Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Logo round-up: August 2014

A much talked about symbol for the Herhey Company and a refreshed Volvo emblem probably qualify and as the highest-profile logo changes in August. Still, what tends to be a slow month did present several interesting projects.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Danish railway company DSB rolls out hexagonal logo

DSB is Denmark's leading railway company, charged with operating most trains in Denmark, including passenger, commuter and cargo trains. It has its origins in Danske Statsbaner ("Danish State Railways"), the old railway monopoly. Last week, on September 11, the company rolled out a new logo across the country.

The new logo is combination of the hexagon shape used by the S-tog train service around Copenhagen with a revised version of DSB's existing lettering. This has the advantage of integrating name and symbol into one element. It also marks a more united DSB as several sub-brands will be scrapped with its introduction. A press release says it shall support DSB's process of focus on its core business and "tell the story of simplicity, trust and reliability as the foundation of DSB's way to create cohesion in public transport in Denmark".

The logo was designed by Bo Linnemann of Kontrapunkt, working with DSB Kommunikation & Branding. Kontrapunkt were also behind the previous logo that featured a stylised image of a winged wheel, as well as much of the rest of DSB's identity programme including typography and wayfinding graphics.

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Finder icon at twenty

This month marks the 20th anniversary of a symbol that is seen daily by millions of computer users, the MacOS logo. It was introduced in September 1994 as part of Apple's ill-fated plans to license its operating systems to third party hardware manufacturers. As the operating system was about to be decoupled from Apple hardware, it needed a separate identity.

The MacOS icon was created with AlbenFaris, a California-based firm founded in 1985 by Lauralee Alben and Jim Faris. During the 1990s, they worked mostly in interface design and had several other high-profile tech companies as clients, including Netscape and Hewlett-Packard. According to AlbenFaris, the logo represents the "interplay between the face of the computer", making the user part of the computing experience. It was designed to represent ease of use, friendliness and humanising technology.

Steve Jobs terminated the licensing plan as soon as he returned to company, but the MacOS icon lives on today, both as the icon for Finder and to brand MacOS software. It has received various updates through the years. With the launch of OS X in 2001, the icon was given a shiny three-dimensional coating to reflect the operating system's 3D capabilities. However, its basic form remained largely intact until a few months ago when it was redrawn with the introduction of OS X Yosemite.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Merged public broadcasters Avro and Tros launch common brand

Public broadcasters in the Netherlands have been through a process of forced consolidation recently. Two broadcasters who merged were Avro and Tros who formed Avrotros at the beginning of this year. Both have a long a proud history, Avro was founded back in 1927, when radio was still a relatively new medium, and has historically been somewhat bourgeois-liberal leaning, while the popular Tros station was created in 1964 from a former pirate TV station.

The old identities were kept until September 7, when they were replaced by the merged name. The new visual identity was developed by Amsterdam-based branding agency Cape Rock. It features an 'A' symbol that will be used connect the broadcaster's programming with its brand. on screen, it is used as a lense that "literally brings the content to the viewer".

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Antena 3 and Neox launch simple graphics

Antena 3 ident 2014

Antena 3 is one of Spain's two leading commercial television channels. Last Monday, the channel unveiled a new graphics package which it says signifies "innovativeness, closeness and quality". The new graphics are simple and flat with a straightforward use of typography and animation.

Antena 3's sister channel Neox was given a new look at the same time. The old youth-themed graphics package from 2011 was replaced by one that appears to target a broader demographic. It features a black and yellow colour scheme and makes use of the geometric nature of the Neox logo for its animations.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Southwest Airlines flies new heart

Southwest Airlines is the largest low-cost airline in the United States, known for what its business is famous for, that is low prices. In the last few years, it has used an image of one of its planes as its logo. This changed yesterday, September 8, when the airline unveiled a redesigned look, created by Lippincott.

This new look elevates the heart symbol that the airline has used continuously for several decades. The colours traditionally associated with Southwest have been reinvigorated. The mission was to stay true to Southwest's existing identity, while optimising and modernising it.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Nationwide Insurance reverts logo change – after fifteen years

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company is an American insurance company based in Columbus, Ohio. This week it introduced an updated version of an old logo which the company scrapped fifteen years ago. The redesign work was carried out by Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv in New York.

The quaint eagle-on-N symbol was originally introduced in the 1950s and went through a few gradual changes during the course of four decades. In 1999, the company replaced it with a bold logo featuring a square enclosed by a rectangle.

But research showed that the eagle was still associated with the company so it was decided that it would be brought back. The new logo keeps the Nationwide wordmark and introduces an updated version of the eagle. The fact that Nationwide chose to go back to the eagle logo at this point must make it one of the most protracted logo change reversions in history.