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Since advertising is all about the power of suggestion, it’s fun to see what happens when the conceits of well-known campaigns are totally undermined. Honest Slogans takes well-known advertising and turns the slogan into some real talk about the product, or at least designer Clif Dickens’s take on it.
The horrors of New Coke have not been easy for the public to forget. We do not handle change well, especially when it comes to the brands that we’ve been conditioned to love. But did New Coke really taste that bad? And, likewise, is the new Yahoo! logo really that atrocious? And is iOS 7 really the flaming trainwreck of a redesign that some folks are making it out to be? Or is the problem not within the product but rather within ourselves?
Is it possible to distill the character of a city into a single, striking logo? In some ways it seems crass to (re)brand a place, reducing the complexity of a locale into to what is, essentially, a marketing campaign. Done well, however, the efforts can unite locals and lure leisure travellers, who bring with them a major financial boon (check out the World Bank’s map of international tourist dollars from the past four years — there’s a lot of cash involved). But have we reached peak branding?
Yahoo! is about to unveil its new logo. If you’re confused — yes, Yahoo! has been “unveiling a new logo” (read: comic sans rendering of Yahoo!) for the past 29 days. It’s all part of an unusual plan to evade the virulent public backlash that has haunted many recent corporate rebrands. But will it work?
The Black Flag logo is sort of like the Coca-Cola script: it’s been subverted and remixed so many times, it’s become bigger than its original intended use. Now, thanks to a mini-documentary produced by Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art, we know the fascinating story behind the creation of the iconic mark — which, according to Henry Rollins, “every cop in LA remembers”.
Designing a museum logo used to be a simple. Maybe you chose the outline of the building facade. Or a staid serif logotype. Or, hell, just the heraldic seal of whatever aristocrat was underwriting the whole operation. But in an era of faltering endowments and declining attendance, many museums are turning to high-concept graphic design to market themselves to the public.
The logo is a volatile instrument. It can do more harm than good if it’s introduced the wrong way, or with too much fanfare, or with too much self-congratulation (remember the Gap debacle?). Which might explain why the unveiling of 21st Century Fox’s first identity, yesterday afternoon, could’ve easily slipped under the radar.
As small businesses grow into large corporations, their identities and branding grow, evolve and often end up being a mish-mash of various names. A similar thing is done for companies named after their founders, so the folks at Mental Floss did their homework and discovered what several popular acronyms actually stand for.
In a book called Branding Terror, Francesco Trivini Bellini and former United Nations counterterrorism analyst Artur Beifuss compiled the logos and brand identities of terrorist organisations “from al-Qaeda to the Real IRA” and analysed them as they would any logo. It’s fascinating to approach the identity of the terrorists from a graphic design perspective.