I’ve been monitoring a few high profile logo re-design projects lately, and the controversies which have popped up surrounding them. I find the whole thing rather intriguing. At first I suppose I was thinking the same thing everyone else was, which is basically – “What were they thinking”? Why’d they waste so much money on that? I’ve seen smaller companies do much better” etc. etc. I personally haven’t heard much noise or controversy about small company re-brands. The latest installment is none other than our very own Pick n Pay, a place we have all probably visited at some stage(South Africans that is) to stock up on our daily needs. Biz-community has been following the story quite closely of late and seems to have quite a bit of insight into what this re-branding process entailed.
What Biz Community Readers Think
A recent poll held by Biz-community.com reveals a little about what people, mostly those in the marketing & advertising industry I gather, have to say about this re-brand. As of about 14:40, 14 November 2007, 47% of readers expressed a dislike for the new identity.
Is the bad publicity a good thing?
I’m wondering now whether the controversy is a negative or positive thing, and whether these Brands will gain further positive exposure once the controversies die down. After a bit of deep meditation,a few seconds of pondering that is, I definitely think that these controversies won’t have major impact on the likability of these brands. It seems the only ones complaining are in the marketing & media industry, which is a small percentage of the general population. Most of Pick n Pay’s customers probably have no idea that there’s a controversy at all.
Re-brand controversies have definitely had done alot to get the news out about the London 2012 Olympics and has boosted the mention of Wolff Olins, the brand agency famed for developing both the new London 2012 logo and the new Wacom Logo.
Wolf Olins’ approach to colour
I see something common in both the London 2012 logo and the Wacom logo and that’s the use of colour in a strikingly different manner. I have come across some criticism of the new Wacom Identity, but am realising more and more, going through some of the same struggles with my logo design clients that change is something people find difficult to deal with. Many companies want to be unique, recognizable, different, innovative but fear implementing these principles into the actions & strategies they implement including design. Another thing which strikes me about these logos is their unconventional shapes and that they seem to both lend themselves to various types of uses and meanings. Basically they are not set in stone and lend themselves to extension & evolution. They can grow and create a whole new visual language.
Pick n Pay looking to break out of their tired mould
The Pick n Pay logo style and payoff line did at first give me a bit of a Bank feeling to be honest. Having read through some of the rationale, and looking at further extensions of how the brand is proposed to be used, I do think that there’s something good coming out of this, something with a little more personality, something less Ramond Ackerman. I think it’s a brave step being taken by Pick n Pay and something they’ve needed to do in the current competitive market.
The payoff line however leaves alot to be desired. It’s like they’ve just realized they need to jump on the bandwagon of telling their customers how important they are. It’s becoming a little repetitive if you ask me, and in this regard actions should speak louder than a pay-off line, so with such a huge promise the visual re-Brand exercise better be followed up by a whole lot more for those who are being flattered. “Inspired by you”, should mean that actions taken to improve and value being added is being implemented based on what customers have added to the conversation. We’ll have to wait and see what they’ve got up their sleeves in fulfilling this promise.
My new fascination with unconventional designs
Back to London 2012, what first appeared to be the most incomprehensible and ugly mess is growing on me, it’s appeal is starting to change my perspective and I’m interested to see how it grows and impacts the bigger picture of the London Olympics. Having looked through some of the artist impressions of what the city might look like and how this identity will potentially be extended I see alot of potential for the city of London to put its unique stamp on the games. In fact when I look back the past 4 identities created for the games I kind of disappointed at what those previous cities had to offer.
There’s nothing memorable, unique, engaging about those logos. The fact that the logo will have a certain lifespan helps promote my newfound respect for this Identity. As the event dies down the logo’s only purpose will be to act as a reminder, and to further emphasize London as a uniquely different and diverse place. I think it’s already done a bit of that for me, having traveled to London in the not so distant past it gives me something to re-identify with, to remember and has even helped me further towards considering another visit.
I think Wolff Olins have been doing a little more homework than we think.
This is a little snippet of what the London 2012 website conveys as their Brand rationale:
Our emblem is simple, distinct, bold and buzzing with energy. Its form is inclusive yet consistent and has incredible flexibility to encourage access and participation. It can communicate with anyone from commercial organisations to kids playing sport.
It feels young in spirit. Full of confidence, certainty and opportunity. Not afraid to shake things up, to challenge the accepted. To change things.
The 2010 World Cup Logo
Something South Africans have become engrossed in recently is the pathway to the 2010 Soccer World Cup. The recent Rugby World Cup win has distracted us a little. This has not kept the 2010 World cup from being the talk of the moment on the streets and in the board-rooms. There’s not difference in the design community and the 2010 logo seems to have set off a whole anti-movement in the process. Follow the adventures of not the 2010 Logo which saw a whole website being set up and a move to find a better design to replace the current one. I’m eagerly awaiting the 2nd installment of this online experiment in Logo Design protest which should be up at www.notthe2010logo.co.za very soon.
For some more sober insights on Design and the Logo Design Process read a few of my latest posts on the subject below.
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