Sunday, November 8, 2009

Thin is In

Ever since Pepsi's (terrible) logo change, I've been noticing logo and brand changes everywhere and the one trend that I notice is the popularity of thin, grotesk fonts.

Pepsi went from this:

To this:

The circle and swish does not feel right any more, and the new logotype seems so out of place alongside it. I don't even feel excited by it at all. What was wrong with the old logo? It was exciting, visually spelled "SODA POP," and allowed the logotype to sit in with the logo, which I personally thought was pretty cool.

A lot of critics have said that Pepsi basically sold out by making their logo similar to Obama's logo, and yeah, it sure seems like it. Whatever went down there, I don't really like it.

Here's another example of a logotype liposuction:

If you were a high school student at any time within the past 5 or so years, you know full well what SparkNotes is.

This is SparkNotes' logotype today. I guess I don't have too much to say about either one, aside from my idea that the new one is buying into the new "thin grotesk type" trend.

Nickelodeon also went through a few logo facelifts.

This is the Nick logo I know and love from back in the day! I liked the thick typeface within the splat. The splat was huge because it related to an event that Nickelodeon always held that involved sliming people. Sure, the slime was green and not orange, but this logo served well.

Somewhere down the line it turned into this, and I liked it too: the splat was less cartoony but it still got the point across, and I liked how the ends of "Nickelodeon" bled off the graphic into the negative space. It was subtle, but updated the logo from its old days.

Here's the newest logo.
All right, it's not thin, but the typeface is definitely reaching for the more modern, streamlined look, and it deviates so far from its original that I don't really like it. The iconic splat has been reduced to a mere clean droplet above the "i." Slime is not clean.

I know I'm only a student, but I recognize that a good logotype doesn't always have to be super-clean and streamlined. Above all, it has to tell us what the company it represents is all about. And not every company is going to be the same, they all have characters and motives and goals different from one another.

And if I saw every single company with a skinny-ass logotype, I would kill myself upon realizing that I live in a sci-fi utopia world and that Big Brother is probably watching.


Justin said...

. . . Wow. Is that seriously Pepsi's newer logo? (You can tell what I don't drink) That really is just awful. There's no fun, no uniqueness, it is just bland and boring.

And while I don't have an opinion on the SparkNotes change, my nerdRAAAAAAGE swells at the Nickelodeon change. Don't mess with the splat, fools!

Brent said...

That kinda reminds me of the Web 2.0 idea. People who want to make sites with oversized buttons and reflections a la Apple.

Anonymous said...

I really love the new logos over the old ones. So much cleaner. Maybe you are letting nostalgia interfere with any knowledge of typography you might have? Each to their own.

Jolls said...

Above all else, a logo must show the nature of the company it represents. All that is clean does not have to be airy and thin. Personally, when I see those thin logotypes the only thing that comes to mind is generic alternatives to brand-names... and when you have a brand-name company doing that, it has a bad connotation.

I have no problem with thin logos in general, it's just that when big brand names start following a trend it starts to look all the same and each brand loses its individuality in the process.

LydiaNPerez said...

I love your perspective ... gosh i havent really been insynced with today's advertising but thanks for pointing it out![:

Brent said...

I found yet another company guilty of this

I didn't even recognize the company, I thought it was some backwater homebrewn group... then I realized...