The logo for SalaryShark isn’t particularly bad. Neither is it great.*
But the way SalaryShark obtained its logo is bad business. Actually, referring to the transaction that provided their logo as business is incorrect. The SalaryShark logo was created by a MaidenBrands as a submission to a logo contest “project” posted on the site Freelancer.com. According to Freelancer, 80 different so-called freelancers submitted a total of 142 entries.
The accent in Freelancer.com is certainly on “free.” 79 of the 80 entrants received nothing for their designs. The winner, Phillippines-based MaidenBrands submitted 9 designs for the SalaryShark logo contest. MaidenBrands received $290 for their winning entry. MaidenBrands appears to be Maiden Soliven, a “self taught graphic designer” from Manila. One of Maiden’s comps is above the title of this post. The typo is hers.
Overheard at Airbnb’s San Francisco headquarters:
“Um, guys? Do you think that we’ll be accused of adopting a vagina as our symbol?”
“HA! So you’ve never had sex with the lights on? Or was your last contact on your original birthday?”
“OK, it’s a stretch. But can you think of a more welcoming place to visit?”
“Maybe some puerile snarks with little understanding of female anatomy will claim that we’ve snatched our logo from our adolescent wet dreams.”
“So we can probably expect a brouhaha about our hooha?”
“I think we’ve
fingered found our new logo.”
I really like this symbol and its role in the new Airbnb brand identity. I was surprised by the dust up about its resemblance to every bit of anatomy found at the human conjunction junction. This is a very primal response to this mark. And the reaction for Airbnb is certainly not a bad thing.
As human animals, our pattern recognition skills make us predisposed to see faces in any image even vaguely resembling a face. This is an imprinted survival instinct that allows us to recognize friend or foe. Likewise, our innate consciousness also prompts us to be stimulated by sexual imagery. We are wired for sex. We are predisposed to see sexual imagery even in the abstract. Our ability to be inspired by our primal instincts to creative and original endeavor is something profoundly human. Dwelling in the primal impulse is decidedly unevolved. Kind of like my humor above.
Respected designer Khoi Vinh commented that he sees all manor of naughty bits in Airbnb’s new logo. I’m not surprised by the observation. I am surprised that someone so bright would make such a pedestrian public admission.
Yes, I see it. But so what?
Jeremy Mickel was kind enough to share a before and after file of his Penguin Random House tweaks to his Shift Light characters. Jeremy made subtle adjustments to the joins on the u, a, and n characters. He also added a bit of weight to the R’s angled leg. The most notable alteration is to the descending bowl of the g and the serif atop the d. The characters in the tweaked version are better neighbors in the nested logotype created by Pentagram.
The orange circles indicate where edits were made. The square is the area illustrated above the title.
The merger of publishing giants Penguin and Random House was made official on Monday July 1, 2013. Last month as the company approached its first birthday, Penguin Random House unveiled their new corporate identity – designed by the venerable design partnership Pentagram. The new logo lacked any symbolic reference to the individual brand names, now joined. No penguin. No house. No random penguin house. A light weight serif typeface displayed the new name as three stacked words, Penguin – Random – House. The type is bookended by vertical bars in the signature Penguin orange.
This video reveals the Penguin Random House identity created with Pentagram; it’s a beautiful, successful solution. But, I’ll get to that later…
I was very excited to see evidence of Google’s expanding view of brand identity and brand design. Google is adopting a visual language and aesthetic called Material Design. It is a wide-ranging plan to codify the way Google shares information and user experience across all devices. It includes not only layout and other graphic design precepts, but animation standards as well. On the whole, I am extremely impressed with their approach and their decisions. As a designer who works with Google, I’m looking forward to employing this new and pervasive aesthetic.
But, there is one giant flaw in the Material Design system. It’s name is Roboto.
Speaking of totalitarian regimes and great design – *wink* – check out this great video illustrating Google’s Material Design approach. I’ll be spending some time with this soon enough. In the meantime, the video is a good glimpse at Google brand identity writ large.
Was there a Netflix logo between the marquee black and white letters on red and the original purple swoosh filmstrip?
By the way, the new one is kind of lame.
Look, I understand why Netflix decided to change their logo from the bold, black and white marquee — that only looked good on their signature red. That logo, as striking as it is, did not play well with other graphic imagery. It was too dominant and required a treatment that stole attention from other information.
The marquee logo placed on a red envelope worked quite well. As Netflix began delivering content via streaming, the logo worked well in their controlled, web-based environment. But as it became part of other popular delivery modes — iOS, Android, Apple TV, Smart TVs – the logo’s lack of versatility was becoming apparent.
But the real challenge came when Netflix began producing their own content. Netflix is evolving from its role as an entertainment delivery system, to a powerful position as a producer of original entertainment. The Netflix brand has become an umbrella for series and specials that they pay to create. Arrested Development. Orange is the New Black. House of Cards. Original stand-up comedy specials. …continued