AOL Un-Brands with Un-Logo

by Holland-Mark | November 23, 2009

So AOL is going through a re-branding effort as it’s spun out of Time Warner, and a video of the CEO announcing the effort to employees has surfaced.

First … due respect … this is not “the brand,” it is “the logo.” Pet peeve of mine.

Second, while I’m not in the habit of criticizing other agencies’ work, I really think the mark itself is a mistake. On a practical level, a negative-space logo like this – particularly one that only functions on top of other content – is an Art Director’s nightmare.

On a conceptual level, it strikes me as too-clever-by-half. A great logo should add value to what it represents, not call attention to itself, as this does.

Finally, on a strategic level, I just don’t see how this non-idea could ever replace the swirly-A logo we’ve all known for so long. And it needs to.

How to Make a Logo

If you need a logo, take a piece of paper, and write down what you want it to make people think.

Got it? Great. Throw that away.

Now think of what you want your logo to make people feel. Write that down, not as a paragraph, but as a word or two. Then get someone with talent to design something that does that.

That’s what I think, anyway. How about you?

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