Blog Archives

All Archived Posts in Critique



MovingBrands 2011 HP Progress Marque Logo Now Being Used

Great news, reported by Verge, that HP are now going to be using the HP Progress Marque logo design, that MovingBrands came up with back in 2011.

I clearly remember when MovingBrands initially announced their collaboration with HP on a much larger branding project.

Many were a little disappointed that HP didn't decide to use the new logo design, and it was left as an unused, and unapproved, logo design concept.

Clearly it wasn't completely forgotten, and maybe some one at HP saw the Progress Marque's potential somewhere down the line.

 

MovingBrands-HP-progress-mark-logo

Hewlett Packard have now announced that they will be using the MovingBrands logo, dubbed the 'Progress Marque' designed back in 2011, for a newly released premium range of laptop, called Spectre 13.

I think the Progress Marque certainly ties in nicely with the Spectre name, they sort of feel they do fit together.

Obviously a James Bond connection comes to mind with 'Spectre', and for me Spectre does create feelings of: hardness, angled, sharp, clarity etc etc etc.

A bit cheesy maybe, the Spectre name… OK, quite a lot I think.

 

HP-Laptop-Progress-Mark-Logo-MovingBrands

Three Brand Logos?

Now there three different brand logos used: Hewlett Packard Enterprise, HP and now the HP Laptops "Progress Mark".

HP-Logo-HPE-Logo-HP-Progress-Mark

I realise that HPE now covers corporate hardware and services, whilst HP deals with the computer and printer business, but still… now having three HP logos.

It sure is good, from a design perspective, to finally see that Progress Mark being used.

MovingBrands-HP-progress-mark-logo-design


The Best Rebrand Ever: Virgin America Brand Update

Virgin America Brand Update: There have been far too many recent examples of such poorly designed, and executed rebrands. 

It is with happy heart that Virgin America has really upped the game when it comes to brand redesigns.

I for one will be carefully watching how future brand redesigns use Virgin America as a benchmark for: quality and sheer creative professionalism, as well as the utter commitment required when taking on an epic responsibility of a logo redesign.

It's such a joy, and blessed relief, to finally witness a logo and brand identity redesign that really gets it.

 

Virgin America Logo Design Rebrand

 

Virgin America: "To achieve the look and feel, a team of 15 designers spent over 2,500 hours perfecting the precise shape of the circles. In fact, if you look closely, you’ll see that each circle is designed to mimic the nose of our Airbus A320 aircraft."

"From a series of eight simple dots that reflected each year we’ve operated as an airline to long, hard tubes that were meant to convey our upward trajectory as an airline – we explored every angle. Connor soon struck inspiration at an N_Fuzion retreat in Northern Wisconsin – a safe haven for unfettered brainstorming – an area Virgin America doesn’t fly to and has no association with."

 

Virgin America Logo Design Rebrand

 

Changing the World 

Virgin America: "We hope you love this logo as much as we do. We think this new face for our brand will not only upend the design norm, but also fundamentally change the entire world for the better. When you look at this logo, you’re not just looking at a drawing or shapes. You’re looking at what it means to be human. It’s a reminder that Virgin America is more than just a company that moves people from point A to point B – it’s a way of being. We truly understand the essence of humanity, and when you fly on our aircraft, you feel it."

 

Virgin America Logo Design Rebrand

Select Quotes on Virgins Successful Brand Redesign

Bryan Young: "Love the brainstorming ideas... they all look like boobs, penises, and vaginas. That's a brand I can sink my teeth into! "

Joe: "While some may see a pair of breasts, others see a pair of intricately groomed testicles. Coiffed genitalia soaring at 35,000 feet, touching the face of god. Virgin America"

Joseph Reesha: "I am LOVING this Logo every minute I keep it in front of me. WOW!"

Elizaio: "Well done. A masterpiece! World changing indeed. BRAVO!"

 

Virgin America Logo Design Rebrand

Obviously I know this is an April Fools in case people think I've finally lost the plot. I actually lost it along time ago…



dungeons and dragons ampersand_flat

It's kind of hard to actually look at anything other than this beautifully crafted Dungeons & Dragons Ampersand for the new logo redesign. Since when does an ampersand literally outshine, and out class, the rest of the logo?

There is almost a painful injustice to the somewhat insignificant sizing of the ampersand when you really absorb the new Dungeons & Dragons logo design, as a whole, in.

When you see this mighty ampersand enlarged to magnificent proportions, it's clear it is a masterpiece of type craftsmanship that deserves to hog the limelight. Yet, when placed in situ, between Dungeons and Dragons wording, you can't help but feel the ampersand deserves to break free of it's shackles.

 

New dungeons and dragons ampersand with chrome effect

New dungeons and dragons ampersand with chrome effect

New dungeons and dragons logo design

The actual Dungeons and Dragons wording is very tastefully done as well, but I just can't help but feel the ampersand is simply far too beautiful to be an 'and'. Who wouldn't die to have this ampersand as the dominant part of a logo design?

Wondering then if this ampersand will indeed be used solo? I'm thinking it would be a perfect fit for things like a new website favicon, a social media profile photo for Twitter etc? That would be a great used of such an awesome ampersand design, and would make me feel far happier.

As reported by BrandNew: Glitschka Studios designed the ampersand; the in-house design team at parent company, Hasbro, designed the rest of the wordmark and added the chrome effect.

Some of the ampersand variations that Glitschka Studios played with:

New dungeons and dragons  logo design ideas


Fourteen Logo Design by WeAreMash

Fourteen logo design, by WeAreMash

It's quite something when I am so tempted to say that the Fourteen logo design, by WeAreMash, is one of the sweetest logo designs I have seen, certainly this year.

It's just so so fantastically clever.

One one hand, and I remember exactly what I thought when I first saw it was a sense of slight, I was thinking "what is that symbol at the beginning?", then it just hit me milliseconds, or so later. From that moment on: this (on the surface) simple, but so brilliantly executed F & 14, now feels like a natural letter and number combo. Nothing feels forced, pushed, shoehorned or squeezed.

The key, I think, is the lowering of the top of the F, so it sits underneath the O, and the rest of the letters allowing that floating dash to occupy one full depth upwards. So rather than floating way above everything else, the dash is sort of acting like a regular capital letter F, where the rest of the letters are in fact small caps. That's an important detail that makes it work.

I would be so interested to see if they hit this off straight away, or if it took many attempts to get the exact right balance of F and that floating bar to form the 14? I would imagine it was the latter, a number of attempts to get it perfect.

Thing is, you can come up with a super idea just like that, but then the execution of it takes weeks and weeks. The Fourteen logo design, or logotype/wordmark, just feels so natural and right, yet at the same time certainly draws you in, and gets your brain tingling on first sight. Several days in after first seeing it on BrandNew, I still absolutely love it to bits.

One of those, wish I had had the chance to come up with that one!

Fourteen Web Design by WeAreMash Fourteen Identity Design by WeAreMash

Fourteen Logo Design by WeAreMash





Checkmark App Icon Hall of Shame

I had this idea to do a constructive break-down of all the iOS productivity applications in the Apple App Store that used the checkmark/tick as the primary/secondary design focus.

I thought this would be a good opportunity to look at some of the many app icons that utilise the ever popular checkmark/tick.

This wasn't about criticising or highlighting badly or brilliantly designed icons—there are some wonderfully designed checkmark styled icons like Cheddar, Things, OmniFocus—it was simply going to be a sobering run down of how many apps use this overused visual image.

This wasn't even going to be about saying the checkmark is a bad idea, because it really isn't so bad. Sometimes it's hard to reinvent the wheel when a visual image, like the checkmark, has very real roots within the practical and physical (hands, pen and paper) world.

The checkmark has attained this, almost, symbiotic link with the productivity iOS app, and used as the defacto visual icon.

With so many competeting productivity applications using the same visual checkmark for the icon, and quite often the actual brand identity, I can't help but feel a little frustrated about it. If this shows just one thing: there are far far too many to-do-list applications that don't offer anything new/better that the other million apps don't offer.

The Post Prep

I started prepping the post by looking through the Tunes App Store Productivity category picking out each app icon that uses the checkmark.

The Reality

Worth noting that there are 7655 apps within the Productivity category, and that's just the iPhone Paid applications.

My heart sunk at such a large number of applications to go through, but I started in earnest. There were 180 results per page with 43 pages to wade through. Clearly a huge amount, but I figured I could just screengrab each one and fly through pretty quickly.

Ha. Ha bloody ha.

By page 8 my eyes were bleeding, by page 13 I had lost the battle to want to take any more air into my lungs.

I want to reiterate that the Hall of Shame has nothing to do with calling out badly designed icons—although some are just hideous—it is, however, about highlighting an apparent lack of creativity, and imagination, when faced with having to design an icon for a to-do-list app. The one exception is if your app is called Checkmark!

In Context

The image above contains just the app icons gathered from the first 13 of 43 pages from Productivity category in the Paid iPhone (not iPad) section.

With another 30 pages to go I simply gave up with the stupid crazy assed idea. I will assume that there are more checkmark/tick icons in the following 30 pages, the Free section, in other categories and iPad only applications etc etc.

Can we just PLEASE have a little more thought put into iOS productivity app naming (Remember The Milk) so that icons other than checkmarks might be used? Please?

 


Rolling Stones 50th Anniversary Logo By Shepard Fairey

Digging the new Rolling Stones 50th Anniversary Logo By Shepard Fairey which is featured on OBEY. Thankfully Richard kept to the original lips'n tongue of Jagger: tweaked a few lines here and there to keep it fresh.

DesignTaxi:The Stones’ new logo was based on their original, classic tongue and lips trademark designed by John Pasche in the 1971, which according to Fairey, is the ‘essence of rebellion and sexuality that is the allure of all rock ‘n’ roll."

A commentator on TAXI remarked that the right side of the lip, looking at it front on, looks like it's hanging weirdly low.

Strangely the original logo also has the lip hanging this far down (see comparison below), but you'll notice that the original tongue has more volume: flaring more dramatically towards the end, whereas the new tongue has lost some volume. This lip doesn't look/feel so low in the original logo?

New vs Old

To be perfectly frank with you: after staring at the comparison of old vs new that I much prefer the original Jagger mouth. The original one has more of a caricature look/feel than the new Jagger mouth which ultimately gives it more soul and personality.

The new logo isn't bad, but I just now feel some things would be better off left alone.

K Found on DesignTaxi.com

Rolling Stones Logo Mouth