Stewart K. Widdess probably didn't think he was making history. For the time being, all he had to make was a name and a logo. It was 1961, and Widdess was the publicity man for Dayton's in Minneapolis. A downtown landmark since 1902, Dayton's was a fancy department store that sold things like fine jewelry and cashmere sweaters.
Ready to release your new logo to the world? Hold up a tick. Are you 100 percent sure it doesn't look like ladybits or man berries? Truly embracing the tenets of due diligence and risk mitigation, graphic designer Josh Mishell this week launched GenitalsOrNot.com, a satirical service that offers to spot the (hopefully) unintentional genitals in logos before they go pubic. Er, public. "As with anything with which you are intimately familiar, sometimes it takes a third party to notice when something isn't quite right," the site notes. "If you're unsure if your own design or the design an agency has performed for you has exposed accidental genitals in your design, hire us to perform a complete genital review."
The White House doesn't publicize changes to its brand identity. But something fishy has been going on with its logo over the past decade, according to a design agency that worked on refresh ideas for the famous mark several years ago.
OK, so we didn't like the new Instagram logo that much. But could you do any better? That's the challenge that DesignCrowd.com gave its community, and submissions have been flooding in from users. Obviously these are pretty quick sketches, for the most part—but do any of them strike your fancy?
Agencies talk a lot about brand DNA. Well, this Brooklyn agency's brand is its DNA. Travis Weihermuller and Dominic Santalucia want their shop, lifeblood, to explore "what makes us human." So, they did so literally with their brand identity—by having their DNA analyzed in a lab, and pulling sequences that were unique to each of them.
Instagram unveiled a new logo Wednesday, and it may well go down as one of the biggest design fails of the year.
Brands talk endlessly about attention to individual customers. But Brazilian telecom company Oi has extended that idea to its very logo—a shapeshifting mark that responds to sound and looks different to every customers who speaks to it. "We developed an interactive approach to the identity, experimenting with sound and touch activation, so that there could be as many subtle variations of the Oi logo as there are people who interact with it," says Wolff Olins, the design shop behind it.
A logo should instantly trigger a consumer's recognition of a brand and all it represents. But there are a lot of brands out there and, consequently, a lot of logos. Just take a stroll down a busy urban street—or a scroll down your Facebook feed. It can bring on a case of logo overload.
Many of the world's most recognizable brands have the world's most recognizable logos. And a successful visual identity of a brand can, even without showing the brand name, make consumers name it instantly.
Best Western International is checking out, and Best Western Hotels & Resorts is checking in. Along with tweaking its name this week, the 69-year-old hotel chain, which operates more than 4,100 properties in 100 countries, scrapped its familiar blue-and-gold logo in favor of different visual markers for its primary range of properties.