(Est. 1980) “HARMAN designs and engineers connected products and solutions for automakers, consumers and enterprises worldwide, including connected car systems; audio and visual products, enterprise automation solutions; and connected services. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson® and Revel®, HARMAN is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform around the world. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and connected car systems. The Company’s software services power billions of mobile devices and systems that are connected, integrated and secure across all platforms, from work and home to car and mobile. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 25,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.9 billion during the last 12 months ended March 31, 2015.”
HARMAN’s new logo represents the Company’s mission to enable seamless, connected lifestyles for the home, car, stage and enterprise through its leading audio products, infotainment systems, software and connected services.
I can't tell if the old logo is bad because someone scaled horizontally some unidentifiable sans serif or, worse, if someone drew it that way on purpose. Although it could have passed off as another generic Helvetica-ish wordmark, there is something more unsettling going on once you analyze it. Luckily it's on its way out. Unluckily, it's not replaced by something significantly better. The wordmark is definitely more contemporary and now clearly customized and proprietary. Had they had some restraint and not curved one quarter of the corners in each letter — and cohesively stenciled the "R" like the "A"s — this could have been a fairly nice wordmark. I'm also going out on a limb and take a guess that someone proposed the wordmark on its own, as an evolution of the old wordmark, but then someone else (99% sure a boss) said "This is missing something; how about some swooshes?". I don't want to hate on the swooshes by default because they do add something to the logo but I wish they were a lot better integrated, possibly aligning on a curve with the angles of the "A"s and have more intentional interaction with the wordmark rather than just disappearing behind an implied white box. Overall, sort of what you expect for a parent company trying to get more consumer recognition.