Brand New Picks the Best and Worst of Branding in 2009

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2009 might not be considered a red-letter year in branding, either in the bad or good categories, following the past couple of years’ logo flare ups, like with Wolff Olins‘ seizure-enducing work for the London Olympics or Pepsi spending a bazillion dollars on their new look. While there wasn’t much on that scale, the notable exception being that week of angry screaming at Tropicana, there was still a whole lot of rebranding going on out there this year, all of which has been ranked by Armin Vit for Brand New‘s “The Best and Worst Identities of 2009.” In the worst list, there’s all the one’s you’d expect, like Bing‘s stretchy logo and Yale‘s decision to axe Paul Rand‘s iconic work. In the best category, that’s where the awards clearly will rattle some cages. Not only does the Sci-Fi Channel‘s weird move to SyFy make the list, but AOL‘s rebranding comes in as Vit’s pick for best of the year. However, like when Time picks a bad guy for their person of the year, he preemptively defends the decision by saying, “…AOL is neither technically nor aesthetically the best logo or identity of the year. But no identity will have a bigger impact in the evolution of a brand as AOL’s.” Overall, we don’t necessarily agree with the list 100% (Tropicana still should have been acknowledge in there somewhere, since actual consumers were aware of it, not just we design folk), but therein lies the constant struggle of the year end list-reader.