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Are These New Logos An Upgrade Or A Downgrade?

Good logos are like good friends: "When they show up wearing a mustache, with no explanation, you just go, 'Huh?'" says Michael Cronan, creative director at branding firm Cronan. But, of course, most logo changes are done for a reason. Cronan and partner Karin Hibma evaluate three recent ones.


OLD


NEW

YELLOW PAGES

// The Problem
Yellow Pages was largely thought of as a print (and outdated) product, even though it has digital platforms.

// The Verdict
"The fingers-walking symbol was an iconic visual metaphor, and to replace it with a generic set of initials—which may as well stand for 'Yugoslavian Port Authority' out of context—is a huge loss. Yes, the new logo looks like an app icon. But it doesn't have personality."


OLD


NEW

MTV

// The Problem
Viewers knew and loved shows like Jersey Shore but didn't always know they were on MTV.

// The Verdict
"MTV is all about reality TV now, so it's smart to take off 'music television.' But by filling the M with scenes from their shows, the noisy backgrounds and lack of shadowing make it hard to see the M. It looks like a torn billboard."


OLD


NEW

FIREFOX

// The Problem
Mozilla was about to release version 3.5 of its Firefox browser, which looked similar but had a lot of back-end changes. The company feared users wouldn't notice the new stuff.

// The Verdict
"The colors are softer, so it appears a bit more unified and globular. But there's nothing that feels fresh, fun, or interesting. It seems like Firefox redrew this for themselves, not their customers."

Illustration by David Cowles

Next in Reboot Nation: What Do Studebaker and Geocities Have In Common? No One Remembers Them

A version of this article appeared in the October 2011 issue of Fast Company magazine.

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