A supplier of all kinds of papers, office supplies, and packaging solutions for businesses, Domtar Distribution Group, part of Domtar, was established in 2004 to encompass four different companies — RIS The Paper House, Buntin Reid The Paper House, JBR La Maison du Papier, and The Paper House — that had collectively been providing paper since 1843 in the U.S. and Canada. This past February they announced a name change to Ariva and a new logo. A slightly snoozy video on the home page, bottom left, explains the new name (something about “arriving” although not fully convincing) and gives you a look into the exciting world of paper distribution.
“Our customers’ businesses and needs are changing in ways no one could imagine a decade ago,” said Mark Ushpol, Senior Vice President of Ariva. “Our new identity reflects our recognition of these fundamental changes and our commitment to work as a unified team to deliver new products and solutions to give our customers a competitive edge. No matter where the future leads, Ariva will be there with innovative solutions to help our customers communicate, collaborate and compete more effectively.”
— Press Release (PDF)
The new name is far better than Domtar Distribution Group but it still has that hockey corporate sound to it of companies trying to come up with cool names like Altria. Which reminds me: Altria called, and it wants half of its logo back. Sorry. I should know better than doing the this-logo-looks-like-that-other-logo routine but sometimes the comparison is necessary as a reminder to designers that some visual tropes (like a bunch of pixels forming a geometric shape) are hard to own, when someone bigger already did it first. But I digress. Let’s assume there is no conflict with this. The new logo is just a pixel abstraction of nothing to do with paper or office supplies and, if anything, it looks more like a thing for an airline. I’m all for abstract logos as long as they imply something meaningful, this one is just decoration. Perhaps rotating it 90 degrees counterclockwise to form the shape of an “A” would have at least given it some reason. The wordmark in DIN is as exciting as the words “distribution group”. To be fair, the new identity isn’t bad-bad it’s just bad-boring.