When it comes to organizations rebranding efforts it feels as though people are using the handy tools at their finger tips to take a power trip. Thousands of people scream and shout about how the color of a logo is not just right. The text is never in a font they like or the size is too small. Consumers everywhere shout to anyone who will listen, or scan their blog, “that looks like it took 25 seconds to make”. Well don’t the most successful branding designs look like they took no time at all? Coca-Cola, Adidas, and Honda have extremely basic designs that are instantly recognized by an overwhelming majority of the population. These three logos have single color schemes and do not appear as if they took weeks of planning. This statement is a poor excuse to discredit designers concepts.
Recently, the Big Ten college conference set out to update a two decade old logo. Designers Michael Bierut and Michael Gericke of Pentagram researched a variety of ideas and settled on a simple typography design that works well in several areas.
The older logo many sports fans and Big Ten Alums have formed a fond connection with no longer fits. Its hidden “11” an attempt to represent the 1990 addition of Penn State to the conference, limits a growing conference (Nebraska is the newest member). People feel clever when they notice the number in the negative of the text. This creates some emotional attachment that makes it too difficult for some people to let go of the old design. Great things about the new design should not be overlooked just because it is different. The font is bold and the color is bright. Fast Co Design’s article which first informed me about this rebranding has great conceptual images of the logo in action.
Although the fonts are different, the G in “B1G” reminds me a bit too much of Gatorade’s “G”. Maybe that is why I think it looks really great on a bottle. The “B” allows some room to be either an outlined or filled character in order to create contrast helping people identify the “10” aspect of the design. The overall bold, simplicity is very 21st century which is what a lot of brands are looking for today. There is also a sense of value associated with this typographical design. Perhaps rather than bash the designers online, people should check what elements the design should represent. Do you care more about this logos font or the message it sends about the high quality educational institutions it represents?