Pitchfork is one of the up-and-coming music websites, offering a website, a concert series and a music video channel of the same name. The company has been growing steadily in both popularity and clout, and recently redesigned their logo to continue growing the brand.
The old logo design featured the name of the company in rather generic letters, which were rounded slightly with serifs in a style that is common in modern business. The image tied directly into name, three red arrows meant to refer to the tines of a pitchfork enclosed in a bold circle. This image added interest to the logo, which otherwise would not have been very memorable.
The new logo design keeps the interesting parts of the old logo, namely the image and the general shape, while building the brand with a custom font. The new font is similar in feeling to the old, but features the three arrows formed in negative space at the bottom of the K. In addition, the entire font has been modified to make this device work better with the overall lettering, with notches cut into the letters. In addition, the red in the image has been dropped in favor of a monochromatic black logo.
The loss of the red takes away some of the visual interest of the logo; that little red highlight made the image pop. On the other hand, the red is still used on the company website, so there is hope for it to return. Colorless logo designs can work for some companies, but this one seems to look better with the small addition of color. On the other hand, removing the red allows the name of the company to be the main part of the logo design and not just supporting text.
The change in font is a good one in our opinion, although it has raised some controversy in the company’s fan base. It has an edgier feeling and ties into the image beautifully. This wording is a better representative of the Pitchfork brand. The notches make the typeface feel a little less bold, but it is strong even with them. Softening the letters does not detract from the feeling that this logo design is trying to portray; if anything, it balances this image and gives Pitchfork a sensitive, indie undertone.
In addition, having a customer font created for the company will allow them to create a more comprehensive brand experience. The font can be used outside the logo, such as on concert signage, and help to build the Pitchfork brand. The K looks as though it is wearing shoes—extreme platform shoes—which is an amusing touch for the logo.
This is a great example of how companies can rebrand without losing the more salient parts of their brand. The new logo design is easy to identify and also easy to relate to the former one. It keeps the memorable parts of the old logo while improving on the more forgettable ones.