Every time a brand presents a logo, the hornet’s nest of social networks is stirred, where all the designers go out — we go out — to give our respective opinions.
We know that there are prohibited adjectives when making any criticism. Saying “he’s pretty / ugly” or “I like / don’t like” is equivalent to being stung by all these wasps that don’t let a comma pass. Even so, and with all the aggressiveness that we usually see, there are those who take courage and drop all the rigor of their opinion regardless of their moral integrity.
You may be interested: DesignLifer: Bad Clients 1
For the vast majority, except for honorable exceptions, the way of criticizing any image reveals not only the experience and tables of those who say them, but what lies behind their skin: their training, their methodology, their discipline and by far their personal taste. There are even those who focus more on criticism from the very discourse of the brand, that is, the explanation with which they justify the way in which this change will mark their lives.
BBVA —to give an example— talks about the unity of the company through work teams, as if: 1, it really mattered to the general public; 2, as if before you did not work as a team or if you are the only company that does it and 3, as if the internal dynamics of the company changed somewhat.
All mortals, that is, the designers except those who worked on the redesign, take it for granted that they use methodologies that mark an abysmal separation with everyday design, based on reticles, perfectly ordered sketches, without erasures, without strikeouts, without notes sexy to the foot; They went through market research, rigorous analysis of readability and usability, which exhausted any situation in which the logo could be compromised, such as a risographic print or a poor sign on the fence.
So we see them, as unattainable, with the open budget and the bills full of many zeros.
The reality is that a large number of redesigns were made from the design departments themselves. Thus, logos such as that of Yahoo!, Walmart, Fossil, NFL, their credit is attributable to a work team that is often lost in anonymity, whose market studies are limited to the high command and coworkers of the same floor, betting that a change is often distracting enough to feel that it is a new beginning, a new direction, a reinvention or with the arrival of a new CEO, who like any politician, wants to mark his cattle with a new iron.
To decorate it, phrases such as “a more digital image”, “for new technologies”, “going towards the simple”, “to connect with the young audience” are used, losing ourselves in what the background really implies.
Sometimes I imagine the trend of redesigns as a big black hole towards where all brands are heading, where they all end up being the same, with sources sans serif, in small verses, spaced and flat.
They justify flattening as a fad, when they really become neutral and flexible; They sell them to new audiences, when they continue to maintain the same image as the previous ones, that is, in seeking to justify a logo, we seek more the bombastic part than what it really conveys.
Luciano Cassisi and Raúl Belluccia They claim that redesigning logos like VW’s are necessary for situations that have nothing to do with design. After a fiasco like altering computers to make it seem like cars pollute less than they actually do, they force this brand to accelerate its electrical development, and to be forceful, they redesign the logo to show a new facet. On the other hand, redesigns like BBVA’s find no valid justification within the arguments offered by the same company, with applications and a style that has a very short useful life. Let’s not doubt that in less than five years or a decade the graphic requires an adjustment or improvement – now yes – to the logo.
Criticizing an identity must be done from a neutral perspective, that is, without the contamination of a corporate justification, which only serves to divert attention or focus on the client so that they see what the company wants, when the design work is precisely that , to transmit a personality that reflects what the brand already is, or pretends to be, not from the design, but from the complete package with which it will be sold to its public.
You may be interested: DesignLifer: Bad Clients 2.
Without hearing any official justification, the first time I saw the image of the Paris 2024 Olympics I thought of a woman, with the relevance that this implies in the current context, I thought of France as a woman dressed in fashion, with her lips painted and an expensive and sophisticated perfume, I saw a torch, like the Olympic fire, but the most relevant thing is that I did not see the dynamism with which it is usually tied with sport or the play of colors to denote personality using the same elements as always . On the other hand, an elegant gold, although muted, which gives the opposite impression, somewhat refined, difficult to maneuver and complex. There I also thought of the French, with that personality sometimes so sophisticated that they take everywhere.
Later I found out that the woman’s name is Marianne and that it effectively represents France; that there is also a medal, but they were irrelevant to me, the message is given and the consequences of its interpretation taken, no matter what the official justification says.
It is very easy to give an opinion like the one I have just expressed in the two previous paragraphs, however, that is where we denote professionalism, discipline, originality and a deep critical sense beyond the common places that are read everywhere: ¿ What is the brand looking for? Why is it making the change? Was it necessary? Did something relevant happen beyond the design? Was the objective achieved?
A redesign is the perfect excuse to sell design, so that customers understand its value and the reasons why they should understand when it’s time for a change. Criticizing it is a window to the world of design, to its priorities, objective and functionality, beyond what the brand says it is.