Why change the logo?

- Because of the restructure (Alphabet). Unlikely as that move is aimed at investors who will not be swayed one way or the other by a new typeface.

- Is it because the world is now more mobile than desktop. This trend is hardly news.

- The wider applications of the brand (see examples here). Again nothing new for a company the size of Google. The ‘G’ icon and animations are things that could have been done without any change to the logo.

The logo didn’t need changing and we’ve lost one of the world’s most familiar marques to something rather bland.

google-new & old


Brand Panic – Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Logo Scrapped

The new logo was only unveiled at the end of July but has become tangled in a plagiarism row. It’s claimed that it copies the logo of the Théâtre de Liège in Belgium – which was started in 2011. I’m sure its possible to find a logo somewhere in the world similar to the Théâtre de Liège marque which pre-dates 2011 – after all: the rectangle, circle and ‘triangle’ are hardly new to the world of design. Judge for yourself.

The London 2012 logo was lambasted when it launched – accusations of copying Lisa Simpson’s head, punk album covers and “my kids could do better”. But they stuck with it and delivered the wider identity down to every detail. Perhaps Japan need to fight their corner…

Read more in the Japan Times.

Tokyo 2020 Logo

Brand New Zealand

New Zealand have shortlisted 4 finalists from over ten thousand entries for their new national flag. The result will be decided by a referendum later this year. I think to work effectively it needs a simple, uncomplicated approach – which all these achieve. They could start to develop a brand language from this. For example more detailed versions of the fern or the Koru could be created for use on currency. More detail here. The Koru is growing on me….

New Zealand Flag Finalists

How to avoid 12,000 unlikes – Loughborough University

What’s wrong with this logo.

Answer: nothing.

Old Loughborough Uni Logo




What’s wrong with this logo.

Answer: nothing – it’s simply irrelevant.

New logo

New Loughborough Uni Logo






Loughborough University have launched a new logo and their students – past and present are not happy.

So here’s a summary of how not to completely mess up an identity project:

1. A logo is not a brand – not even close.

2. An identity can be improved in many ways without ever touching the logo.

3. Speak to the people who matter before you design anything – usually the people buying your product or service.

4. If your brand has history don’t throw it away – lever off it. The old logo is based on the arms granted to the former technical college in 1920 when it evolved into a University.

5. A change of  logo should signify a wider change in the organisation – it’s a line in the sand.

6. A logo is a small part of a much wider identity – but it’s the most emotive element.

We’ve worked on 500 year old brands, new start ups, charities – and universities. So we know these rules work.

Hells Angels to the Rescue

Malawi – on the one hand a beautiful African country, on the other a place with 1 million HiV sufferers.

BBC Radio 4′s From Our Own Correspondent gives a superb 4 minute taste of everyday life there and how the intrepid bikers from Riders for Health are making a massive difference.

The Malawi piece starts 16min 54secs into this link and you can fast forward to it.

We’ve just put the finishing touches to the design of Riders for Health’s Annual Review which will be our site soon. Malawi, as well as other African countries, are featured – so now you’ll be able to both see and hear about Riders’ phenomenal work in Africa.


The 45bn design pitch

The Norwegian Central Bank put the design of their bank notes out to pitch to 8 design teams. They’ve chosen to develop a mix of 2 concepts - traditional 1 side with a modern reverse. With 45bn of notes in circulation I hope the designers are on a repeat use fee.

Blending traditional with modern is a brief we’ve come across in many forms across many sectors – visitor attractions, professional firms, sports brands and charities. If your brand has history (like many of the luxury goods brands) that’s something that can’t easily be copied. If you invest the time to understand the history of a brand then you can create much more relevant and compelling design going forward.


Protect your brand


If you’ve put a lot of thought, time and investment into building a brand then you should think about:

–  Protecting the goodwill built up in your brand.
–  Making it harder for competitors to copy you.
–  Making your brand easier to sell, franchise or licence.

Trade marking can help in all these areas. A trade mark is a device (or marque) which distinguishes your goods and services from those of your competitors. Your trade mark can be words, logos or a combination of both.

We’ve recently been though the process and successfully trademarked our own logo for the UK market. So we can now use the R symbol with our logo as opposed to the TM symbol which anyone can use but offers no protection.

With distinctiveness being a crucial area of trade mark law, creativity in naming and logo design can greatly improve your chances of registration. You can search the Intellectual Property website and Google to avoid any obvious clashes but the more you look into it the less clear the answers become. This is where you need expert help – we used an iP specialist called Stobbs based in Cambridge.

There’s another big benefit of having your brand trade marked. New generic top level domains (gTLDs) have started to become available (since February). So instead of the usual and .com etc there will things like .clothing .restaurant .nottingham etc. If your brand is trade marked you can register it at the Trademark Clearing House (operated by Deloitte) and you will get first refusal (lasting 60 days) to register a domain name in the new gTLDs as they become available. Over 5,000 trade marks have already been registered and approx 1,000 new gTLDs are planned.

With over 120 million registered .com domain names and over 10 million domains, web name space is running out! These new domain name extensions will get around this problem. In addition they will enable you to create a more relevant domain name for your brand – which in turn makes your brand easier to find on Google. So in the long run it’s good for business.