Monday, February 23, 2009

Lack of Craft

A recent article on BrandWeek.com stated: "As the economy gets uglier, logos are getting prettier." Personally, I wouldn't call the the recent re-branding efforts by various established brands prettier. True, tough economic times call for desperate measures; however, do they call for tacky design as well? Unfortunately, this appears to be the case. Kraft Foods is the latest victim of a child-like and playful re-branding effort. I understand the concept -- make the logos softer, more approachable -- but I don't agree with the execution. Much like the recent Wal-mart re-branding, Kraft Foods opted for a new color palette, lower-case font, and the addition of a sun burst-esque symbol meant to convey a smile (cringe!). In both cases, I think that a "softer, more approachable look" could have been attained without relying on symbols that are more fitting for a day-care center, or children's hospital. An example of this can be seen in the Cingular Wireless logo which has unfortunately been retired due to corporate merging. Playfulness, approachability and freshness were achieved while maintaining a sophisticated, sleek appeal....or maybe I just really love the color orange. The article goes on to state that this current trend in branding is a direct result of the Google mark by claiming, "Google’s multicolor design and the company’s willingness to tweak its logo for holidays and such have been widely influential." Again, I can see the correlation, but the final product of both Wal-Mart and Kraft do not hold the same sophistication as the Google logo. If the current marks are meant to be influenced by Google they should remember why Google is so successful -- simplicity. Simplicity is the cornerstone of the Google logo; primary colors, clean font, and the lack of additional marks or symbols make the logo effective. Wired.com ran an article about the evolution of the Google logo. I love seeing a logo transform from start to finish, especially one that we are all so familiar with now. Again, looking at the early phases one can see how the designer played with the idea of using symbols and various color schemes, yet ultimately came back to the simple and straight-forward design that remains compelling today. Do you think any of these early stages would have made the same impact as the current logo? I highly doubt it. ••••


4 comments:

Sarah Martin said...

Interesting post.

I kind of dig the last version of the google logo. I've never been a hige fan of the current logo to begin with.

As for Kraft...WTF is that?!

Tess Mattern said...

"I think that a "softer, more approachable look" could have been attained without relying on symbols that are more fitting for a day-care center, or children's hospital"

SO well put! It is really becoming comical to see how many ways the same lowercase wordmark + star motif can be used for completely different companies.

I'm not wild for the Google logo myself (I hate the typeface), but I am kind of digging the last option as well... and parts of the second to last, although the concept is REALLY cheesy.

Meghan Colvin said...

I agree with both of you; I like the last option of the Google logo, however, I don't care for the rainbow color scheme.

sarahheartsdesign said...

Before I even read the article I thought that the new Kraft logo looked like the new Walmart logo- ICK. Not a fan of either.