Bad Design Never Helps Anything


We look to national brands as examples of branding success. After all, they have made it from small business to global domination, and good branding sense often was part of this equation. Sometimes, however, even big brands seem to struggle with developing a logo design that resonates with customers.

The well-known website Myspace is one such example. There was a time when everybody under the age of thirty updated their Myspace account, but lately just about everyone, regardless of age, seems to turn to Facebook for our social networking needs. Myspace attempted to rectify the situation and win back their audience with a freshened brand, including a logo design that raised graphic design eyebrows all over the globe.

The new logo was meant to show the versatility of Myspace, which the few remaining loyalists maintain is one of its biggest benefits. Compared to the relatively plain Facebook, Myspace is a customizer’s wonderland, with a variety of templates, apps, and options. This blank slate aspect was supposed to be represented by the blank in the new logo. Your space could be anything you wanted it to be. Many users in the past have taken advantage of this by creating blingy, highly personalized pages that show off their personal style in a way that no white Facebook page ever can. Stars were born and careers made from Myspace pages. The new logo design was an attempt to bring all of this back to the forefront of the brand.

While we understand the idea behind the new logo, it was nonetheless an unattractive and asymmetrical design that failed to win many fans. Even with the best of intentions, bad design never helps anything. It didn’t take a professional to judge the new logo design as unattractive and unworthy of a national brand such as this; any five year old could see the lack of balance and visual appeal.

Unfortunately, this may have sunk the company even further in the hearts and minds of brand conscious social networkers. Just months after the logo redesign, Myspace has announced a partnership with Facebook. Partnering with the enemy may seem suspiciously close to waving a white flag, but Myspace has been fiscally forced into the decision. The parent company, NewsCorp, has announced that the flagging website has “quarters, not years” to turn around its free-fall.

Myspace is no longer fighting their former enemy, but rather embracing them in the unexpected internet business move of the year. Myspace users will now be able to log in to their Myspace via Facebook Connect and automatically publish Facebook updates to their space.

Will partnering with the enemy save Myspace? Or is this merely the first step to their inevitable absorption into the Borg-like website that is Facebook? No website can last forever, but it is hard to see old favorites get sunk so unceremoniously. Teens and young adults all over the world will bid a sad farewell when this old favorite finally sees its last days, a step that seems inevitable now.