Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Reaction to New AT&T and UPS Logos

Nate Voss posted a November 22nd blog entry in Be A Design Group reacting to the new logo designs (now called "brand identity avatars") for AT&T (now, at&t) and UPS. They rely on dimensionality and shading to take advantage of flexibility afforded by new media outlets--internet, wireless phone, high-definition television, etc. Traditional graphic design has forever been changed by technology. Many of the traditional rules still apply but are being ignored by the non-designer branding specialists churning out these new avatars.

He writes, "My advice to the graphic designers of the world: Look at UPS and AT&T. Get used to that. Get ready to execute like that. And by god get ready to do it better than the people doing it now."


Anonymous said...

I agree that technology is changing the face of graphic design but I dont agree that design that relys on dimensionality and shading will be the "new" way to start looking at design. As graphic designers we have a job to make the complicated simple. Our main goal should be to comunicate without using to much information but still be able get this information across. The way I feel is if your Logo cant be reproduced by a stencil than it will one day die, but what do I know Im just a student.

Elio L. Arteaga, MFA said...

Thanks for your comment. I agree that logos should be simple. Check out my October 13th post on simplicity in logo design. I feel that the simpler solutions are the most powerful ones.

This idea has nothing to do with limitations of technology as Mr. Voss suggests. True, reproducing a logo such as the new at&t avatar the size of a quarter on a business card will require tight tolerances in paper, halftone screen frequency, CMYK ink color registration, etc. Let's assume that can be done with no problems nowadays. When a logo communicates a message as charged with symbolism as the or Find! logos do, and as simply as they do, I feel the message is 10x stronger.

Elio L. Arteaga, MFA said...

Listen to Be A Design Cast 3 (podcast 7Mb) for Nate Voss's further comments on the AT&T logo. He says the highlight in the new logo runs counterintuitive to the highlight in the original logo, represented by thicker lines. He also is not happy with the kerning between the ampersand and the second "t." Voss also mentioned that most of the people that have seen the new logo, didn't even realize it's new.

In the the following blog post, Tobias Brauer states that logos are sometimes embroidered on shirts or etched into architectural elements of buildings. Logos with dimensionality and shading will not make that transition very well, so a simpler logo would need to be designed for those applications. Two logos means less memorability. So why not just have one logo?