Who Designed the Identity for AOL’s Owl?

When last we checked in with graphic artist and visual provacateur Geoff McFetridge, he was beaming beside giant yellow thumbtacks arrayed in a thorny halo on the floor of Deitch Projects. Entitled “Even the Simplest Shapes Wish to Become Logos One Day,” the 2009 work was his contribution to Lance Armstrong and Nike’s “Stages” exhibition. Among McFetridge’s latest projects is whipping up an endearing egghead identity for Owl, AOL’s answer to Wikipedia. The would-be “living, breathing library” of user-submitted expert knowledge is still in beta, so content offerings are slim, servicey, and odd: “5 Hip Styles from the 80s,” “Cricket Legends,” “How to Survive an Economic Recession” (tip #1: Keep your job, tip #2: If you lose your job, find another one). The match of AOL and McFetridge was made by Partners & Spade, the quirky creative enterprise of Andy Spade and Anthony Sperduti. “For Owl, Spade and Sperduti commissioned McFetridge to come up with a logo,” notes Amy Larocca in her recent New York magazine piece on all things Spade. “The result is a shaky line drawing of a giant head balanced on two scrawny little chicken feet. It’s a completely low-tech approach to something big and modern, and suddenly the whole thing has a sense of humor, which Wikipedia really doesn’t. Sperduti smiles at it. ‘I can’t believe they went for it,’ he admits.”