Friday, December 27, 2013

2013 in review

With only a few days left of 2013, The Branding Source presents its year in review post. This is a collection of over a hundred different logos introduced during the year. The selection is partly based on the significance of the client and/or the overall quality of the work. Most entries come with one or a few links that should provide you with hours of great designs and interesting reads.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

New logo: Eurovision Song Contest 2014

Europe's largest TV event, the Eurovision Song Contest, will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark next year after the kingdom won the competition in neighbouring Sweden in May. Every contest has its own theme art, the look and feel that will permeate the contest, and the host broadcaster DR unveiled theirs yesterday.

Next year's contest will be signified by a hexagonal diamond with the slogan #JoinUs on it. This will be the first contest to use a hashtag as its slogan. In a statement, the executive producer of the show explains that the diamond symbolises the contest as gathering point that is "at once sparkling and strong" and that its different sides show "the diversity and difference that will be on the Eurovision stage".

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

New logo: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is Hollywood's film academy, probably best (or only) known for being the organisation behind the Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars. Yesterday, the Academy unveiled a logo for itself, developed with Los Angeles agency 180LA.

A triangular shape forms a spotlight on an Oscar statuette silhouette, which can also be interpreted as the letter A for "Academy". The previous logo had the spotlight coming from behind the statuette, and the shift is supposed top place more focus on the Academy itself, not just the Oscars. In an introduction, AMPAS president Cheryl Boone Isaacs says the new symbol represents it members, "a community of artists at the top of their game".

New logo: Encore

Encore is a suite of cable movie channels in the United States. At the beginning of this month, on December 2, the package was relaunched with new logos, new graphics and some new channels, all developed by Troika in Hollywood.

The Encore channels specialise in somewhat older, familiar and "iconic" movies rather than recent releases, as expressed by the existing positioning "Playing Favorites". The tone of voice for promotions is set by different clever messages that play on the familiarity of the films. Graphics make use of large and straightforward typography. Troika also produced a series of genre stings with haikus and graphics inspired by classic movie posters (think Saul Bass).

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

New logo: Golf Channel

The Golf Channel is an American television network dedicated to the sport of golf, holding the rights to many of the important tours. It is owned by Comcast, and after its merger with NBCUniversal in 2011 it has been integrated into the NBC Sports Group. This was quickly made evident with Golf Channel-branded programming airing on the NBC network and the addition of an NBC peacock to the network logo.

Yesterday, December 16, the network took this one step further and unveiled a new logo with focus on the peacock and the word "golf". When it launches in May next year, it will completely replace the G-with-golf-peg mark that has been used until now. The new logo was developed by Los Angeles agency Troika, who have been working with Golf Channel for several years.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Logo round-up: November 2013

This past November was a rather slow month for rebrands, but there were still almost thirty new logos introduced that qualify for this round-up.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

New logo: Stöð 3

Stöð 3 is a new television channel from Iceland's leading commercial broadcaster Stöð 2. It launched earlier this autumn, on September 7, and targets a younger audience with entertainment and drama series. The bright look makes use of glowing triangles to frame the 3 numeral.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

New logo: University of New Hampshire

The University of New Hampshire is the largest university in the rather small state of New Hampshire. Founded in 1866, it currently has over 15,000 students. During a college hockey game on Saturday, the school unveiled its new logo, created by Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv in New York.

The new emblem is a modern take on a shield with the initials NH in the school's colours and replaced an image of the Thompson Hall clock tower, a building located on the UNH campus. It was created with the collaboration of an "advisory panel" of students, alumni, faculty and staff. Usage guidelines will be published in February.

New logo: Lloyd's Register

Lloyd's Register is an organisation with various activities in maritime shipping, rail, energy and management systems. It was founded in 1760 in London, where it is still head-quartered. On Sunday, December 8, it unveiled a new visual identity.

The new monogram is a cleaned-up version of the LR stamp used by the organisation's surveyors since 1884.

Monday, December 9, 2013

New logo: Arby's

Arby's is a major American fast food chain, mostly known for serving sandwiches. Its logo has long been a cowboy hat. After several decades of barely changing it, last fall it was given an update when the "Wild West" typeface was replaced by something more contemporary. The result was an odd clash between old and new.

That logo proved short-lived, as last week it started using a refreshed version of the logo on its website, in advertising and on social media. This time, the logo has been given a more careful redesign with a contemporary slab serif typeface. The hat has been released from its odd extrusion and has been tweaked for the better.

New logo: Aurora Airlines

Last month, on November 6, Russia's Aeroflot Group unveiled a new airline, created by the combination of two smaller airlines based in the far-eastern part of Russia SAT Airlines and Vladivostok Avia. The airline will be called Aurora Airlines and its brand was developed by Landor Associates.

The hope is that the combination of two regional carriers will create a more efficient traffic system for the entire region. Inspired by cave paintings, the new icon has been abstracted to an infinity symbol with smooth curves.

Friday, December 6, 2013

New logo: Mobile by Sainsbury's

British supermarket chain Sainsbury's became yet another in the line of companies to launch a mobile telecom brand with the introduction of "Mobile by Sainsbury's" earlier this year in partnership with Vodefone. The brand was developed by Lippincott.

The brand was developed to translate Sainsbury's ethos, "Live Well For Less", to a telecom brand and emphasises that it is on the costumers side. Visually, it was designed to fit in with Sainsbury's overall identity and to appear generous and bright as well as technically knowledgeable.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

New look: FX International

FX ID 2013

Today we take a look at a recent graphics package produced for FX, an international brand used by several TV channels featuring "edgy" drama series. The package was developed by Argentinian motion design studuio Superestudio with Fox International Channels' creative team for "worldwide" use, which means it will not be seen in the United States.

Superestudio has helped refresh FX several times before, and as with previous packages this one makes great use of the versatile FX logo. The studio says this package was intended to show the "edgy point of view of FX".

Monday, December 2, 2013

New logo: Paris Region

Île-de-France is the name used for France's capital region, that is Paris and its extended surroundings. Last week, on November 27, different government agencies unveiled a new brand, "Paris Region", to market Île-de-France internationally and to established it as a region of tourism and economic growth.

A new English language slogan, "Source of Inspiration", is intended to express the "innovation, creativity and invention" that has sprung from the region since the French revolution. The icon combines eight sticks that form a "capital radiation" image in different colours, representing diversity, with an abstraction of the Eiffel tower, a universal symbol of Paris, the region and France.

The BBC Television Symbol, 1953

Sixty years ago tonight, on December 2, 1953, if you were living in Great Britain and was among the few who had a television set you would probably turn it on to find a stark new symbol on the only television channel available to you. What was then known as the "BBC Television Service" had adopted Britain's, if now the world's, first moving television symbol which was shown in the spaces between programmes. Officially called the "Television Symbol", it has been nick-named the "bat's wings" for its appearance.

To create this symbol, the BBC had contracted Abram Games, one of the great poster artists of the time. He is probably best remembered for his work in poster design before, during and after World War II. One project that stands out was created for the 1951 Festival of Britain, a large national exhibition. Games had won a contest to create the emblem for the exhibition, against stiff competition from other contemporary masters like Milner Gray and F.H.K. Henrion. Games' experience and success from this project probably didn't hurt his chances in landing the BBC job.

Friday, November 29, 2013

New logo: is described as the leading courier service company in France, operating a fleet of 200 vehicles mostly in and around Paris. This autumn it was given a new visual identity, developed by French design agency Brand Brothers.

The design process was guided by "humanity, simplification, attractiveness and devotion" and produced a new symbol with custom typography. Delivery trucks will have different clever messages on their sides that differ from vehicle to vehicle.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

New logo: Canberra

Canberra is the capital of Australia, located several hundred kilometres south west of Sydney and founded in 1913. This week, the city has been given a new logo as part of a brand identity project founded by the Australian Capital Territory. The new look was created by local ad agency Coordinate, working with a PR firm called Content Group.

The new logo spells out CBR, which is the airport code for Canberra Airport. It now also stands for "Confident. Bold. Ready.", which is Canberra's new tagline. The lines inside the letter-forms are inspired by the planned city's street grid. The logo can appear both as outlines and as solid shapes.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

New logo: Globecast

Globecast is a French company that assembles and transmits television and radio channels across different platforms. It is a fully owned subsidiary of Orange, formerly known as France Telecom. It adopted a new visual identity back in September.

Globecast used to use France Telecom's corporate symbol, but after the telecoms giant decided to change its name and abandon that symbol, Globecast needed its own visual identity.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

New logo: Sofinco

Sofinco is a French brand for consumer credit and similar services. It is owned by CA Consumer Finance, a subsidiary of the banking group Crédit Agricole. Early this month, the brand launched a new ad campaign along with an updated logo and a new slogan, "You make commitments, and so do we" (Vous vous engagez, nous aussi, in French).

New look: Hakle

Hakle is a classic German brand of toilet paper, dating back 1928. After being owned by Kimberly-Clark for over a decade, it was sold off last year. During that time, the brand had adopted a look that was aligned with their Kleenex brand with a similar logo and packaging design. The new owners introduced a new look this month along with softer and improved paper.

Berlin-based Leo Burnett Laeufer won a pitch to design the new look. The packaging is bright and colour-coded to aid orientation. The logo-type remains mostly unchanged but now appears in white.

Monday, November 25, 2013

New logo: Disney Time

After last week's revelation of a logo for a new Disney Channel in Germany, we move over to a similar project on the other side of the planet. Specifically, Japan, where the Disney-owned entertainment channel Dlife launched a new block of children's programmes called "Disney Time" earlier this month. The branding for this block was developed by New York broadcast design agency Loyalkaspar, building on their work for the launch of Dlife last year.

The graphics package is built on different "joyful" meshes that fly around in a light blue world. Loyalkaspar were involved in everything, including name and logo development. Disney Time launched on November 2.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

New logo: Sipstor

Sipstor is a new e-commerce portal from Pernod Ricard, one of the leading producers of alcoholic beverages and the owners several worldwide brands such as Absolut Vodka, Seagram and Chivas Regal. The site launched earlier this autumn, and the name and visual identity was created by Coley Porter Bell, a British design agency.

Targeting a younger audience who are particularly interested in spirits, the site specialises in limited editions from Pernod Ricard's brands.

New logo: IFM Investors

Industry Funds Management, is a fund manager that was founded in Australia in 1990 and is owned by a number of non-profit pension funds. Back in October, it changed its name to IFM Investors, respecting the company's heritage by keeping the initials but stressing the importance of its investors. The new name and identity was developed by Landor Associates.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

New logo: IRB Brasil RE

Instituto de Resseguros do Brasil, marketed as IRB Brasil RE, is a Brazilian institution that offers reinsurance ("insurance for insurance companies"). Once a partly state-owned enterprise, it was recently privatised, but retains a strong position in its home market, in addition to activities in other parts of Latin America and Africa. Last month, it launched a new corporate identity, created by a Brazilian agency called Crama Design Estratégico.

The new look should communicate IRB Brasil RE's core brand values: integrated intelligence, strength, agility and flexibility. This is further emphasised by the slogan "Go beyond, to make a difference" (Ir além, para fazer a diferença). The colours are inspired by Brazil.

New logo: Rialto Channel

Rialto Channel is pay TV channel in New Zealand devoted to independent film and entertainment. Earlier this year, the channel was relaunched with a new look created by Interbrand. On-air graphics were developed by Brandspank.

The rebrand attempts open the channel up to new audiences, including those not necessarily interesting in world cinema. Interbrand had to achieve this repositioning within a tight brief, the channel wanted core elements of its logo to remain, including the typeface and the R and star combination.

Monday, November 18, 2013

New logo: Clarel

After the German drugstore giant Schlecker went bankrupt early last year, its Spanish and Portuguese branches were sold to Spanish discount supermarket chain Dia. In late it October, it was announced that the over 1,000 stores would be renamed Clarel. Schlecker stores were mainly focused on beauty, hygiene, products for kids and pets and some food, and that will stay unchanged under the new banner. The first stores carrying the new name re-opened last week.

The new brand was developed by Interbrand Madrid in a complete review of everything from communication and retail environments. Under the slogan "How do you want to shine today?" (¿Cómo quieres brillar hoy?), Clarel wants to offer products that make its costumers feel confident. The logo, with its smiling droplet, should convey brightness and clarity.

Clarity is also reflected in the range of colours, which are limited to white, black and an occasional red for promotions. A set of icons have been designed to help costumers navigate.

New logo: Disney Channel Germany

Last week, German authorities approved The Walt Disney Company's acquisition of the struggling German TV channel Das Vierte. Almost immediately, the company announced plans to close the channel down and replace it with a German version of the Disney Channel, due to launch on January 17. The new German Disney Channel will be made available for free to 93 percent of households in the country, in direct competition with three other German children's channels. It will feature Disney's original children's TV series during the day and family movies in prime time.

With the November 14 announcement came a new logo that doesn't look like the one used by Disney Channel in other countries. Absent is the well recognised profile of Mickey Mouse. It remains to be seen whether this logo is exclusive to Germany or whether it will be rolled out to other countries.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Penneys, 1963

The classic American department store chain JCPenney has had a dithering visual identity in the last few years. In October it decided to revert back to its 1971 wordmark, after introducing new logos in both 2011 and 2012. Incidentally, this month it will be exactly fifty years since the company introduced its first proper corporate identity.

Before November 1963, the stores didn't really have a consistent identity. They could be called "J. C. Penney" or "Penney's", and there were lots of different wordmarks in use. The new "signature", as it was called, was introduced as part of an extensive design programme to bring Penneys into the 1960s. The logo was described as "up-swept, modern and dynamic" and was designed to work in every form, from storefronts to the growing range of private label products. The oddly shaped P has earned it the nickname "the funky P logo".

The design programme was created by a New York firm called Peter Schladermundt Associates, lead by industrial designer Pete Schladermundt. He was once an associate of Norman Bel Geddes and quite prominent in his time, but almost forgotten today. Quite active in trademark design, he also redesigned the "Pegasus" shield for Mobil Oil in the 50s.

The timing of the logo launch proved unfortunate. The official launch was set for Sunday, November 24 when the new signature was used in advertisements around the country and several news articles about the launch were published. However, it had already been introduced in some markets a few days prior to that. In the days in between, president John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

New look: The Weather Channel

The Weather Channel ID 2013

The Weather Channel is an American television network, completely dedicated to the weather that airs detailed forecasts for both national and local weather throughout the day, as well as some "weather-themed" feature programming in prime time. This week, on November 12, it launched a new brand identity, created with broadcast design agency Trollbäck + Company, ad agency Mono and sound design agency Man Made Music.

For Trollbäck, this was a project about information graphics, bringing lots of information to viewers in a clear way. In addition, there are new sets and graphics for various programmes, special graphics for severe weather, promo packaging and IDs.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

New logo: Philips

Dutch consumer electronics giant Philips unveiled a redesigned version of its classic shield yesterday, November 13. This was realised by Philips' in-house design team working with several consultancies.

The company says the original shield was introduced in the 30s, but that its elements had been in use before that. The stars represented lights and the waves stood for transmissions, a reference to light bulbs and radios, the company's most recognised products at the time. It has gone through several minor alterations through the years, and in the last few decades it has played a minor role, with a wordmark acting as the primary communicator. It appears the shield will get a revival with this redesign.

The redesigned shield is part of a corporate strategy that puts emphasis on products that improve people's lives. It is summed up by the new slogan, "Innovation and You". Taking inspiration from golden ratio, the new shield is more "natural" and "human". Circles are no longer perfectly symmetrical, the waves a fewer and softer, the top has a slight curve and the entire thing is solid, which will work better in digital environments.

New logo: Mountain

Mountain is a Spanish company that has established a niche of manufacturing and configuring high-end computers and servers. It was recently given a new look by Weimark Branding, a newly established Spanish design agency.

They sought to upgrade the company's visual appearance so that it would be more in line with the quality of its products. The existing symbol, a combination of an M and a mountain, was rebuilt with triangular grid to be more robust, under the slogan "Robustness to you".

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

New logo: Atlantis Resources

Atlantis Resources is a company that works to commercialise tidal power, capturing the energy generated from currents through turbines located at the sea bed. It recently adopted a new visual identity, created by SomeOne in London.

The visual identity was inspired by tide maps that display streams of water with lots of arrows.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Logo round-up: October 2013

October 2013 saw a new livery for Spanish airline Iberia, a sunny heart for travel company Thomas Cook and lots of other interesting rebrands from around the world. They are gathered here in this month's logo round-up.

New logo: EMIAS

EMIAS is a new unified system for storage of medical information launched by authorities in the Russian city of Moscow. The name (ЕМИАС in Cyrillic) is an acronym of Единая медицинская информационно-аналитическая система, which roughly means "Unified Medical Information-Analysis System". It was recently given new visual identity by Art Lebedev Studio.

The wordmark is flanked by two blue dashes that should remind one of a ladder, a symbol for "upward movement and order". The logo comes in red, green and yellow versions for less formal occasions. The dashes can be separated from the logo and used for slogans and other information.

Friday, November 8, 2013

New logo: International Co-operative Alliance

The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) is an international federation of different co-operative enterprises and organisation. If you know of a major national co-operative, that organisation is likely a member of the ICA. At this year's annual assembly in Cape Town, the organisation unveiled a new "global identity".

The previous logo had been introduced to replace a rainbow flag, to avoid confusion with similar flags.

The ICA also administers the .coop top-level domain. If you want to use new Coop marque and/or a .coop domain, you can register both on a dedicated website.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

New look: Fox Life

Fox Life is TV channel brand from Fox International Channels used for several channels that air lifestyle and entertainment programming with a slight female slant. First launched in Italy in 2004, the company later rolled out Fox Life channels in several European countries and Latin America. Last spring, the original Italian channel introduced a new look with a new logo that has since been adopted by the Latin American and some European counterparts.

The new look was conceived by Argentinian motion design agency Plenty. They wanted to stress that Fox Life is about mainstream entertainment for a "coviewing" audience (i.e. a woman and her partner). The entire look uses a limited range of bright pastel colours and the motion graphics are nicely flowing and life-affirming.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Raymond Loewy 120

Raymond Loewy was born in France on November 5, 1893 and immigrated to the United States in 1919. Here he would employ himself as a fashion illustrator and window decorator, gradually gaining prominence before becoming one of the leading industrial designers in America. A highpoint of sorts was October 1949 when he was featured on the cover of Time magazine.

Being an industrial designer, Loewy designed just about everything. Locomotives, cars, interiors, gas stations, packaging and, of interest to this blog, trademarks. The Loewy brand of design would eventually travel the world when he set up a subsidiary in his native France and worked with clients in Japan.

To mark the 120th anniversary of Loewy's birth, here's a compilation of some trademarks made by his companies, Raymond Loewy Asscoiates, Loewy/Snaith and Compagnie de l'esthethique industrielle (CEI). Some of them are design classics, still used today - Shell, Formica, Spar, LU, New Man. Others are obscure and forgotten. The trademarks were often only one of many designs that Loewy created for his clients, he would often also design products or interiors to work with an overall design programme.

New logo: Sweden

Sweden is a country in northern Europe, known for ABBA, IKEA, meatballs and equality. This week, the country got a new official website which also displays a new visual identity. The new look was created by Stockholm-based design agency Söderhavet on the behalf of several government agencies.

The new minimalist identity is centred around the Swedish flag, which was identified as the most recognised and lasting symbol of the country. It is accompanied by a wordmark that spells out the Swedish name for Sweden, Sverige, is a custom-made typeface called Sweden Sans. When used outside Sweden, the local name for the country is shown above Sverige. The English version can be seen above.

Monday, November 4, 2013

MTV Finland: Sub and Ava

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Yesterday, November 3, saw the launch of the company-wide rebrand for Finnish commercial broadcaster MTV, created with British broadcast design agency DixonBaxi. Today we'll take a look the full package in three posts. This third and final post is about MTV's two sister channels, Sub and Ava, that were also rebranded yesterday.

MTV Finland: MTV3

MTV3 ident 2013

Yesterday, November 3, saw the launch of the company-wide rebrand for Finnish commercial broadcaster MTV, created with British broadcast design agency DixonBaxi. Today we'll take a look the full package in three posts. This second post on the MTV rebrand looks at the work done for the main channel, MTV3, and the company's genre brands for news and sports.

MTV Finland: Master brand

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Yesterday, November 3, saw the launch of the company-wide rebrand for Finnish commercial broadcaster MTV, created with British broadcast design agency DixonBaxi. Last week I gave you an overview of the new logos, today we'll take a look the full package in three posts. This first post will be about the underlying strategy and the corporate brand.

Friday, November 1, 2013

New logo: Cembra Money Bank

Cembra Money Bank is the new name for what used to be called GE Money Bank, a Swiss subsidiary of General Electric's financial services division GE Capital. As GE are shifting their corporate strategy to be less dependent of financial services, Cembra was floated on the Zurich stock exchange this week in what is reportedly one of the largest European bank IPOs in several years. The brand strategy and identity for the new bank was created with MetaDesign in Zurich.

The name is taken from the Latin name for the Swiss pine tree, Pinus cembra.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

More on: MTV Finland

Back in August, we learned that Finland's largest commercial broadcaster was about to launch a company-wide rebrand. The project launches on Sunday, November 3 and will see new looks across over a dozen channels. New logos were revealed recently ahead of the launch.

The three main TV channels, MTV3, Sub and Ava, and the radio network Radio Nova have been given new individual logos. The large suite of thematic channels have changed their prefix from MTV3 to MTV and are using template-based logos with the corporate symbol.

Friday, October 25, 2013

New logo: Goobay

Goobay is a German brand for discount electronics accessories. Earlier this spring it launched a new look, created by KW43 Branddesign in Düsseldorf.

With 8,000 products to label, KW43 developed the brand promise "simple, everything, appropriate". The two o's in the logo become a sort of character that can take on different forms. The packaging is clean and autonomous, with several simple visual cues and elements used to convey positive aspects of the product.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

New look: Xtrm

Xtrm is a Spanish thematic channel dedicated to action, horror and martial arts movies. Back in June it introduced a new look to coincide with the launch of a high-definition simulcast channel. The new look was created by Argentinian broadcast design agency Lumbre, who revealed their project this week.

The graphics package reflect Xtrm's tough programming with a rugged look. New idents feature an extremely durable iteration of the Xtrm logo that various machines and individuals try to destroy, at their peril.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

New logo: Nixon Peabody

Nixon Peabody (NP) is an American law firm with offices in America, Europe and Asia that numbers several major companies across many industries among its clients. Yesterday, it unveiled a new corporate identity, created by Wolff Olins.

A research project concluded that in addition to traditional legal counsel, clients appreciated a law firm that helped them grow their businesses. The result is a brand strategy focused on NP's ability provide growth to their clients. The new logo is a "dynamic spark", symbolising "innovative ideas and actions" as well as the "collective intelligence" of a firm thinking ahead of its clients.

New look: Alpha TV

Alpha TV is one of the larger television networks in Greece, airing a mainstream mix of home-grown programming and imported series. At the end of September, the network introduced a new on-air graphics package, produced by Greek production company Nomint and directed by Tony Zagoraios.

The slick new look makes use of bright colours, simple typography and flat shapes to "express a fresh, optimistic and contemporary identity".

Monday, October 21, 2013

New logo: Moscow Zoo

The Moscow Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in Europe, founded in 1864. As the zoo gears up for its 150th anniversary, a new visual identity system was unveiled last week, on October 17. It was developed by RIA Novosti, the country's leading news agency.

The new system introduces bright new graphics and logos. The logo comes in four variations with different colours and patterns made up of animals – a pelican, a pheasant, a dolphin and a squirrel in green, purple, blue and yellow. The agency also worked on new signage. The Museo typeface is used heavily in all applications.

New logo: Kaktus

This month, the a new mobile telecommunication brand was introduced in the Czech Republic by the Czech brand of T-Mobile. It is called Kaktus and targets young people by offering different prepaid plans that all offer free use of Facebook.

Visually, the brand appears a spontaneous and bit messy with a cartoon cactus as a logo and the extensive use of a free font called Akbar.

Friday, October 18, 2013

United States Postal Service (1993)

Twenty years ago this month, on October 12, 1993, the United States Postal Service introduced a new identity. The bureaucratic organisation was facing stiff competition from the likes of FedEx and UPS and needed to be run more like a business to survive.

The task of rebranding this huge organisation was assigned to CYB Yasumura Design, lnc., a New York subsidiary of Young & Rubicam, who were the postal service's ad agency at the time. CYB Yasumura was founded in 1981 and headed by Matsuo Yasumura who had a background as an art director within Y&R. The firm's handling of the account was later investigated for improprieties, which caused Mr. Yasamura to resign.

The design itself wasn't that well received either. The previous symbol was a classic, designed by Raymond Loewy and introduced in 1970. Its replacement was much more corporate, with all the letters in the full name crammed into a unwieldy wordmark. It is also one of very few logos to be ridiculed on Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update. Reporting on the new logo, anchor Kevin Nealon explained that "the eagle depicted is a special breed known for its incompetence, slow flight and sudden bursts of violent behaviour against former co-eagles".

Nonetheless, this identity has survived more or less intact for twenty years. Meanwhile, the Internet has had the net effect of fewer letters being sent, and the USPS continues to manage its inevitable decline.