Established in 2008 and headquartered in Moscow, Russia, Nordwind Airlines began as a charter airline with only three planes flying to six destinations. Now, as a regular scheduled airline, Nordwind has a fleet of 20 planes flying to 33 destinations within Russia and 10 in
“Nord is Where it’s at”
Established in 2008 and headquartered in Moscow, Russia, Nordwind Airlines began as a charter airline with only three planes flying to six destinations. Now, as a regular scheduled airline, Nordwind has a fleet of 20 planes flying to 33 destinations within Russia and 10 in different cities in Europe. In March, Nordwind introduced a new identity and livery designed by Lisbon, Portugal-based UMA.
The old logo, were it not for it being in the shape of an airplane’s tail, could have easily been for a chartered bus company not for a company that puts giant metal tubes in the air. The star, the default-looking type, the brick and yellow colors… none of it was very exciting or confidence-inducing. The new logo looks confidently and strikingly like an airline logo. The “N” monogram is great with a bold combination of round corners and sharp angles and the extra wide structure is very airline-ish, as is the italic bent. It reminds me a lot, in spirit, of the old Northwest Airlines logo, although there is no “W” hidden in this one. The wordmark is nice and not a geometric sans serif so that’s awesome to start with. The lock-ups, though, are somehow not fully pleasing; neither the stacked or horizontal versions work seamlessly. I mean, they are good, but given how good the monogram is, I wish the lock-ups were locked-down.
Seeing the signage… maybe there is something pleasing about this other lock-up where each element gets smaller, almost like a Russian nested doll.
The old livery matched the logo: very ho-hum, not a press-your-nose-against-the-glass-to-see-it-on-the-runway kind of design. The new livery gets closer to that feeling:
Other than yet another oddly resolved lock-up near the door of the airplane, this is a wonderful livery. The monogram looks great on the tail but even better as a white knockout on the light gray fuselage that gives that area of the plane a big, bold graphic treatment. I also like that they didn’t flip the logo on the side of the tail where the angle is opposite. The best detail, though, are the dark gray turbines… they really make the airplane. Overall, this is a fantastic change that makes Nordwind look like a legitimate, world-class airline.
Established in 2001, Altice is a multinational company providing services across three key activities: telecom, media and content, and advertising. Based in the Netherlands, Altice has, since the beginning, gone on an acquisition rampage across the world, buying existing companies like SFR Group in France,
“The Path of Most Resistance”
Established in 2001, Altice is a multinational company providing services across three key activities: telecom, media and content, and advertising. Based in the Netherlands, Altice has, since the beginning, gone on an acquisition rampage across the world, buying existing companies like SFR Group in France, PT Portugal that owns the MEO brand, and Cablevision in the U.S. that owns the Optimum brand. They also have presence in Belgium, Switzerland, Israel, Kenya, and the Dominican Republic. Combined, this gave Altice a €23.5 billion turnover in 2016 from more than 50 million customers worldwide. Altice is the biggest telecom you had never heard of (or, at least, I hadn’t) but that’s about to change as, yesterday, the company announced the Altice name would take not just over all corporate names but even most of the consumer brands through a global, unified brand by Publicis Groupe and the U.S. offices of Turner Duckworth.
Welcome to the new Altice. We are driven by a philosophy to always challenge ourselves. We question everything so that we can find the best way forward for our customers. In a world in which continuous innovation is the only way forward, we have invented our brand identity to redefine the vision we have for our customers -consumers, enterprises, and advertisers- and our people.
This is our signature and rallying cry for all of our stake holders. It boldly proclaims our vision for the world: that when we come together, there’s nothing we can’t achieve.
“Together”, of course, because combination is in our DNA; “Together”, as a global and multi local identity; America and Europe; technologies and talent; telecom, content and advertising; services and products. We unite our varied entities under a single name so that we can unite people: ours is a vision of a seamless and inclusive future.
But we’re also expressing an ambition. Our potential has “no limits”, because we are fearless innovators –bringing together the dreamers with the doers, to push the boundaries of human ingenuity. Altice exists to redefine our interpretation of what is possible.
I usually start my reviews talking about the logo but in this case there is a lot of foreplay required before we get to it. In the ten years I’ve been doing reviews this is the most verbose introduction of a brand I have encountered. Start at the introductory page for the identity, then download the identity presentation PDF, then I’ll see you back in 30 minutes and there will be a pop quiz. Usually, it’s the opposite where there is barely any information about the redesign so I shouldn’t be complaining, except… except that after reading everything there was to read I had to surgically roll my eyes back to the front. It’s great to have a confident, solid, brand strategy and point of view but this goes into overkill mode from the first paragraph and doesn’t let go, like, ever. A single paragraph that basically said, “Our logo is like a path”, would have sufficed, instead of the world-savior pomposity of a lot of the descriptions, i.e. “the Altice path can unlock the limitless potential of our customers, our people and our world”. So, let’s see if this logo can, after all, change the world.
Our logo is a path. A path to everything you dream of. It is an open sign, free of any shield, border, and background. It is distinctive and elegant, timeless as well as bold and fearless because the path we take converts aspirations into reality, and reinvents the future. It has dynamism and momentum because it is an invitation to connect, to join, and draw our own path. It is inclusive and seamless, it has iconic potential and global resonance because the Altice path can unlock the limitless potential of our customers, our people and our world.
The old logo was cray cray — I know that’s an outdated, terrible expression but it’s uniquely apropos in this case — even for Dutch corporate logo standards where things get funky but most companies can pull it off. This one was weird plus one, with its strange “A” and groovy marbles. Let’s just be glad their world takeover is not with that logo. The new logo hinges on a large, semi-abstract “a” that, without all the mumbo jumbo behind it, is an interesting mark. It’s simple, bold, and has a modest dynamism to it. It’s a little awkward too in how the tail of the “a” is extra long but that may be part of what makes it work. The one execution decision that makes me itch is the stem that goes upwards aligns exactly with the apex of the top curve, instead of letting that curve shoot just a tad over, like any circular letter in type does. The wordmark is nice too with all the little curves kicking up at the bottom; it’s a hard set of letterforms to kern… the bottom of the wordmark is nice and even but the crossbar of the “t” throws things off as does the space between the “i” and the “c”. Still, in general appearance, I subtly like it.
Not much in application, other than the launch campaign above which is… surprising? Meaning, the logo is so simple that to, all of a sudden, go into these super detailed illustrations was unexpected. There is something visually attractive about it… it reminds of some of the work of Tolleson (but not as finessed). I like the idea of letting the “a” be anything but there is also something cheesy about each of these illustrations. Overall, yes, this is very well suited as a major telecom brand with potential for global recognition and performance but they just need to bring down the world-changing bravado a notch.
Established in 1981, Orchestre Métropolitain (OM) is Montréal’s second permanent symphony orchestra after the Montreal Symphony Orchestra with a mandate to “make music accessible to a wide public”. Consisting of approximately 60 musicians, most of whom are graduates of Quebec conservatories and faculties of music,
Established in 1981, Orchestre Métropolitain (OM) is Montréal’s second permanent symphony orchestra after the Montreal Symphony Orchestra with a mandate to “make music accessible to a wide public”. Consisting of approximately 60 musicians, most of whom are graduates of Quebec conservatories and faculties of music, OM plays over 30 concerts per season, the majority in the Montreal Symphony House at Place des Arts. This past March, OM introduced a new identity designed by local firm byHaus.
We have rethought the identity by playing with contrasts and sensations. The new logo is a monogram composed of two letters: one anchored in modernity, the other in a classical tradition. Moreover, the perfect circle which replaces the letter O is exploited throughout a graphic platform as a window where the music is expressed. A lyrical and opulent typographic game completes the identity system.
The old logo was… vibrant. I wouldn’t mind an orchestra using magenta as its main color if the logo supported it, but a heavy serving of condensed type inside a circle hardly qualifies as the type of daring, bold logo that can pull off a color like that for an orchestra. The new logo is, literally, a much more classic rendition of an orchestra logo with a stately, high-contrast serif for the “M” and a nice segue from the old logo with a full circle as the “O” — all in black and white. It’s a simple, elegant combination. Instead of using magenta as a shock-and-awe element it uses the circle “O” as a dynamic element to modernize the identity through elegant and attractive animations. In the full logo, a simple geometric sans, nicely spaced out, complements the monogram. Subtle move on the accent over the “E”, too. But, then… things get awkward.
The “O” in the logo becomes a hole from which detached hands push instruments through. How did they fit that cello? I can see the appeal of this concept and execution, giving classical music a sense of playfulness and accessibility and it might be a personal preference but it’s a little cheesy for me. Execution-wise, they are good and properly done. They considered small details like the arms having white shirts coming out of black holes and black shirts coming out of white holes, which is a sentence I never thought I would write. All hands appear to be men’s though, which, in this day and age, might not play well.
The identity then introduces atipo’s Salomé, which is a very effusive Didone with swashes and curls that is maybe trying a little too hard to get attention and, like the instruments coming out of the “O”, it takes away from the elegance established by the logo, which, as a reminder, looks pretty great on its own:
Overall, this is a robust and appropriate redesign and I acknowledge that I am possibly being overly critical of perfectly fine identity elements that will be pleasing to the orchestra’s audience who probably have better taste than me anyway, since they are at a concert hall listening to Mahler instead of Guns N’ Roses’ Use Your Illusion I AND II on repeat because 1990s.
Established in 2011, Hampton Creek is a manufacturer and distributor of plant-based foods whose principal range of products is sold as Just. With a larger mission to bring accessible, healthier and more sustainable food to the market, Just’s product line main attraction is that it
“Do it Just”
Established in 2011, Hampton Creek is a manufacturer and distributor of plant-based foods whose principal range of products is sold as Just. With a larger mission to bring accessible, healthier and more sustainable food to the market, Just’s product line main attraction is that it contains no eggs and uses plant-based replacements for a fully vegan offering of mayos, dressings, cookies, and cookie dough that are available not just in health-obsessed places like Whole Foods but also Walmart and 7-Eleven and they can also be found in countries outside the U.S., including Mexico and Hong Kong. This year, Just is introducing new packaging designed in-house.
We’ve said goodbye to our brown paper packaging and hello to a vibrant new look for all of our products. […] From painterly mayo swipes and lush salad greens to mouth-watering cookies and cookie dough, our bottles and box graphics depict both the kitchen craft of food and the beauty of nature. This is a big departure, but it’s designed to benefit everyone from the store shelf-stocker to the everyday shopper.
The old logo was sort of okay… it wasn’t hurting anyone… perhaps gravity, with the heavy slant of its script but nothing too worrisome. Its biggest drawback was probably readability as it was a little on the light side, making it almost hard to discern as a logo. Thew new logo replaces the script for a customized Helvetica-ish wordmark. (They use Neue Haas Grotesk as their primary typeface, so most likely it comes from there). I’m no fan of Helvetica-ish logos, much less so of light-weight Helvetica-ish logos; there is something too default about them. This one, I don’t hate but I don’t like either and I know that it comes down to personal preference on the subject because there is nothing formally wrong with the logo and for a product called “Just”, using just an Helvetica-ish font seems appropriate. The period at the end of a lowercase word may drive some, like me, mad but, aesthetically, its connection to the tittle on the “j” might be the most interesting aspect of it.
The old packaging played the artisanal, earthy, plant-based card heavily with the kraft labels and the somewhat naive typography. The plant-sprouting egg graphic was weird. As I mentioned before, the logo was hard to figure out it was a logo or the name of product — a problem that is very effectively fixed in the new packaging through a much clearer typographic hierarchy. Now you clearly see “Just” as the product name. The period, though, becomes a hindrance in being able to read the products as “Just Mayo” or “Just Cookies”.
It took hundreds of swipes and every spare bottle we could find to arrive at the right ones to photograph our Just Mayo jars. If you look closely, complex flavors like Sriracha and Chipotle have more complex motion swipes than their simpler counterparts and the presence of subtle marks from the teeth of a knife add dimensionality to the labels.
Our Just Dressing labels are no different. From Chipotle Ranch to Caesar, each flavor has a distinct leaf on the bottle to differentiate between them. After countless trips to the local market, we arrived at the right arugula for every scrumptious occasion. Once again, shoppers can take a cue from our hues – bolder flavors bear brighter labels while mild ones have more muted tones.
The mayo labels each feature a custom dab of Mayo and the dressings a custom leafy green, which add a nice monochromatic vibe to the packaging. I like how you can tell the mayo and dressings apart by the white or solid color backgrounds. Overall, the minimal typography and deadpan product photography on large swaths of metaphorical and literal white space has been done many times over, making this blend in with dozens other products, including private label brands but the redesign is undoubtedly a major improvement from what it was originally and there are some cool ideas and treatments going on that have the potential to develop into more interesting packaging, especially in the cookie department.
Established in 1998, MVV Energie is one of Germany’s leading energy organizations, operating as a group of regional and municipal companies that cover all stages of the energy industry value chain, from energy generation to sales to energy-related services, with more than 6,000 employees. Additionally,
Established in 1998, MVV Energie is one of Germany’s leading energy organizations, operating as a group of regional and municipal companies that cover all stages of the energy industry value chain, from energy generation to sales to energy-related services, with more than 6,000 employees. Additionally, the company is one of Germany’s leading operators of energy from waste and biomass plants. Last month, MVV introduced a new identity designed by Munich, Germany-based KMS TEAM.
The main idea behind the brand is also the new brand promise: »We inspire with energy«. It conveys MVV’s self-image of being able to connect expertise and ingenuity, and push existing boundaries – for the market as well as the employees. KMS TEAM systematically developed all design elements on this basis. The »energy loop« is an analogue and digital brand element that resonates through the entire brand identity. It also serves as the basis for the corporate logo and as the dynamic signature for the company. The primary company color red is combined with a blue to purple shade to charge it even further.
The old logo was kind of charming with an icon that, were it not a corporate logo, would have been a lovely Mid-century Modern ornament. The pairing, though, with the black typography, one part super wide and the other part condensed, was far from charming and the whole thing had a really dated look. The new logo drops the “Energie” and nearly all readability as well. Unless you know that the company is called MVV, there is no easy way to decipher what the rollercoaster-y loop says. But we will assume the company has enough resources to establish — both at the consumer and corporate levels — that this logo is theirs, in which case it’s kind of hard to forget whose it is. It’s definitely memorable — not in a way that you can then redraw it on demand but in a way that is easy to recognize — and stands out. I mostly like it, in part for its daringness, but I wish the execution of the gradients and shading were more interesting. One of the best examples of this kind of loopy approach done right is Moving Brand’s eir identity, that has a finesse this one lacks. The logo works better on red but, again, like eir, I wish the loops that went behind had a shadow cast on them, not a highlight.
The applications are bold and first-glance-attractive with all the red, big typography — Lineto’s Circular, natch — and zooming loops but, like the logo, the execution is one round short of being more awesome. I’m also blanking out on other identities to point to that use this kind of looping visual language but there are a couple out there, so there is a lack of surprise. In motion, I can’t decide if the zooming loops look better or cheaper… I think some higher-end motion graphics work could have taken this to the next level. Overall, though, this is a relatively exciting approach for an energy company and it’s a bold statement for it, so maybe the next cycle of this identity’s life will build on its potential.
Developed between 2005 and 2011 — originally with the main purpose of building a computer that could compete against humans in Jeopardy! — IBM Watson is an artificial intelligence system that, after successfully defeating the show’s 74-time-winner Ken Jennings, represents “a pioneering collection of ‘cognitive’
“Not So Elementary, my Dear”
Developed between 2005 and 2011 — originally with the main purpose of building a computer that could compete against humans in Jeopardy! — IBM Watson is an artificial intelligence system that, after successfully defeating the show’s 74-time-winner Ken Jennings, represents “a pioneering collection of ‘cognitive’ computing capabilities that can understand, reason, learn and interact.” Watson “asks questions, discerns patterns, draws connections, discovers and delivers insights” and is now applied to everything from accelerating cancer research and treatment to personalizing teaching based on individual student needs, and is available as an API, allowing others to build on it. Recently, IBM has redesigned Watson’s identity in-house led by ex-Wolff Olins Todd Simmons, now VP, IBM Brand Experience & Design, in collaboration with Athletics, Atlason, Universal Everything, ManvsMachine, and Ogilvy.
The old logo came from the visual language of IBM’s “Smarter Planet” icons, designed by Office around 2009 – 10, that had the recurring visual structure of exclamation marks around circular compositions. As an abstract representation of AI — neural-looking, connected things — it was fine and I’m sure no one would have complained if they had kept using it for many more years. The new logo maintains the same structure and similar concept but is executed beautifully, capturing its three-dimensionality in great way through the use of gradients that fade into the back of the sphere. It now feels like the, metaphorically speaking, living system that is Watson. The color palette is quite great, avoiding the typical bright, in-your-face palettes we’ve been seeing these past few years. The animations seal the deal in terms of establishing the structure and presence of the icon.
Some of the applications are still somewhat loose, in development, or in some form of rendering — the website is solid and a crisp representation of the identity — but even from looking at the sample guideline pages you can tell this is very well thought-out and has an attractive, contemporary, techie-but-not-too-techie aesthetic that faithfully represents the renewed design sense of IBM. Overall, this is a great identity for a product that’s really difficult to market and present in a way that makes it feel like the technological advancement that it is while not making it feel like the tool that will kill you in your sleep when the digital overlords and Internet of Things things take over us.
Established in 1868, Oregon State University (OSU) is an international public research university with more than 31,000 students spread across its main campus in Corvallis, OR, as well as in satellite locations in Bend, Newport, and Portland. It is one of two universities in the
Established in 1868, Oregon State University (OSU) is an international public research university with more than 31,000 students spread across its main campus in Corvallis, OR, as well as in satellite locations in Bend, Newport, and Portland. It is one of two universities in the U.S. to have Sea-grant, Space-grant, and Sun-grant designations (meaning they specialize in that research and benefit from grants from specialized institutions). The university also benefits from Oregon’s kick-ass natural beauty and surroundings. Last month, OSU introduced a new logo and identity designed by Austin, TX-based Pentagram partner DJ Stout (and team).
The state flag and the fact that OSU had co-opted Oregon’s official identity featured on one side of the flag, and had taken the beaver featured on the other side, as its school mascot lead the Pentagram team down the road of exploring a simpler rendition of the crest for the university’s identity. A new heraldic shield that could hold up in today’s demanding, small-usage situations-like online and mobile phone applications.
The resulting academic crest, created in the spirit of the longstanding tradition of using heraldry as identity for institutions of higher learning, references the complex, dated-looking state crest but simplifies its symbolism to represent Oregon State’s four major grants: Land, Sea, Sun and Space. A lone Douglas fir, the state tree and an Oregon icon featured on the state’s license plates, towers up through the center of the new shield. The tree, a traditional metaphor for knowledge, represents Oregon State’s specialization in the area of forestry. A large book, another traditional symbol for knowledge, straddles the tree and represents the university’s commitment to academic excellence. On the right side of the composition, three stars representing Oregon State’s space grant and its three main campuses, rise in the sky above three peaks representing the Three Sisters mountains located near Bend where the university’s sister institution, Oregon State Cascades, is based. The date of the university’s founding, 1896, is emblazoned across the face of the mountain range.
The old logo was fine, getting the job done with no-fuzz typography and placing all of its emphasis on the acronym, OSU, which would seem like a good idea except that there is a much more famous OSU: Ohio State University. Nearing its 150th anniversary, the university went back to its roots, when it had adopted the state’s seal and flag as its own logo, but is now doing it in its own way.
I have to admit that I was going to be mostly negative about this new logo. It was going to be my last post before the break last week-and-a-half and in that time my opinion has changed significantly. I still have some major execution-related grievances but my original reaction of what-the-hell-is-this-? has weaned. Reading the story about how OSU had previously used the state’s crest and then seeing this new interpretation has made me warm up to it as it assembles a couple of established traits — mainly the crest’s funky heart-shaped silhouette and the beaver — plus a cadre of new ones that represent all kinds of local and university-related references. It’s a little confusing, like most crests/seals are, and it’s so rare to see a university change into a crest instead of away from one, but there is something unique and charming about it.
My main complaint is the execution… maybe the idea was to make it clunky like a seal designed in the 1800s but it’s 2017 and Adobe Illustrator has come a long way. The elements of the crest all feel different and unrelated… with the beaver standing out the most, with its thick and thin lines, in contrast to the more blunt drawings below it. The line thicknesses seem to all be different (even if perhaps most of them are the same) and looks like a hodgepodge of stock vector files.
Still… it looks good smallish and kinda cool in t-shirts and totes (as you will see below).
Oh, and the wordmark… Klim Type Foundry’s Newzald… although it feels visually detached from the style of the crest it’s somewhat of a good pairing. And it’s a lovely serif. Perhaps it could use a tiny bit of wider letter-spacing as it starts to get muddled in the sub-brands.
One of the main goals was for the institutional beaver to co-exist with the athletics beaver. I don’t know that I would consider them related more than “I get it, OSU’s animal is a beaver and there is a bookish one for studying and an aggressive one for sports”. There is no real synergy but I don’t think there has to be one, as most U.S. universities’ athletics logos are completely different from their institutional counterparts.
Not much in application… just the crest and wordmark in different sizes on different things. The crest does benefit from being isolated from the wordmark and having its own space. The livery, for example, is oddly convincing… like a modern-day horse and buggy. Overall, I appreciate the conceptual approach but wish the execution were more finessed… while also acknowledging that going with a newly-designed crest is an interesting point of differentiation for the university.
Established in 1929, Hawaiian Airlines is the main airline flying to, from, and within Hawaii with 250 daily flights nationally, internationally, and locally. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the airline has had the best on-time performance of all U.S. carriers for the past
“Land of the Rising Flower”
Established in 1929, Hawaiian Airlines is the main airline flying to, from, and within Hawaii with 250 daily flights nationally, internationally, and locally. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the airline has had the best on-time performance of all U.S. carriers for the past 13 years. This month — on Lei Day, no less — Hawaiian Airlines introduced a new logo and livery designed by New York, NY-based Lippincott.
Working closely with cultural experts and a committee of Hawaiian’s front-line employees, Lippincott set out to create a modern identity that preserved the integrity of the brand and stayed true to cherished traditions. Our approach depended on the guidance and buy-in of a particular constituency: long-standing employees who were heavily invested in the Hawaiian Airlines brand. After all, Hawaiian Airlines’ people are the cultural ambassadors who make the company unique; their connection with guests differentiate the airline in a highly competitive market.
An early interjection just to commend that bitchin’ wordmark from 1973 to 1995.
We are unveiling a refreshed logo, livery and overall creative look that honors Pualani and the Hawaiian hospitality she represents. We aimed to retain the essence of our brand and move forward with a bolder, truer expression of our unique identity.
Pualani, with her welcoming smile and proud gaze, embodies our culture even more clearly. Known as the “flower of the sky,” Pualani is now framed by the rising sun, watching over our guests and crew along their journey. To celebrate her regal status, we are featuring purple more prominently in our color palette, complemented by an updated graphical style that reflects our reputation as a premium, global brand.
The airline has had the Pualani icon for 44 years which makes any evolution both easy and hard. Easy in that the discussion on whether it stays or goes is a non-starter, it just stays. Hard in that, what else do you do to it, if anything? I think they had nailed it back in 1990 with a minimal, abstract, almost Marimekko-ish version. The change in 2001 to integrate the profile of Pualani with the hibiscus flower is commendable in that it was a clever way to create a single unit of flower and woman. It was also nicely done, although adding facial features took away the charming abstraction it previously had.
The new icon does away with the background flower, which is the biggest and most drastic change. In its place is a rising sun, which is a fine metaphor but takes away the visual play between the two previous elements. The new composition is not bad at all but, by contrast, it did lose an element of interpretation from the viewer. The refinements to the facial features are all positive and highly improve on the drawing — nitpicking, though, the ends of her hair are very sharp in contrast to the rest of the line style. One thing I really like about the new logo is how the hibiscus flower stands out in bright red.
The wordmark is a big improvement. The old coupling of “HAWAIIAN” and whatever the hell was that “AIRLINES” was awful, while the new pair works so much better together. The inner wisps of the new “A”s have a nice relationship with the hair in the icon and the overall weight and rhythm of “HAWAIIAN” is very well balanced.
In our livery, or exterior aircraft paint, you will see a bold, contemporary rendition of our rich cultural tradition. Pualani looks out over the aircraft from an even more prominent position on the tail. A maile lei–one we use for important occasions–wraps around the body of the aircraft to symbolize the warm welcome we extend to our guests, and the ways that our traditions bind us together as an ‘ohana (family).
Both old and new liveries are fine… nothing to get too excited or riled up about. The new Pualani looks good on the tail and the additional flowers provide a good segue between the full-color tail and the white fuselage. The watermark lei looks alright.
Not much in terms of application and the few samples available are kind of dull and disparate with the introduction of a more classic serif that feels out of place. The gradient flowers feel old. While these are clearly renders and not final product, they feel a little rushed, specially in comparison with the logo that feels like it was very carefully considered. Overall, this isn’t so much an improvement or dis-provement — I know that’s not a word — as it is an alternate, parallel variation of what exists now… with much better typography in the logo, no doubt.
Established in 2010, Format is an online platform for photographers, illustrators, designers, and other creatives that makes it easy to build portfolio websites without writing any code. This week, Format introduced a new identity designed in-house.
“You Do You”
Established in 2010, Format is an online platform for photographers, illustrators, designers, and other creatives that makes it easy to build portfolio websites without writing any code. This week, Format introduced a new identity designed in-house.
“Being an inspiring artist is both a noble pursuit and prestigious accomplishment. Our new slogan–Few Can Do What You Do–is about acknowledging this greatness; the greatness of those who have chosen to pursue their dreams by working in a creative industry. We want to empower visual artists, celebrate their uniqueness and help them succeed,” explains CEO Lukas Dryja.
To bring this message to life, the company has launched a quirky multilayered campaign that reflects the vast creativity of its community. A tongue-in-cheek video series calls out the all-too-familiar truism that creatives think they’re better than everyone else, simultaneously poking fun at and applauding the tribe. Each of the five shorts spotlights a boastful creative and a bizarre set of activities that they’re better at than most, because, few can do what they do. With the campaign comes a new logo, visual identity and redesign of Format’s portfolio-building platform, its most significant update to date. Hundreds of hours were spent gathering user feedback, designing and coding to deliver a more intuitive and powerful platform that looks and feels sharper, cleaner and simplified.
Format provided text
I had not heard of Format before and if I had, I probably wouldn’t have thought much more of it based on their old logo alone, which was as dry as an erase board would be if it were someone’s portfolio website. The old logo maybe had the right idea of being simple and unobtrusive to allow the service to be the main attraction but it was completely forgettable. The new logo achieves what the old one set out to do but in a more confident, interesting, and memorable way. It’s still just a wordmark but every letter stands out. Typeset in Px Grotesk — in case you didn’t have enough of it from yesterday’s SSE post — the logo amplifies the font’s horizontal slabs with a custom “m” while making it more unique and ownable. It’s a cool-looking wordmark that is a perfect fit for the creative audience but it’s also not super weird that it might alienate the more conservative user.
The identity is heavily on the hipster nouveau side of things — harsh color combos, monospace-ish font, random shape arrangements, gradients — that, in a way, instantly says “Guys, over here! We are creative!” which is a little grating if you can see what they are going for but, ultimately, it does manage to convey a much groovier aesthetic than something like Wix and a less corporate mindset than something like Squarespace — neither reference is meant to be a slight, just pointing out similar services that occupy different ranges of the spectrum.
What ultimately won me over on this project is the low key campaign that has an offbeat sense of humor in taking the piss out of creatives with a series of slightly despicable yet lovable individuals. The budget for these was just enough to display some decent production values but they are mostly rough around the edges (in a good way). The tone-on-tone-on-tone of the clothing and the background are particularly good in establishing the deadpan approach while the copywriting and voiceover are on point. Having never heard of Format before, even though they have been around for almost seven years, this has certainly made me take notice and I’m fairly positive I won’t be the only one. Despite some of the too-cool-for-school graphics what this campaign and identity achieve is to say to creatives “We are on your side” while giving their in-house design team a fun foundation to work from and establish a more defined presence for the company.
Established in 2016, Sydney School of Entrepreneurship (SSE) is a new partnership between twelve tertiary institutions — eleven of them universities and one, TAFE NSW, a vocational school — in the Australian state of New South Wales. Funded by the NSW government and modeled after
“Getting in Shape”
Established in 2016, Sydney School of Entrepreneurship (SSE) is a new partnership between twelve tertiary institutions — eleven of them universities and one, TAFE NSW, a vocational school — in the Australian state of New South Wales. Funded by the NSW government and modeled after the Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship in Sweden, the SSE aims to attract 1,000 students each year to its program that will be part of existing undergraduate degrees at each partner university with the mission “to establish new generations of entrepreneurs with a wider world view”. The identity for SSE has been designed by Sydney-based For The People.
Driven by data streams from students, the school and the NSW economy, the new SSE brand expresses the personality of the students, the activity within the school and the economic success stories SSE creates. The brand visually reflects the performance of the school in real time, creating a unique logo on a daily basis. It forms both a visual record of the school’s impact, as well as the opportunity to visualise what future successes might look like.
A dynamic generator allows students to create their own personal logo, based upon character traits prevalent in successful entrepreneurs. This is aggregated into the SSE brand, along with data drawing from the physical activity within the campus and the constantly changing economic data of NSW.
The inputs that drive the logo — “students”, “school activity”, and “economy” — are far from scientifically rigorous and highly subjective (other than whether school is in session or not) so they really are just fancy excuses for making a flexible logo system which, to be honest, works for me. I like the results generated by the logo app, revolving around a minimal geometric SSE skeleton that uses shapes from the building where the SSE will be headquartered. The logos also manage to capture the broadness of the notion of entrepreneurship through a set of logos that look “busy” and kind of exciting but you don’t exactly know why or how, just like the hype around entrepreneurship (i.e., I could call UnderConsideration an entrepreneurial venture but, no, we are just out here busting our asses trying to make a living on our own in unconventional ways and don’t try to package it as entrepreneurship, but I digress).
The generative icons lend themselves really well for applications, establishing a bold and vibrant aesthetic that stretches equally well from business cards to website.
Apart from the logo generator, there is a type generator for headlines and other elements of the application. The inputs get a little more douchey — settings like “cognitive” and “micro”/”macro” make my skin crawl — but, again, the results are engaging and cool-looking. More importantly and less relevantly than my own personal sentiments, this literally speaks the language of entrepreneurship in a way that will be empowering for the administration behind the school and the two generator tools are perfect for helping them create materials they can stand behind.
The whole identity uses Px Grotesk, a cool, techie-looking font that makes it clear SSE isn’t your typical university course; I’m not a huge fan of the font but it does have a killer “a”. Further in application there is the inclusion of colorful geometric shapes that are bigger versions of the shapes used in the logos and type. These literally add another dimension to the application that looks cool but maybe starts to get too frenetic. Overall, this has a contemporary, visually exciting aesthetic that may not have a huge lifespan — five years before it changes? — but has the right bombastic-ness for launching this program.