Corporate Identity: 1st Post

Wahoo! We’re in for a fun time YEUH

I’m ashamed to say that I was unable to really go out there and look into these logos firsthand. I instead delved into my memory of myself and tried to think about branding that I loved from my youth as well as brands that frustrated me to make up for it.

Being sick sucks.

Corporate Identity—the heart of graphic design. Obviously there’s innumerable layers to the graphic design world, but this is the core of that onion. I sort of think that it’s the most important aspect through the rich history that got us here. Sure, publication may have technically came first (peep to Shelle for showing me that through our last book), but that certainly a strong contender. I digress from my point: the heart of our careers revolves around understanding corporate identity. I think that’s why Edinboro students tend to show much more design prowess during this time. It’s obviously not posters, but it’s much more technical.

To me, technicals are hyper-important in this facet.

But let’s get to it, shall we?

What the heck were they thinking?!

The Beauties of Corporate ID

#1: Woodwe

Woodwe creates all-natural materials for technology casings.

Woodwe is a company based in Lithuania that uses brilliant-quality woods for their products: computer and phone cases. What I find to be brilliant about their design does not come from their logo (which I will get to) but from their packaging. I love every aspect of it—the raw, simple usage of a “stamped” ink texture to use less ink, biodegradable structure, and ingenious usage of shadows to create the darkest points on the package. Combine this with the perfect representation of technology and nature through the graphics, I find this to be a very successful package. I believe that there is a tree seed also included in the package as well, but I do know through my own experience that they give you a hand-written letter thanking you for your support.

As for the logo… not the flashiest, but I understand what they were intending. They didn’t want the logo to overtake the product. It’s easy to carve that logo into the wood, stone, moss, seashell, or marble that they use, and it certainly holds up well. Because of this, it’s mechanically sound for the products and easy to see from mostly any size. Their usage of a sort of retro nature aspect here serves them well to tie down the nature into industry. When it’s on the product, it looks as though it’s stamped on because of the lines, which is pretty pleasant to see with your eyes. Shame I don’t have one to show in person anymore!

#2: The *Draplin Era* Burton

Aaron Draplin kind of made Burton beautiful, in my opinion. Sure, he’s kind of the catch-all superstar designer, but Burton looked good back then. It had a strong, skate-like logo that appealed to a vast array of product. I loved how it looked lined up on boards like my old Custom Superfly II, which was made in the early 2000’s.

A reminder that we’re talking about the (I can’t believe I’m saying that I like this) Early 2000’s logo here. The others kinda suck.

As it currently is, unfortunately, the logo looks like Burton Funeral Homes in Erie. I noticed that the other day when I was driving by getting ghost shrimp for my fish tank, but I digress.

Let’s actually talk about why I liked that logo. The curves felt right and fluid, as if they wanted to be cutting-edge. The balance was nigh-perfect. The clever “B” shape was awesome. Like I could keep going. I just thought that vision was so cool and so unique from their predecessors and now-boring modern logo (set in Hobo Std in case you were wondering).

It felt Skate. It felt like professional boarding, not like “classical addition for family fun time”. Plus the logo was nice on clothing, especially.

#3: Chobani

Chobani. Chobani? Chobani.

Chobani is a unique case (compared to my previous two) of a company that went from lifeless, corporate garbage to a beautiful, warm serif. This bespoke style sort of took over the entire post-vaporwave era, and I’m happy that it did. The way that the typography stands out compared to its original look simply works better. Notice how much bolder and chunkier the font is. The company managed to make this timeless through this rebrand, in my opinion.

Chobani’s new identity is just so full. The coloring is beautiful and original, and it feels organic in some ways. I’m loving what they did because the warmth of the palette pairs so well with that font — Chobani Serif, in case you were curious. Although some may say it looks like it’s from the 70’s, I think it’s the best of the 70’s if that’s the case.

I rave about this also because the warmth ALSO carries over into the usage of white. I don’t know—everything just feels so pure and organic, in a way. They hit the nail on the head.

What in the hell were they thinking?!!

The Uglies of Corporate ID

#1: SONY

It’s Summer, 1998. You’re in the back seat of your dad’s old Jeep Wagoneer with wood panels, listening to The Way by Fastball* on that crappy Jeep radio while that wooden box goes down the back roads of Central PA. That car breaks down, and your dad offers you his prized SONY CD-Walkman. Although you’re really hoping you’re not going to disappear like the elderly couple mentioned in the song, you see that god-damned SONY sitting there, bold and lifeless. Just… there. I fucking hate this logo. It’s got this greedy, almost annoying grin across it that just seems to suck you dry of money. Plus, I hate their packaging. Too much usage of cosine graphic lines. Like… come on, we get it. It’s like a wave. I guess I just don’t see a connect behind their organic shapes they create for their new products and their old (Sony Walkman-era) technology. I guess I’ve been seeing this logo forever—my dad was a collector of old radios and the like. Like, literally I have prototypes to the original radios in my attic as we speak. Some of which are Zenith, others are Sony. Sony always just…stayed the same. It’s not timeless, and it’s just plain ugly.

Plus the kerning behind the S and O always were annoying me since before I knew what kerning was.

*reference to this song.

#2: Fullington Buses

Fullington is a transportation company for buses in Central PA—cheaper than Greyhound.

I’ve always hated this. Where do you look? What do you do? It’s hard, because you damn well know that Trailways wanted their stake in on the logo, but in this case, it’s only like this on the website and their official branding. Believe me, I think it’s heinous either way. Fullington was a client that my internship once had before me, but they never really got anywhere and were refusing the change their logo no matter what what we said.

Inconsistencies for days. Like it doesn’t even make sense.

#3: Natural Light

My mother is…well, let’s just say she likes to drink. She only drinks this beer — something that gives my eyes ulcers when I open the refrigerator door at my mother’s home. It just feels… well, dated. Cheap — which is what it should be like, in a way. But like what were they thinking with the typography here? It’s amazing to me that they use so many different little swashes and shit and they have a logo embedded right into it. Anheuser Busch didn’t do that with Stella Artois, or Michelob Ultra, so why did they make this have to have that in it? ugh. The way these cans look saves the name a little bit, but I think it could be pushed better with a unique look. It’s hard, because the company is clearly patriotic, and blue is dominated by Bud Light and for Budweiser (two cheap beers that are also ingested by my mother if she cannot find her golden nectar). They just seem commercial and cheap (which is what they are, sure), but they’re dated and in need for a facelift.

- — I’m going to keep going because I found two more that I just think need to be mentioned and reviewed.—-

#4: Visceral Disgorge

I think you know where this is going. Although there are so many different variations of this logo, I’ll have Visceral Disgorge be the pinnacle.

I hate these logos with a passion. They all seem to be the same thing—illegible spiky…things. I don’t know. I mean, cool that they have a sticky sort of visual texture, but like I think if it was one or two of these bands, that would be one thing. this many? no.

It’s just unoriginal at this point.

Also one of the songs that they play is called “Spastic Anal Lacerations”, off of the album called… “Ingesting Putridity”. It all just seems too edgy for no apparent reason.

lol

#5: Tetra

I think that this is another one of those “represents a larger aspect than itself” sorta matter, but let’s just focus on Tetra here. First, I hate their products because they’re notorious for having commercial grade nonsense that is cheap but risky. These are lives of animals we’re talking about here. Seems contradictory for their needs.

The 90’s called. They want their logo back. From the usage of a poorly-stretched font, the “cheap” blue and yellow combination, and the….the drop-shadow. wow.

What in the wholehearted shit is that icon in the logo? No, seriously. I cannot tell what it is. Is it a fish??

is it a fish?!

Also, another cosine wave. Fucking christ.

#6: Talleyrand Tavern

I’m at a loss for words.

How can one make a logo so poorly and just be like…. YES THIS IS THE VISION!

Sadly, I know the reason. In Bellefonte, PA, the owners of this tavern thought it to be a brilliant idea to hire their son to make this thing. The dude’s in his twenties (AND HE GRADUATED FROM PENN STATE) and seems to use this as his go-to. Like… if I was doing a portfolio review and you showed me this I would audibly laugh. I’m sorry, perhaps that’s wrong of me, but I’d do it anyways.

This logo is like the Sword in the Stone: Nobody can get a budge on it. The owners are the rock, and that logo is the stone. Like, nobody can make this thing go away and it’s a huge eyesore in the middle of Victorian Bellefonte. Perhaps that’s genius in its own right: people could think that this is ironically terrible; however, I think otherwise.

No part of this is deemed ok to me. Like I cannot give you enough reasons why I think this is bad. I wish they had more branding, but their menus are literally paper with the shit written down in like TNR.

Seriously, it sucks because the food is damn good and the restaurant is beautiful.

Oh, and a bonus:

Scott, I think by now you know my thoughts on this better than anyone. Hell, I even did a full lecture on it last semester.

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Alex Herr

Alex Herr

Graphic Designer and Graphic Design Student