2010 Design: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

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Every year brings changes, and 2010 was no exception. This year we saw some of our favorite brands make major or not-so-major changes to their logo designs and general appearance. Here are a few of the most notable logo design changes of 2010.

The Good

It looks like Twitter has finally grown into their status as a social networking giant, and it’s about time. The cartoony bluebird is now a more sophisticated silhouette, while the recognizably friendly font and lower case wording remain unchanged. Black and white add a more adult touch befitting a cpmpany that is now a major part of the American social scene.

Again, sometimes the most basic changes are the most successful. The old logo looked like the language was an afterthought, tucked under CNN’s main logo design. This is hardly the message that the news giant wanted to give the sizable Spanish-speaking market. The new CNN en Español logo incorporates the accent mark into the logo design, giving a sense that Hispanic interests are a core part of the coverage. The change is subtle but very telling.

The Bad

NASA’s old logo was dated and due for a change, with an unidentifiable object orbiting the acronym and a wavy swoosh. Not only that, it seems to accidentally suggest that the universe rotates around NASA, which is a grandiose claim at the best. However, the new logo design is simply not legible. We like the way it is emerging, like the dawning of a new day, but you would never know what the letters say without prior knowledge. Granted, we all know what NASA is and can guess that the hidden letters form this word. Even so, the logo design has gone from pretty bad to totally inadequate.

My… my what? You can’t exactly tell from the new logo. Although this was part of a more acceptable marketing campaign, this image should never have been adopted as a main logo design for the website. In addition, they have quite literally taken the people out of the brand, and social networking brands are supposed to be all about the people who use them. This image should have stayed in the advertisements, while the logo design could have done with a simple and slight change of font.

The Ugly

This may not be the official corporate logo design for BP, but it is certainly representative of the way most people see them now. As the epic oil spill dragged on and on without resolution, several companies held contest for a new BP logo. This was just one of the many entries. Deserved or not, this is a good example of how a single negative event can effect a brand over the long term.

The GAP shocked us this year with the shortest run of a logo design that we have ever seen. We are all familiar with the blue and white text-only logo, but it was changed to a completely different black text logo with a curious blue square to the right. However, fans protested loudly enough that the company reverted back almost immediately, possibly setting a logo design record.