies to other comments in this thread):
- Meta. It just confirmed what I already knew but had been desperately denying: Facebook is dead.
- The new, nearly indistinguishable multi-coloured Google Apps icons. (Were _no_ UX researchers involved in this decision?)
- Apple imposing the squirkle on macOS icons. (My laptop is not a tablet!)
- Google imposing the white circle on Android app icons. (Phone icons were already small enough before they were shrunk so as to fit into the stupid circles!)
- The new Slack logo.
- Instagram ditching their original camera logo/icon for that god-awful squirkly gradient monstrosity. (The day I saw that was the day I knew I would _never_ install their app on my phone.)
- American Airlines dropping their previous Vignelli-designed logo (and Helvetica).
- The London 2012 Olympics logo (the pink monstrosity described as "Lisa Simpson giving Bart a blow job") that replacing the London 2012 bid logo (with ribbons in the Olympics colours forming the shape of the river Thames).
That goes back at least 15 years. I have a long memory and hold grudges, at least when it comes to awful rebrandings.
(interesting to me: the 1937 logo used a san-serif font)
Unlike those other things, it's hard to prove it was a mistake. Maybe over time, sales fall off and prestigious authors migrate to other publishers, but if you approved the new logo, you can find a hundred other things to blame for that.
The new icon is clever. I think they could've kept the serif font. The new type isn't doing it for me.
The Met museum logo is brilliant. I've been going to that museum for 30 years, so there was emotional attachment to the old one. I like them both.
I could be reading into the logo, but I think it's clever because the logo could be interpreted many different ways:
1. "O" for Oxford.
2. The striped portion is paper flipping, as you pointed out.
3. The round O evokes old mechanical paper press / publishing machine, machines, so it has connection to the word "Press" in the Oxford University Press. The stripes also create movement / motion.
They end up looking like generic jerseys you get from some small town screen printer for your rec league. After every other team already made their choice….
I don’t understand the desire to drain all the character out of things.
My cynical side says these are just resume fodder for executives/ comities.
Circles are _the_ graphical element/symbol of holistic energy with few others coming close.
Generally when I see a move to a circular logo in a new design brief it's a sign that the organization perceives that it must quickly heal from damage/protect itself from danger and put some aspects of the past behind. It is usually attempting to build capacity for a new direction as well. IMO this is usually not a fully conscious decision by the team.
"This is the world we live in"
First, tech communities are not exactly known for deep visual design-theory interest or background (for example, what's your personal experience level with logo design? This would inform both a tendency to radically re-summarize using the word "just", and a tendency to relate the description in nonsensical terms; it's a matter of education depth).
Also, I used to lecture college students on this stuff at length, so it's kind of plain ol' design thinking to me, from theory/psychology to application.
And then, a lot of people also call tech talk mumbo jumbo. For related reasons I don't really feel the need to justify or bring it down to earth any more than I'd try to do that with the Linux kernel in a random "kernel? sounds like mumbo jumbo" discussion.
But as always, in the right context the theory-practice connection provides leverage that can't be had elsewhere.
PS there are some absolutely great examples of this thinking if you are willing to empty the cup and explore the foundations. See the "In popular culture" section here as one possible point of departure:
No we can't agree on that. What you say is nonsense.
What about: if they want to signal modernness and inclusiveness (regardless whether they actually want to be modern and inclusive) they had to get rid of the logo?
I can sort of see why they'd want to move away from the old logo, it hard to reproduce in various sizes, honestly not that unique either, it looks like any other very old logo and you'd have to know that it's Oxford University Press to recognize the logo.
The new one share the last problem: You need to know that it's the OUP ring logo and not one of the other 100 logos that looks just like it.
What I find to be an issue with many modern logos is that I don't see how they are expected to age. It seems more likely that they'll tossed aside completely in 10 to 20 years, for yet another redesign.
Familiarize yourself with these processes (e.g. check out IDEO). Talk to professional designers. Try to design a logo.
It's frankly ridiculous to expect a revolutionary logo every time these discussions happen. This is not a "lines of code" metric. If designers work on a logo for 6 months the deliverable is not "the biggest logo you have ever seen". It can be a squiggle.