As the oldest musical publisher in North America, G. Schirmer has had a huge impact on American music. The company has introduced Americans to some of the best known European classical works during an era when American music was composed mostly of hymns and folk songs. Even in modern times the company remains relevant; in fact, half of the Pulitzer Prizes for musical composition have been given to composers published by G. Schirmer/AMP, the new name of the company. That’s a lot of prestigious prizes for a single music company.
Even if you are at the top of your field, music logo design is important. After all, G. Schirmer must work to keep their brand fresh and appealing at a time when music can be found scanned and posted free on the internet. Truth be told, the old music logo was feeling a little dated after more than a century of service. Leafy laurels suggested winning and were placed in back of a lyre, which is a classical symbol of refined music. The tagline was placed in scrolls at the top, and translates as a line from Horace’s ode to his own lyre: Sweet solace of my labors.
The new logo retains a lot of the same themes, but does so in a much more modern way. We still see a lyre, but it is much more simple and graphic. The leafy laurels have also been stylized and are now placed at the top and sides of the lyre. The name is now the only wording in this logo design, showing the name G. Shirmer AMP in all upper case letters. The font is a little too modern—the sans serif capital choice seems too common for the classical elements of the image—but it works well and will continue to work well in the future.
The old logo was classic, but it was also classy. It was definitely unique and helped to set the company apart from its competition. A little modernization was necessary, but we have to wonder if it isn’t a bit too modern now. The small imperfections could have been easily corrected, although in our collective opinions they added character.
Another criticism is that the tagline is gone. We rather liked the tagline. It had historical significance while tying into both the company brand and the image in the logo design. It was an important part of the brand, and unfortunately nothing has been added to replace it.
However, in general, the new logo is an improvement, one that was overdue. It maintains most of the same elements as the old logo design and presents them in a more modern, streamlined manner. We wish there was a way to incorporate the tagline, but we cannot figure one out. We think that this logo will carry the business for another century, which seems to be about the rebranding interval for G. Schirmer and their music band website. It is modern yet classical and present a happy medium between the old logo and the future.