Saturday, September 13, 2008

Graphic Designers Have Ruined the World

Well not really. On the whole they bring huge improvments to branding and create affinity for brands that previously had none. The problem I wanted to whine about was when a brand logo is changed that already has a lot of history, recognition, and affinity.

Today I was lucky enough to have the BYU game broadcast in Portland. And I watched them destroy UCLA in one of the most dominating performances I can ever remember seeing in a BYU game--on the winning end.

During the game, the camera cut to the crowd to show a mass of parted hair and modest t-shirts. It was during one of these surveys of the crowd that I saw a kid sporting a brand new T-shirt in classic royal blue with the old BYU logo. Like this:

I think this logo is one of the best logos that has ever been made. While at BYU, I couldn't take the desire to wear this logo anymore. So I decided to go to the Bookstore and find out if they were ever going to do a re-release of the classic logo merchandise, but the 18-year-old cashier responded by saying, "I'm pretty sure this is the only logo that BYU has ever had. I'm not sure what you mean."

Mildly offended, I asked if the cashier could pass along a request to her manager to do a re-release of the old logo. I almost wonder if she thought I was crazy for not liking the new logo. Like get on-board, young man. Raise your right arm and sustain the new logo in it's calling as logo for BYU. No I oppose and I manifest by the same sign. I liked the old logo. It was cool, and the new logo is not cool. The new logo looks like the lead professor of the Graphic Design department was asked to come up with a new logo and then put it together over the summer. I blame the new logo as the reason why I don't really own BYU any BYU logoed merchandise. I admit that I have a sweatshirt that has the letters BYU, but I got specifically because it didn't have this ugly logo:

It's a tricky business. Some organizations have had great success changing their logo. The Denver Broncos, The New England Patriots, and probably the most successful improvement, in terms of merchandise sales, was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But sometimes I see old reels of the Broncos, and remember that weird Blue and Orange combo with that awkard D on the helment and get a little nostalgic. And think that I just might by an Elway jersey if I could get it old school. What do you guys think? Has there been a company or team or school that changed logos or a mascot that just made you mad? Has the history and the nostaglia of a product or team gotten tangled up with its associated logo and your loyality?

The thing that is driving me crazy is the kid in the stands I saw today had a new old-logo shirt. Where did he get it? How can I find one. I've searched the internet with no luck. The envy is maddening. It would also be cool to get a sweater with that scraggly looking cougar head wearing a "Y" beanie, because these old images are historic and loaded with nostalgia; they remind me of the good old days when you could still watch the cougars and Ty Detmer in tacky royal blue on KSL at Grampa's house.


suburbanbrunette said...

Just for the record, having managed a few graphic designers... it usually pains them to get assignments like these. The edicts usually come from higher up, or worse... from an ad agency trying to get new business.
You crack me up! I love your affinity for nostalgia. I'll keep my eyes out for some old Denver stuff. Denver is pretty good about re-releasing old school everything... you can still get orange crush shirts from back in the crush days.
Also, do you want my Broncos baby hand-me-downs? Or is your peanut going to be a cheese head. Speak now or forever hold your peace.

laurel said...

I didn't realize they changed the logo....sorry I am old and have mind trouble. But once you showed the logo! Yes! You are right. I love old stuff. I bought myself a strawberry Shortcake doll (two years ago) when they re-released them, just cause I had a dress when I was little.

Erin said...

My vote for the worst re-logo is the Milwaukee Brewers. The old school logo had an "M" and "B" intertwined enough to look like a baseball fact, I can remember (and I am ashamed to say how old I was, though it was well prior to my owning the hat and shirt with the old logo) when I actually realized that it was, in fact, an "M" and "B" intertwined and NOT just a baseball mitt. And what do they replace it with??? A barley sprig. LAME. A keg of beer would have been more attractive than a whimpy barlely sprig. Or what about a beer on tap with the bubbles spelling out 'Milwaukee'. Or a drunk guy burping 'Brewers' slumped over in a barstool that has 'Milwaukee' written down the leg. But a BARLEY SPRIG? Are you KIDDING ME?

Claudia said...

Julia, thanks for the offer of more clothing, but I am sorry to say that I have to pass on the Broncos gear. Given the fact that the last Super Bowl the Pack was in was lost to the Broncos (after which I literally could not speak for about 2 hours for sheer disappointment), it would be a sacrilege to put my child in anything other than the green and gold. I appreciate the offer all the same.

Sara said...

I would have to completely agree. You see, I too have a beef with certain teams changing things up on me.

I can cast my mind back to the days when my mind was much smaller -the mind of a six to eight year old sitting at the King Dome watching the Mariners. A hot dog in one hand, sticky caramel popcorn in the other; and a bag of peanuts exclusively to throw at obnoxious people a few rows down.

And then they built Safeco field. By all accounts it has done the Mariners some good, though their record certainly doesn't prove that. And they crushed the dreams of one poor little Seattle-ite.

So sad.

Matt Marler

Melea said...

We dont have much to say besides we agree and like the old logo better. Jeff thinks the new logo looks very computer generated with very little actual design put into it.

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