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BY Armin


April Fools: Can Ford Afford a Redesign?

Ford Logo, Before and After

Amidst concept cars, sneak previews, and other automotive-based pyrotechnics during the New York International Auto Show this past week, Ford Motor Company quietly deployed its new logo to attendees of the show and will roll out a full unveiling later this month. For an industry where identity is everything and decades of legacy can stall any possible change, it is surprising and commendable that Ford would drive away from its script, oval logo that has been around since 1912 and sustained few visual evolutions.

Ford Logo, History

Ford logo over the years.

Ford Vehicles, which share a roof under the parent company with Lincoln, Mercury, Mazda, Volvo, Land Rover and Jaguar does feel the most outdated and, aside from Land Rover, it’s the only logo that was simply a wordmark. So apparently, Ford should somehow match those other logos with the introduction of a new icon, dubbed “Symbiosis”. From their press release:

The current mark of the Ford Motor Company does not reflect the aesthetics of the vehicles or marketing the company has been producing over the past two decades. American auto manufacturers are struggling to regain market share and profitability, and redesigning the Ford mark is a prime way to rejuvenate interest in the brand and emphasize the bottom-up design of vehicles that has made its competitors so successful.

The strategy and identity design was developed by Detroit-based Brand Engine, a newly acquired branding firm for Omnicom Group, and it was led by Marko Savic, an independent identity designer from Ontario, Canada who joined Brand Engine specifically for this project. He explains the design:

The logo is a unique shape that flows in and out of itself, signifying motion, grids, and roadways. The wormdark is a modified version of Max 3, with strong automotive influence in the design, contrasting the smooth lines curves with sharp angles. Meta is used as the corporate typeface due to its strong versatility and international language support.

Ford Logo, Grid

Ford Logo, Variations

Details of the construction of the new logo and flexibility of use.

Ford Signage

New signage to preside over all dealerships by 2010.

I have never been a fan of the old Ford logo, it seems such a strange identity for a company whose slogan is (or has been) “Built Ford Tough”… it really felt more girlie than tough. And like most car logos it had devolved into a gradient-heavy cliche of its old self. The new identity is, well, different and unexpected but it reminds of a watered down version of Scion and trying to be cool. I’m not a fan at all of the mark, it seems out of place and nostalgic. I have to admit, I do like that Max 3 font chosen, it’s authoritative and contemporary. And above all, this redesign is a nice reminder that if Ford had taken Paul Rand’s advice back in the sixties the world would be a much better place because of this proposed identity:

Ford Logo, Rand

Proposed logo for Ford by Paul Rand, 1966

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Update, April 1, 9:00 p.m.: Congratulations to “anonymous”. Indeed, this is an April Fools post. But I have to admit I never expected it to be so convincing.

This morning I woke up feeling bad that I had not prepared an April Fools post for Brand New, as much as I had wanted to. But I just didn’t have the time to imagine anything. Then, in my inbox, I had an e-mail from Marko — a long-time Brand New reader (and commenter) and a design student in Ontario — saying that he had this Ford project he had done at school and that it would be funny to use it as a prank. I hesitated but I then considered how plausible this redesign was, as opposed to saying “Hey, look, IBM rebranded!”. I made up the NY International Auto Show part, along with Brand Engine and that stupid nickname of “symbiosis”; I then proceeded to make it as complete as I would have otherwise and tried to be as ambiguous as possible with the details. The Internal 500 Server Errors were real though, that pissed me off.

I have to give major credit to Marko, it was his idea. I’m happy I was able to package it convincingly.

Thanks to everyone for humoring us.

Entry Information

DATE: Apr.01.2008|CAT: Automobile|

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Comments Jump to Most Recent Comment

Nate Voss’s comment is:

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm...

I want to call bullshit on this, because it is the first of April, and the rhetoric in the PR is really bad. But if this is BS, this is BS at it's finest. So either Bravo Armin, or Boo on Ford.

I just went to Ford.com and I say Bravo.

On Apr.01.2008 at 03:03 PM

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JonSel’s comment is:

Isn't it a little late in the day to be throwing up April Fool's posts?

On Apr.01.2008 at 03:11 PM

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Armin’s comment is:

> I just went to Ford.com and I say Bravo.

Nate, as I mentioned in the opening paragraph... Ford will make the official unveiling later this month. This will include the web site. Few big brands can coordinate things like this, with a few early hiccups.

On Apr.01.2008 at 03:11 PM

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felix sockwell’s comment is:

My guess is Design Maven loves this new identity. I'll probably get a "family" e mail on it here in a minute.

with the heritage of the old script mark, it easy to poo poo this new generic design. I kinda like it. And I kinda feel sad too.

grade: B

Rand's design: C

prediction: public outrage. the old logo comes back in 6 months

On Apr.01.2008 at 03:12 PM

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Scott’s comment is:

Nice try, there's no way this is not an April Fool's joke. I don't buy it!

On Apr.01.2008 at 03:13 PM

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d’s comment is:

kind of

On Apr.01.2008 at 03:15 PM

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Armin’s comment is:

JonSel and Scott... Trust me, I have many more things to do than dreaming up a faux logo, and then doing an area of isolation graphic and elevations of a sign.

On Apr.01.2008 at 03:16 PM

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Chad K’s comment is:

There is nothing American (as far as the automotive aesthetic has seen in identities) about this redesign. Whether it is a good or bad thing, maybe it just takes some getting used to. While the mark and over all design of the logo work nicely it just doesn't say "Ford" to me. There is a reason that the mark, in general, hasn't changed forever. While this may attract customers attracted to the trends of foreign markets, I think it leaves Ford patrons in the dust.

Comparing it with other car marks, I do not think it relates, but it may take seeing it on a grill of a vehicle to convince me otherwise. It more or less reminds me of something I would see in the plumbing or water industry, perhaps while I was sitting on the toilet:

On Apr.01.2008 at 03:20 PM

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Joey Pfeifer’s comment is:

I've never been a huge fan of the past Ford marks, but this one is so forgettable I'm almost hoping it's an April Fools joke.

Like Felix I'm a little sad as well.

On Apr.01.2008 at 03:23 PM

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drew kora’s comment is:

If it were real, the auto blogs & forums would have picked up on it, too...like MotiveMag.com

On Apr.01.2008 at 03:23 PM

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Emil’s comment is:

I think this new Ford logo bares an resemblance to the Forums Snowboards logo
http://www.forumsnowboards.com/

On Apr.01.2008 at 03:25 PM

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Paddy C’s comment is:

Ford, of late or maybe not so late, seems a desperate and confused company (though I believe some of the models are doing better). A rebrand does not surprise me. And I think it is almost necessary to shed some of the company's history.

But when I think of the automotive industry and where it needs to go (whether by choice or not) I don't think of an icon like this.

The type treatment is very nice IMO. But the icon feels chunky and heavy and like many things I've seen before. Maybe it will grow on me.

Rebranding this company would have to be one of the most difficult jobs in design. Balancing Ford's diverse consumers and its unequaled history is a daunting assignment.

On Apr.01.2008 at 03:33 PM

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felix sockwell’s comment is:

no photos.

huge company.

little known designer.

little known firm.

April Ford's day indeed.

damn you armin!

On Apr.01.2008 at 03:33 PM

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Gabe’s comment is:

LIES

On Apr.01.2008 at 04:36 PM

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Gabe’s comment is:

I LOVE THE NEW LOGO!

On Apr.01.2008 at 04:41 PM

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Thomas’s comment is:

I wonder if the Italian state railway company, Ferrovie dello Stato gave them the logo in an April 1st photoshop cage battle, saying, "here, do you worst."

On Apr.01.2008 at 04:47 PM

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Steve’s comment is:

If that were the new logo, I would think it's a bad brand idea. The look and feel, while very now, I don't believe will stand the test of time. The font's too contemporary and I believe will look dated in about 5 years. Much the way a lot of the new fonts from the late 90s now feel dated.

Too scuttle a logo that's remained nearly the same for almost a century would be quite foolish. I dread to say it, but I don't like the Rand take on the logo either. While the script font may not be the greatest design, it's so synonymous with Ford much the way UPS kept the brown when it rebranded itself. It owned the color like Ford owns the script.

On Apr.01.2008 at 05:24 PM

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Jean C.’s comment is:

Worst logo ever. Hope it's an April fool's!

On Apr.01.2008 at 05:24 PM

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Johnny Two Tone’s comment is:

Looks alot like the Forum Snowboards F.
http://www.forumsnowboards.com

On Apr.01.2008 at 05:29 PM

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Willis’s comment is:

Hmm... given their history, it's not like Ford needed a logo that looked more like a swastika...

On Apr.01.2008 at 05:30 PM

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Mark’s comment is:

I was about to post the same thing as Thomas, as the Italian railway was the first thing that came to mind when I saw the new logo.

So, is it the April Fools, or...?

On Apr.01.2008 at 05:35 PM

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Anonymous’s comment is:

I, too, thought immediately of the Forum snowboards logo when I saw this: http://www.forumsnowboards.com

On Apr.01.2008 at 05:35 PM

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debbie millman’s comment is:

Just spoke to Marko Savic, and indeed this is true. I weep openly.

On Apr.01.2008 at 05:35 PM

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marko savic’s comment is:

On Apr.01.2008 at 05:36 PM

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Armin’s comment is:

Argh.Many apologies for the Internal 500 Server Errors. Looks like either something broke or we had too many visitors.

> huge company. little known designer. little known firm.

Felix, did you know of Tesser before they rebranded KFC? Or, for that matter, of Futurebrand before they did UPS? Fledgling small firms do stand a chance against the monolithic branding firms.

And on the "no photos"... I agree, I'm sorry, but I wasn't at the auto show -- I don't roll that way -- so I have to go only by the information made available to me by a regular tipster.

On Apr.01.2008 at 05:37 PM

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Glenn ’s comment is:

Love the Paul Rand version. The new Ford logo is lame.

On Apr.01.2008 at 05:39 PM

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marko savic’s comment is:

For those who doubt the authenticity of this new mark, I assure you its real. I worked closely with the client to ensure this would set them apart in the competitive landscape. The largest issue at hand was creating a mark that could be recognizable at a small size, from a distance, on a moving vehicle. The oval is overused in car design, Kia, Land Rover, Hyundia, Toyota, Mazda, Nissan, Lexus, Isuzu, Tata Motors, Subaru, Infiniti, and the circle in VW, Mercedes-Benz, Cadilliac, BMW, Buick, Saab, Mercury, etc... This unique shape sets it apart from the crowd and creates memorable impact. Rejecting the heritage of the Ford brand was a hard decision, but as the mark grows to be identified with the company, we feel it will make for a stronger visual identity.

On Apr.01.2008 at 05:41 PM

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Andrew J Klein’s comment is:

APRIL FOOLS!

On Apr.01.2008 at 05:52 PM

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Dave J’s comment is:

Might be an April Fool's joke but I read that earlier in the month when the new Ford Mustang was shown it didn't have a Ford or Mustang logo on it. Maybe that was because this was coming out.

On Apr.01.2008 at 06:06 PM

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Anthony Juliano’s comment is:

I'm still not buying it. But the fact that I'm not totally convinced I'm right makes this one of the best April Fool's Day posts I've seen, even if it's not a joke.

On Apr.01.2008 at 06:06 PM

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Jamie Longstaff’s comment is:

Jaguar and Land Rover are no longer part of Ford, they were bought by the Indian firm Tata last week. I like the new logo - if it's not a joke... Actually, I like it if if is a joke!

On Apr.01.2008 at 06:08 PM

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DesignMaven’s comment is:

Felix:

My guess is Design Maven loves this new identity. I'll probably get a "family" e mail on it here in a minute.

Just found out about this, my business partner Jerry The King Kuyper just sent this to me.

I did hear last week Ford was Rebranding didn't see anything visual.

Ford missed its opportunity when they didn't adapt my Father PAUL RAND's Identity in the 60s.

DM

The Hostile Takeover of Corporate Identity

On Apr.01.2008 at 06:20 PM

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Nate Voss’s comment is:

I still have to say "Prank" until I see confirmation unrelated to this post. That photo is dead sexy though. I don't really have a problem with the mark — the F as roads works for me.

Regardless, you can't drop a bomb like this on April 1 and have it go unchallenged. I know you're in tight with Debbie. And I know girl's got a mischievous side (you know you do), so I wouldn't put it past her to back you up on this. So far I've seen nothing that professionals in our field couldn't fake with their eyes closed. But color me intrigued. I'll be SO disappointed is this is real, only because it makes a really great joke.

Also, all it takes to attribute a post to Marko Savic is to type "Marko Savic" in the field above. Check it out.

On Apr.01.2008 at 06:34 PM

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Marko Savic’s comment is:

Check it out. I am TOTALLY Marko Savic. This is wicked real. Really.

On Apr.01.2008 at 06:35 PM

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Rumsey Taylor’s comment is:

I've always found Rand's solution to be one of his worst concepts because it's too contemporary, dismissing the aspect of heritage that, for better or worse, distinguishes the Ford mark--which is, granted, probably a bit too antiquated, but it carries much history. Rand's does not. His solution doesn't improve upon the Ford mark; it's more of a parody. Imagine a rerun of Three's Company with younger, fresh-faced actors--it may be funny, but it lacks integrity. The new mark, at the very least, pronounces new directions and new intentions (and I can't comment on whether or not that's appropriate, being as I know little to nothing of Ford's automobiles).

On Apr.01.2008 at 06:36 PM

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Jerry Kuyper’s comment is:

Perfect, get Marko and Debbie to weigh in and build credibility but I'm still not buying this story ;-)

I predict a midnight post saying "Suckers"

Check out other great hoaxes, thanks to DO

http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/Hoaxipedia/San_Serriffe/

On Apr.01.2008 at 06:37 PM

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Jeff’s comment is:

BOUTTA SAY!

On Apr.01.2008 at 06:40 PM

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Rokukken’s comment is:

Definitely April Fools Day! If it is not, then thank god for the much needed change!

On Apr.01.2008 at 06:46 PM

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Darrin Crescenzi’s comment is:

IF this is real (if it's fake then it is easily the most elaborate and convincing prank I've seen all day) then there is a real missed opportunity with not rounding the top of the "d" in the wordmark to match the curve of the logo.

I can't decide if I want this to be true or not…

On Apr.01.2008 at 06:47 PM

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Goffredo Puccetti’s comment is:

What a lovely redesign! But I thought today's big news should have been my new logo for Nike: I removed the swooosh and set 'nike' in Comic Sans.
I sent out a worldwide press release just this morning, 1st of April... ;-)

G.

On Apr.01.2008 at 06:58 PM

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Dokken’s comment is:

It's 100 percent real.

I was at the car show. I saw the "wormdark" I was asked to sign a non-disclosure form as were the other 180,000 people in attendance. We were told to stay quiet or the ghost of Henry Ford would push us in front of a bus. But now that the truth is out I can verify it. It's real folks. And I am safe from the bus.

Also I can speak volumes about the designer. It's not often that a designer with so little work to show for himself is grabbed out of school and hired to do a mark for a big company. But Darco Milicic is that guy. As talented as he is humble.

And one last thing. Ford has entered into an agreement with Forum Snowboards so that they don't get Quark'd. The uncanny resemblance to the Forum mark has been 'handled' — Forum execs got a lifetime supply of Mustangs — and production of all Ford vehicles will ensue unfettered with the new mark.

congrats Darko on your great work.

rok on

On Apr.01.2008 at 06:59 PM

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Joe M. ’s comment is:

This symbol looks like a limp crucifix.

If Ford intends this logo to spread their business throughout other countries and world religions, they have quite a crusade ahead.

On Apr.01.2008 at 07:16 PM

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Giuseppe’s comment is:


I think it's a fake!!!

On Apr.01.2008 at 07:18 PM

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Anonymous’s comment is:

On Apr.01.2008 at 07:22 PM

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Anonymous’s comment is:

On Apr.01.2008 at 07:27 PM

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marko savic’s comment is:

Anonymous – I wonder where you got that image: its from the proposal I sent to Ford. The photoshop brush starbust effect is their doing, not mine.

On Apr.01.2008 at 07:27 PM

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antonio’s comment is:

So I just made a call to an uncle who works at Ford, this is a hoax, and one they are not very happy about...

On Apr.01.2008 at 07:30 PM

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Prescott Perez-Fox’s comment is:

Glad to see this go:

http://www.perezfox.com/images/idol_ford.jpg

On Apr.01.2008 at 07:39 PM

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Prescott Perez-Fox’s comment is:

I wonder if Idol will get a re-design to match.

[can you delete the above post please?]

On Apr.01.2008 at 07:40 PM

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Anonymous’s comment is:

http://mangophreek.livejournal.com/501671.html

http://mangophreek.livejournal.com/500874.html

On Apr.01.2008 at 07:47 PM

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Ned Batchelder’s comment is:

This is the best prank post I've seen all day, by far. The logo is convincing, and after xerox and at+t, it's easy to believe a big company would go after something like this. The real Ford logo has far more old-time curlicues than other car companies, it's plausible that they would jettison it all for sleek modernity.

The dead give-away is that Marco's link identifies him as a student...

On Apr.01.2008 at 07:58 PM

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Anonymous’s comment is:

Hey Marko, I can go with this all day... It is practically impossible to clean all your tracks on the web...

http://www.ljfind.com/post/136609785/

http://www.ljfind.com/post/136609782/

On Apr.01.2008 at 08:08 PM

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Darrin Crescenzi’s comment is:

Ha ha ha, OUTED. When I think of all the old junk of mine that's cowering in the dark recesses of the internet, all I can do is shudder.

On Apr.01.2008 at 08:21 PM

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Brandon’s comment is:

Immediately reminded me of the Safeway logo:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safeway_Inc.#Logos

Let's hope its a fake...

On Apr.01.2008 at 08:28 PM

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Alex’s comment is:

Great job, guys, you actually had me going for a while there. The vehicle shots are particularly convincing.

On Apr.01.2008 at 08:39 PM

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Alex’s comment is:

And in case there's any lingering doubt, consider this: There's no reason this couldn't have been posted yesterday or tomorrow; it's not breaking news. Therefore, it's a joke.

On Apr.01.2008 at 08:46 PM

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Armin’s comment is:

Congratulations to "anonymous". Indeed, this is an April Fools post. But I have to admit I never expected it to be so convincing.

This morning I woke up feeling bad that I had not prepared an April Fools post for Brand New, as much as I had wanted to. But I just didn't have the time to imagine anything. Then, in my inbox, I had an e-mail from Marko — a long-time Brand New reader (and commenter) and a design student in Ontario — saying that he had this Ford project he had done at school and that it would be funny to use it as a prank. I hesitated but I then considered how plausible this redesign was, as opposed to saying "Hey, look, IBM rebranded!". I made up the NY International Auto Show part, along with Brand Engine and that stupid nickname of "symbiosis"; I then proceeded to make it as complete as I would have otherwise and tried to be as ambiguous as possible with the details. The Internal 500 Server Errors were real though, that pissed me off.

I have to give major credit to Marko, it was his idea. I'm happy I was able to package it convincingly.

Thanks to everyone for humoring us. Including Debbie Millman, who was the only one in on the prank... But only after she had inquired about the legitimacy of the post.

On Apr.01.2008 at 08:57 PM

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John’s comment is:

Oh c'mon, this *has* to be real. At first, I thought it was just an April Fools joke, but now that there are actual pictures of the new logo on actual cars—well that's all the proof I need. I even love the starburst effects on the blue one. Marko, did you speak to Ford about whether they would consider adding those sparkling effects to the actual cars? They look so great, I bet they'll make Ford's awesome cars go even faster! I don't know how'd they'd do it in real life, but I'm sure those brilliant engineers could come up with a solution. Maybe they could use CGI, or something?

God, that logo is just SOOOOO sexy. Rounded corners is the new oval.

On Apr.01.2008 at 09:08 PM

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marko savic’s comment is:

I concede defeat (and invasion of privacy! not that there is privacy on the internet anymore). The easiest link to this being a student project is on SpeakUp, in Of Fonts and Students, where I explain to PeskyIllustrator the need of students to have access to quality fonts, and how I recently purchased Max for my Ford logo. And the link to my grad show is also a dead giveaway. The images are from my "Graphic Style Manual," which I had sent to Armin for this purpose. The photos are from Ford Motor Company on Flickr, but obviously photoshopped to use my mark.

I don't have a web version of my portfolio yet, but I should in a week or so. If anyone is interested I do have a PDF available, if you'd like to provide some feedback before my Grad Show (or hire me! I'll move anywhere, I have a passport and I'll apply to get work visas!)

I'm so thankful to Armin for giving me this opportunity, and it's been a hilariously good time. Armin (and Debbie,) you are my hero(es.)

On Apr.01.2008 at 09:08 PM

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marko savic’s comment is:

John: Those Photoshop brush lens flares are actually in Ford's marketing materials. They've added them to most of their 2008/2009 vehicle photos. Rather than photoshopping them all out, I had to make due and include one on top of my mark (where there was one previously on the old Ford mark bleeding onto the hood.)

On Apr.01.2008 at 09:11 PM

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marko savic’s comment is:

John, The Focus in question. I feel the need to prove those lens flares aren't mine.

On Apr.01.2008 at 09:18 PM

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morgan’s comment is:

If it's a joke, then some random person in Oakland is in on it too. I just saw a truck with this logo on it this morning and I thought "What the heck? Ford changed their logo? When did that happen?" Yeah, the logo isn't so hot, but a change is nice. I guess all the people claiming "April Fool's" will have no reason to believe me either, but I will take satisfaction in knowing what I saw.

On Apr.01.2008 at 09:32 PM

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General Critic’s comment is:

I think this is crap, because you waited so long in the day to do it. Besides, I'm cranky about all the false stuff clogging up all the blogs I read. Also, once you're caught, there's really no need to go on insisting repeatedly that IT'S TRUE! IT'S TRUE!

By the way, the sign design gave it away. The log isn't symmetrical, so that design can't exist in actual three dimensions.

On Apr.01.2008 at 09:41 PM

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Jerry Kuyper’s comment is:

Good catch on the sign General, similar to the challenge of designing both sides of the airplane tail,

back to trashing Sterling.

Unless xerox, Sterling, AT&T...

it's all an elaborate hoax

On Apr.01.2008 at 09:58 PM

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David Gorman’s comment is:

Felix:
Omnicom is FAR from an unknown company. They're the among the largest firms in the world for this type of corporate creative.
I think it's real. It's not interesting enough to be a joke. It has all the earmarks of a desperate rebranding of a large company in freefall--it's bold in its dryness, communicates nothing and manages to neither impress or offend. It lacks any passion or identity and would be just as at home on a pharmaceutical company building as it would a bank.
I agree with the earlier post that they'll probably revert to the old logo soon enough (the day after they appoint a new CEO?) though I assume it will be in a slightly-stylized update.

On Apr.01.2008 at 10:07 PM

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Anonymous’s comment is:

well... those who want to play the april fools game do need to know there is no rules :)... Don't take it on the wrong side.

Anyway this is good work and would love to see the pdf for this. Would be nice if Armin posted a link to it.

I also found the link on Speak Up, but was a really long post that didn't go right to the point. The I should have done toronto, really nailed it.

On Apr.01.2008 at 10:15 PM

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Ep’s comment is:

I almost lost all hope.

On Apr.01.2008 at 10:47 PM

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marko savic’s comment is:

anonymous: if you reveal yourself, I can email you a copy of what I sent Armin. It's not a complete version (i.e. the spelling mistake in the press release, the impossible signage) but I still have a week or so to refine it.

On Apr.01.2008 at 10:47 PM

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Chad K’s comment is:

This may turn into one of the biggest conspiracies in the auto industry. I can see it now.

On Apr.01.2008 at 11:01 PM

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Anonymous’s comment is:

This will sound april fool's like. But you can contact me at i.am.annonymus on gmail.

Robert

On Apr.01.2008 at 11:08 PM

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robbie’s comment is:

i bit hard.

On Apr.01.2008 at 11:18 PM

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Kim Scarborough’s comment is:

Was the Paul Rand proposal part of the joke, or did he really suggest that?

On Apr.01.2008 at 11:45 PM

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April Fool's’s comment is:

If this were real, then googling a bit of Ford's "press release" would give you some results. No luck though. That press release was made up ... and thus, so must be the logo.

On Apr.02.2008 at 12:07 AM

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marko savic’s comment is:

Kim – Paul Rand did suggest that logo to Ford, but they deemed it too "progressive."

On Apr.02.2008 at 12:12 AM

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Rico’s comment is:

I hate April Fool's day.

On Apr.02.2008 at 01:07 AM

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Wünderwoman’s comment is:

Nice job guys...I was just about to slit my wrists...

On Apr.02.2008 at 01:22 AM

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taber’s comment is:

ahahha i totally knew it right away. still, awesome!! :)

On Apr.02.2008 at 01:28 AM

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SG’s comment is:

Holy F-balls! I was so intrigued and a bit excited by this... you got me dude. Nice one.

On Apr.02.2008 at 02:16 AM

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DG3’s comment is:

It's a good logo, no doubt. But it's just not something they should be doing.

On Apr.02.2008 at 04:46 AM

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Andrew Sabatier’s comment is:

An audacious rebrand.

To over-ride so much visual equity, run with the advice of an internationally nonedescript consultancy and have the design led by a just recently graduated designer, this is brave, very brave.

Overall the brandmark is refreshing. The symbol makes a lot of visual sense. A solid piece of pure design and, I'm pleased to see, free of the nauseating three-dimensionalisation trends in the sector.

The typeface is reassuringly contemporary. It may date but of greater concern is the treatment of the d's ascender. This is an unecessary affectation. Visually it makes some sense but it erodes the gravity of the brandmark, which is perhaps a relatively minor price to pay for shunning the more experienced consultancies.

From an outsider's perspective this rebrand is a bolt from the blue. It's either a once in a lifetime opportunity seized and realised in an inspired chain of events or it's a sign of a loose canon wreaking havok.

I hope this rebrand meets with success.


A.

On Apr.02.2008 at 04:47 AM

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DG3’s comment is:

I mean, I knew it was fake. That's what I wanted to say (not to self: read the whole post next time).

=[

On Apr.02.2008 at 05:01 AM

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Andrew Sabatier’s comment is:

Ah, perhaps we do take ourselves too seriously in this business.

I have to ask myself whether Brand New wants to be taken seriously or whether we should stick to identityworks (http://www.identityworks.com) when it comes to opinions of substance. I read the post in full yesterday, did a bit of research and responded this morning.

An April fools joke of this sort is a low-brow cheap shot at a trusting readership. My confidence has been violated. Further posts will be treated with suspicion.


A.

On Apr.02.2008 at 05:22 AM

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angelday true’s comment is:

You guys had me at "Forum Snowboards".


Please indicate the joke right before the post now that 1st of April has passed.

On Apr.02.2008 at 05:37 AM

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Armin’s comment is:

> An April fools joke of this sort is a low-brow cheap shot at a trusting readership.

Andrew, it's April Fools, man! I'm supposed to twist my readership's trust with something so believable it could be true. Or per Anil Dash's list of what would make a good April Fools: April Fool's works really well if you're either genuinely funny or if you make something that's plausible enough to actually trick someone for a while. Please be assured that no more fake posts will be fake.

> Please indicate the joke right before the post now that 1st of April has passed.

I thought about it, but this should serve as a reminder that posts should be read through all the way to the end. It's regularly that people comment on something that was addressed towards the end of a post.

On Apr.02.2008 at 05:54 AM

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Stevie K’s comment is:

I think if I had caught this yesterday, I would have been more on my guard, instead you had me going for a little while.

Congrats on the great April Fool's Armin, it was certainly better than the British papers' attempts.

On Apr.02.2008 at 06:04 AM

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JoacimW’s comment is:


Reminds me of Forum Snowboards.

www.forum-snowboards.com

On Apr.02.2008 at 07:17 AM

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DG3’s comment is:

It's official. Sabatier's a humorless putz.

On Apr.02.2008 at 07:26 AM

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L.Vaz’s comment is:

Bra-f'ing-vo, man. I read this post on the 2nd, and until I read the 'update' ...I was totally convinced.

Damn yous guys. I almost got away from being fooled this year (other than the Gmail prank, which got me until I read the details, but that doesn't count.)

On Apr.02.2008 at 08:28 AM

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john’s comment is:

Good one! One of the better internet April Fool's posts I've read this year!

On Apr.02.2008 at 09:01 AM

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Ty’s comment is:

Armin, I saw it asked before but I haven't seen the answer yet: Was the "Paul Rand proposal" fake as well?

On Apr.02.2008 at 09:02 AM

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Tom Cox’s comment is:

Rand proposal is not fake.

On Apr.02.2008 at 09:05 AM

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Armin’s comment is:

You can see Paul Rand's Ford logo here. And if you don't trust the internets, you can check it out in Heller's Paul Rand.

On Apr.02.2008 at 09:09 AM

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Gabe S.’s comment is:

THIS IS THE BEST LOGO EVER. I WISH THIS WAS IN MY PORTFOLIO.

On Apr.02.2008 at 10:09 AM

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felix sockwell’s comment is:

well done. i should've seen Deb's "I weep openly" as twist of the knife (I was one of the first to bite). Well done, Darko Arminio & Associates.

-Suckwell

On Apr.02.2008 at 10:21 AM

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Jake’s comment is:

As I tried to comment yesterday (but got error messaged), the Rand logo is pretty interesting. It would be great if you guys did a post giving the story behind it.

On Apr.02.2008 at 10:30 AM

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David Sanchez’s comment is:

Such brand equity gone to waste, but I have to give Ford Good kudos for getting ready for a new generation. Good refresh, the old brand was not cutting it.

On Apr.02.2008 at 10:36 AM

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Jeff’s comment is:

Yeah, I believed that about as much as I believed Pizza Hut was now Pasta Hut. LOL

On Apr.02.2008 at 11:12 AM

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Nick’s comment is:

You know, all day yesterday I was totally up on April Fools jokes, finding all the Google shenanigans, combing through my newspaper to find the fake articles, reading up on different office pranks and how to perform them, but I drove home saddened by this logo redesign. Each time I pulled up behind a Ford vehicle, I kept thinking "I never thought it was too girly" and "I just can't see that new logo on the back of this truck".

Then this morning I was waiting at a light, behind a Ford, and it hit me that I had been completely duped. Good job Armin. Good job.

On Apr.02.2008 at 11:19 AM

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Ben Leivian’s comment is:

Hahah, I'm such a sucker. And it's the 2nd.

On Apr.02.2008 at 11:20 AM

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marko savic’s comment is:

Nick, just for you (and procrastination) I took 5 minutes away from my essay on food security in Toronto to prove it works on a truck!

Though if this were an actual product I would have the mark used as the handle to eliminate visual clutter on the back of the truck (seriously, how often do they show trucks from behind? its the only way you see them in real life!)

On Apr.02.2008 at 12:04 PM

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marko savic’s comment is:

Also, in contributing to similar logos, Pentagram's mark for The Sage Gatehead is very similar. I came across it after the fact, but before I had chosen a direction, but my professor didn't think the similarity was noteworthy.

On Apr.02.2008 at 12:07 PM

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Rachel’s comment is:

Heh...good job, guy. I almost had a heart attack reading this on April 2...until I remembered that I was catching up on my Google Reader.

On Apr.02.2008 at 12:22 PM

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Dave Klonke’s comment is:

This is the best 4/1 joke since This Week in Baseball (I think that's who did it) did that feature on MLB allowing aluminum bats and all the pitchers saying they were going to go on strike.

Great job! I loved it!!! And no, I don't feel my trust was ever violated...gimme a break people!

On Apr.02.2008 at 01:10 PM

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Chris’s comment is:

Is the Pizza Hut conversion to Pasta Hut for real or is it another April Fool's prank as well?

On Apr.02.2008 at 01:15 PM

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Steve W’s comment is:

"surprising and commendable?"

More like "predictable and despicable."

Ford would clearly jump off a bridge if everyone else did too.

On Apr.02.2008 at 01:19 PM

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marko savic’s comment is:

"Is the Pizza Hut conversion to Pasta Hut for real or is it another April Fool's prank as well?"

I'm fairly certain its a joke, but I was there for dinner the other day with my sister and they had a large selection of pasta which was really surprising. I think they're trying to become more Boston Pizza and less Domino's.

On Apr.02.2008 at 01:28 PM

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Ty’s comment is:

Last question, Armin, I promise:

What font is the fake Ford wordmark written in?

On Apr.02.2008 at 02:24 PM

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Too bad’s comment is:

This site is officially stupid and meaningless.

I come here to look and discuss design and branding, not to be pranked like a 7th grader.

Bye bye, I won't be coming back.

On Apr.02.2008 at 02:26 PM

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April Fools’s comment is:

This was a dumb idea on Brand New's part.

On Apr.02.2008 at 02:33 PM

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April Fools’s comment is:

This was a dumb idea on Brand New's part.

On Apr.02.2008 at 02:34 PM

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ugh’s comment is:

Yeah - might wanna pull post this down, so people that come here like April 2 or beyond - don't think it is for real.

I agree it being quite dumb of the site though.

Might wanna try and stay professional, after all, you crit design like you are, so...

On Apr.02.2008 at 02:38 PM

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Jeff’s comment is:

Wow people get a sense of humor! In my eyes it was an obvious prank and a very good one at that. I was highly entertained.

Regarding the Pizza Hut/ Past Hut thing, it was a prank as well.

On Apr.02.2008 at 02:40 PM

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Jeff’s comment is:

*Pasta, that should have read Pasta Hut. Darn "a" dropped off. ;)

On Apr.02.2008 at 02:42 PM

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Goffredo Puccetti’s comment is:

Just for the record:
a splendid April's fool. It was a very well conceived prank. Well done and keep up the good work.
No need to question the integrity and professionality of this website. Rather try to get real and have some sense of humour.

G.


On Apr.02.2008 at 03:07 PM

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Nick’s comment is:

Hey Marko, thanks for the mockup. I see that the logo could function well like that, I just couldn't see it along with the wordmark being so vertical on something like the back of a truck which is so horizontal in nature. Then there's the sentimental factor...

You should be proud of yourself for tackling something so recognizable for a redesign. Also, I think it's a testament to the success of your idea that so many people were fooled.

On Apr.02.2008 at 03:11 PM

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marko savic’s comment is:

Ty: Ford is in Max 3, but I made the crossbars on the F thicker and lined them up with the r. I also customized the angle of the ascender on the d and made it taller to fit into the mark.

motor company is in Meta Caps Bold

Nick: Thank you.

On Apr.02.2008 at 03:15 PM

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Sarah’s comment is:

VERY good april fool's! I saw this yesterday and totally thought it was real. I told my coworker about it today and pulled up the site again and I thought....wait a minute....I bet this is just a April Fool's joke. Ha! Loved it! Thanks for the best prank of the day.

On Apr.02.2008 at 04:32 PM

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David’s comment is:

I agree with Felix Sockwell.

You had my co-workers and I fooled!


On Apr.02.2008 at 05:14 PM

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hear me’s comment is:

You had me then you lost me on the joke. Nice work. I hate Ford cars and was kind of hoping that it was true. Let them dig their own grave and find Henry rolling over in his! I'm sure he's flipping out about their gay marriage and sex change benefits.

On Apr.02.2008 at 05:46 PM

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Lea’s comment is:

Totally suckered. For five minutes. But suckered all the same. Good one, Armin!

On Apr.02.2008 at 05:46 PM

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g-sppud’s comment is:

Bravo.

On Apr.02.2008 at 06:06 PM

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David Sanchez’s comment is:

FRAK YOU!, you got me!

On Apr.02.2008 at 06:23 PM

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adam’s comment is:

who are all these people who think this ruins underconsideration's professionality?

c'mon now!!! gimme a break. how can you be a designer without having a sense of humor or coming up with ridiculous ideas at times?

thats why i love this job, no need to be overly serious all the time.

at the HOW conference last year, one of the presenters mentioned some research that had some people watch a comedy movie and others watch a drama. then they were asked questions or given some type of "test." the ones who watched the comedy were more "creative" in their responses (sorry for not remembering the specifics of the reults but you get the idea)

On Apr.02.2008 at 07:10 PM

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marko savic’s comment is:

As an aside, this was another one of my concepts going forward, but was eliminated because of the resemblance to Flash. I didn't think it was similar that it would cause market confusion, but I was asking a room full of designers. Any thoughts on this mark?

On Apr.02.2008 at 07:15 PM

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chiara’s comment is:

the new logotype is very similar to train italian company
http://www.ferroviedellostato.it/

On Apr.02.2008 at 07:48 PM

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Lisa R’s comment is:

This totally had me going. I kept waffling: 'is it, or isn't it?!' Bravo for a convincing prank! I would have been really sad if it were true, I love that the Ford logo is so old and steeped in history. In this day of senseless re-branding (Xerox, you fools), it's nice to see a company stick with a nearly 100-year-old design. Which is why I came back here today to check for an update and read all of the comments.

Marko, I think the Flashesque logo is... well, yes, it's flashesque. But it might seem different if it were mocked up in 3D metal on blue like what you did with the other logo.

On Apr.02.2008 at 08:24 PM

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Mark’s comment is:

Phew, you had me for a moment there, well done April fools joke!

:)

On Apr.02.2008 at 08:25 PM

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Darrin Crescenzi’s comment is:

Marko:

Formal critique aside, the "flash" logo is just way too feminine for the back of a pickup truck… notice how even Toyota refuses to use their oval logo on their trucks, opting instead for a burly Tonka-truck "T" thing.

Also I think using an oval as the basis for the mark does nothing to set it apart from other vehicle manufacturers. I'd say you're better off with the first one in your book.

On Apr.02.2008 at 08:40 PM

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dokken’s comment is:

Okay now that this is over /// REALLY how could anyone be that gullible to believe this?!!!

The logo was "quietly deployed" at an Auto Show? Has nobody ever been to an Auto Show?

An unknown identity designer wouldn't "join" a company, he'd just be an independent contractor, wouldn't he?

and the misspelling of wordmark sealed the ham-handed effort.

A+ for last-minute effort, C- for execution, F for all the gullible people, especially around April 1.

On Apr.02.2008 at 08:41 PM

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marko savic’s comment is:

and the misspelling of wordmark sealed the ham-handed effort.

Yeah, I noticed that after the fact. The project is due Friday, but I do run spell check before printing, just not before impromptu April Fool's gags.

On Apr.02.2008 at 08:48 PM

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Geo1’s comment is:

I noticed the new headline.

Wonder why that went up?

On Apr.02.2008 at 10:18 PM

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candy’s comment is:

I didn't see this until today, the end of the 2nd, and I didn't even think about it being posted yesterday (nor did i see the subject title)

Consider me totally tricked! :0(

On Apr.02.2008 at 10:44 PM

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mog’s comment is:

I only wish Ford had the audacity to do something like this.

It wouldn't be a senseless rebrand if it made sense! The current Ford logo is dated and boring. Steeped in history, yes, but it's not a particularly great history - and do the people who are scooping up Toyotas and Hyundais really care about "history"? If anything, Ford needs to distances itself from its past.

But it won't. It'll just keep on rehashing the same cars, now with more Plastichromeâ„¢, and the competition will get further and further ahead.

On Apr.03.2008 at 12:53 AM

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Philip’s comment is:

wtf..muwahahahahhah!! funny :)

On Apr.03.2008 at 04:58 AM

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ML’s comment is:

Haha good one!

On Apr.03.2008 at 05:40 AM

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mr.s’s comment is:

For future reference, "mark" is a boy's name. "Marque" is the correct spelling for a brand:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marque

On Apr.04.2008 at 04:31 PM

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marko savic’s comment is:

Mr. S, Marque is an automotive term about the branding of vehicles. References here to "mark" refer either to the abstract figure, the wordmark, or the combination thereof.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wordmark
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trademark
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Service_mark

On Apr.04.2008 at 07:22 PM

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Audrée Lapierre’s comment is:

i totally believed it

On Apr.05.2008 at 07:26 PM

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ML’s comment is:

On Apr.07.2008 at 08:21 AM

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Johnny Holeva’s comment is:

An awesome April Fool's joke. Got me hook, line, and sinker. Well done!

On Apr.07.2008 at 01:39 PM

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Vilhelm Black’s comment is:

Something tells me Federated Auto Parts might have a case in court


On Apr.08.2008 at 12:26 AM

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david’s comment is:

Gosh, do you ever think they'll actually redesign the logo? They should, because I think the cursive one makes their sucky-designed cars look even worse. But I'm biased. Japanese cars only, please!

On Apr.11.2008 at 11:35 AM

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James Welsh’s comment is:

There's about a million to one chance that Ford or any other huge brand would change their logo. There's too much at stake. And nothing to gain.

I saw a student redesign for the Dairy Queen logo immediately I wondered why on earth would D-Q redesign their logo which may be ugly but is as recognizable as any out there. It would be as disastrous to their business as changing the red roof on their buildings. Imagine if Mcdonald's changed their golden arches. Sure you can argue about the aesthetic pro's and con's.

There's much more to Branding than simple design considerations.

Too bad most designers don't learn this at school -- or at work!

On Apr.12.2008 at 11:02 AM

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Paul’s comment is:

Hahahaha.

Nice work. had me going for a while too.

On Apr.12.2008 at 06:49 PM

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Mark’s comment is:

You know what's sad about this?

I realized that if they actually changed their logo to this (fake) new one it would actually be a big improvement over the current one, even though I would miss it if it were replaced.

Why? because finally, finally it would seem that Ford would have gotten it's self unstuck out of the rut it's been in for all this time losing sales, having problem with quality,closing plants down etc. and finally it would signal looking forward to the future with refreshed brand and moving ahead.

But alas, Ford still decides to be stuck,sigh.

On Apr.12.2008 at 08:58 PM

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Fernando Volken Togni’s comment is:

I am a designer. If it were my work, I would keep the traditional ellipse and just modernise the lettering. Simple and efficient.

On Apr.15.2008 at 08:37 PM

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Anonymous’s comment is:

fireworks?

On Apr.18.2008 at 01:48 PM

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pat Taylor’s comment is:

No comment.

On Apr.21.2008 at 11:05 AM

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Armin’s comment is:

Due to the high amount of comment spam this particular entry is getting, the comments have been closed.

On Jun.05.2008 at 08:03 AM

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