I’d like to preface this blog post by accepting the fact that without re-branding, most of us would be out of a job. At least half of the work I do professionally is taking a company’s logo, designed years ago, by another designer, and updating it or changing it completely. Without that I would be stuck designing web sites, which aren’t my favorite.
With that said, I would like to nominate a new code to live by as identity designers: “LEAVE PAUL ALONE“. Three simple words.
Let’s start with the UPS logo, designed my Paul Rand in 1961. It was great. The protection of the shield, the welcoming nature of the lower case acronym, the excitement of the bow on the package. Just brilliant. For 42 years that was UPS. What’s wrong with that? I’ll tell you what’s wrong with that. Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Then in 2003 someone, probably a remarkable sales guy, sold UPS on a new logo. The new logo is shiny, swoopy and beveled. Very 2.0. To this guy it’s just ok. I suppose it’s faster, younger, and more diverse than just package deliver, but where is the love? The bow on the package of Rand’s logo tells me that UPS cares about what I”m shipping. Does UPS no longer care and love my package? It says that the bow would have gotten caught in their high-speed sorting machines, and it didn’t fit their expansion into supply chain services. blah, blah, blah. In the consumer’s mind UPS will always be the shipper of packages that you don’t trust the postal service to deliver with care in a timely manner.
Hey, UPS: LEAVE PAUL ALONE.
Next up let’s look at something more recent: The Yale Press logo.
In 1985, Paul Rand designed this logo with the quirky type inside a circle. What’s wrong with that logo? Again, nothing. It’s self-contained. The type is large enough to read easily, even if placed on the spine of a book. It’s recognizable. It IS Yale Press. It worked great for 24 years until Yale wanted everything to look the same and blend together. Last year they decided to drop Rand’s logo for a the University’s logo. What’s wrong with the university’s logo? Nothing. It’s straight type set in Matthew Carter’s typeface he designed for the university. To me it’s a little boring which, in my mind, is what going to Yale is like. Which is fine, but it’s the university’s logo, it isn’t the YUP logo.
Hey, Yale: LEAVE PAUL ALONE.
But, let’s keep the positive vibe going here at iheartlogos. Let’s celebrate the brave CEOs and VPs of marketing at companies like ABC, Westinghouse, and Cummins. You guys are by far, the smartest of your kind. I don’t know if you are making millions for your company, or steering it in the right direction, but I know one thing for sure: you’re smart enough to LEAVE PAUL ALONE.