Nextel Resurfaces

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Nextel has been through a lot of brand changes. In the United States, it merged with Sprint more than five years ago and kind of disappeared off of the radar when it comes to customers. However, the Nextel brand is still alive and kicking in other parts of the world, such as the booming Latin American market. In fact, Nextel has almost ten million customers. And, they are rebranding to be more inviting to these markets as well.

The old Nextel logo featured the name in an eggplant purple, with horizontal stripes through the last three letters that gave a sense of movement. The writing was all in upper case letters, which created a formidable impression. The new logo design, on the other hand, is as friendly as can be. The color is a youthful bright orange, and the lettering is all lower case—a device that is overused in modern logo design, but could actually be appropriate in this case. The X is the real change; it has been modified to resemble two arrows coming together.

The new slogan will be “Your World. Now.” This will, obviously, be translated into the appropriate languages for each audience. It is a simple tagline that should not create problems in translation. The two arrows in the logo design are meant to imply different ideas coming together.

The old Nextel logo design was, well, old. When I first heard about this rebranding, I thought, “Surely they are not still using the same logo from a decade ago!” But indeed they were. Yes, it is well past time to rebrand. I like the new wordmark; the kerning is well-done and the arrows are obvious without taking over the logo design. Communications is a fast moving business. A telecommunications logo design that seems passé and out of date says nothing good about the carrier that it represents. After all, who wants to be seen using last year’s cell phone?

The tagline is a little generic, but there is a good reason for that. It can be difficult to develop a phrase that translates well into a variety of languages. In fact, the only way to accomplish this is to be as simple as possible, which is exactly what Nextel did. I tend to associate the color orange with Cingular, but perhaps the Latin American market does not make this connection. In addition, there is a European company in the same line of business that is actually called Orange—and guess what color they use?

I am not familiar enough with Latin American markets to comment on whether this is an appropriate design for them, but this design would work perfectly well in the United States. It is a simple, memorable update that feels modern and fresh while still communicating what it needs to say. The Nextel logo design feels like a communications logo. The arrows forming an X is a device that has been done before, but not enough that it feels overdone.

There is nothing original or mind-blowing about this logo design, but it is definitely an improvement over the old. It is hard to imagine a logo design worse than the old one, in fact!