What a logo says

If you read the post I wrote earlier this week about Northfield’s Malt O Meal renaming itself MOM Brands, you probably can figure out that my non-artistic side tends to think the “branding” business is a snake oil industry.

Today, the journalism community is abuzz with another example of that.

The Associated Press announced a new logo today. It’s changing from this:

ap_old.jpg

To this:

ap_new.jpg

“The AP Masterbrand Strategy enables us to channel our brand traits, personality, vision and promise into a new visual identity system that captures our history and guides our future,” the AP says in its brochure outlining the reasons for the change.

What, then, does the new logo say to you that the old logo didn’t? According to the AP:

Gutsy

Resourceful

Connected

The logo “stands upright to stress integrity.” the marketers said.

  • Jim Shapiro

    What does the new logo say to me?

    Bigger boat for graphic design consultant.

  • John P II

    Completely about branding and snake oil, but it’s a much better design for digital content. The rest is just hype to justify the work and cost in implementing a new logo.

  • John P II

    *agree

  • Bob Collins

    I’m not artistic so you’ll have to explain to me how the new design is for digital content.

  • heidi

    I feel bad for that lonely red line waaaaay down there under that giant white space : (. Not all old logos age well, and I would guess the point of this redesign is to make them seem current or less old-school, thereby building or maintaining their credibility. Looks very Economist magazine.

  • Brian

    The new AP logo is wretched. It makes my stomach turn to think that someone got paid actual money to churn out what boils down to two letters sitting next together. Oh, but they did modify the wretched font choice so I guess that is what the design firm got paid millions of dollars for. In the end the original logo could have simply been updated and used for another few decades.

  • BenCh

    The flag looking part of the “A” is now facing the opposite way… maybe they are changing direction? New winds of change?

  • Jim Shapiro

    BenCh – By george, you’re right!

    From the perspective of those behind the new logo, that leg of the A is now facing to the LEFT!

    Finally! Definitive proof that The Media is liberal!

  • JackU

    I find it interesting that one of the things the new logo “says” in “connected”.

    The first difference I noticed about the two logos is that in the old logo the A and the P are “connected” via the horizontal alignment of the mid cross parts of the letters. (The “flag” looking part that BenCh mentioned and the bottom of the loop of the P.)

    (if logo symbolism spoils your day stop reading now.)

    Here’s what the two logos “say” to me. The new logo says, that the AP looking to define it’s boundaries and stay within them. The new logo is essentially a square defined by its one visible side. (The lonely red line.) While the letters AP are at the top of the square they are still inside and aligned with each other within the confines of a normal line. This is a safe image of the AP, don’t worry we’ll play by the rules.

    So what does the old “connected” logo “say”? By having the letters reach above and below the basic line of the type it says that the AP is willing to reach or dig for its story. If need be it will do both in order to get the whole story.

    Finally, the old logo with the offset letters says AP. The new one with everything aligned looks like someone misspelled App.

  • John P II

    Maybe it helps to picture the new logo on a colored background, and see it as a white square with the black letters and red underline. You could put that on any background and it would still pop, and you can enforce consistent color standards. You could use it unchanged as a computer icon. Ironically it looks like AP always framed the logo in a square until 1981, and now they’ve gone back to it.

  • Bonnie

    You must be psychic Bob…hope you caught the wheat thins bit on Colbert. I’m so glad I still have the nickel I did not spend every time someone told me I needed to work on my branding!

  • danny bloom

    Yo, you forgot to mention. My eagle eye [despite diabetes type.2 macular degeneration coming on slowly] tells me that the ”A” is also.designed different. LOOK AGAIN! In the NEW logo, the horizontal bar of the.middle part of the A comes from the right side now, not the *left side.Does this mean AP is going.right on us, or just a fluke? Any reason for that. Perhaps you can ask.the design mavens. I love the new logo, by the way. Grade A in my book. Butwhy the new horizontal line from the right. Ruins the ying yang, no? Oris this the NEw ying-yang?

  • danny bloom

    AP new logo design changes drift in from A letter from left to right side. WHY? and why has nobody pointed this out yet? Not Romenesko, not MediaBistro, not FishBowlDC, not Poynter, not even top design mavens, not even Dr. Mario R. Garcia …

    ……..the ”A” is also.designed different.

    LOOK AGAIN!

    In the NEW logo, the horizontal bar of the.middle part of the A comes from the right side now, not the *left side.Does this mean AP is going.right on us, or just a fluke? Any reason for that. Perhaps you can ask.the design mavens.

  • danny bloom

    ”The flag looking part of the “A” is now facing the opposite way… maybe they are changing direction? New winds of change?”

    said BenCh earlier and Jim Shapiro also above, noted:

    ”Dear BenCh – By george, you’re right!

    From the perspective of those behind the new logo, that leg of the A is now facing to the LEFT!

    Finally! Definitive proof that The Media is liberal!”

  • dan bloom

    i sit correceted YIN YANG m not ying yang…. my oops

  • http://www.sustainableseafoodsales.com Sean B

    JackU is absolutely dead-on. I feel like someone who struggled through a Shakespearean sonnet not understanding a word, then with a few words of explanation from the prof the Bard’s meaning jumps into light.

    I have two new logos that I am deciding between – how do I get JackU to help me?