“Today, we’re spinning off Matter, the National Magazine Award-winning longform publication, from the Medium mothership. We’re now an independent media company called Matter Studios. And we’re going to be a very different kind of media company. For starters: It’s not a website. It’s not a website. Matter won’t even be a publication, not anymore, or a publisher, not precisely. We’ve been describing it as sort of a studio and sort of an incubator.”
In-house: Tracy Ma
In the end we crafted a mark that reflects the company we are building. It is jarring and gritty. It looks human-made because the letterforms come from the same gestures I would use to graffiti a wall.
The horizontal lines are a result of a production method called halftone, one of the oldest techniques in mark-making. It’s how silkscreens are made. The halftone pattern is on one hand hinting at that DIY era of zines and self-publishing, and also a way for us to create tone, depth, and texture using only solid shapes.
Images (opinion after)
The previous logo by Pentagram partner Luke Hayman was pretty cool — maybe more appropriate for an urban lifestyle apparel brand but cool nonetheless and I guess appropriate for the Medium audience. The new logo… well, holy shit, you don't see stuff like this often. It's not Circular, that's for sure. In fact, it's a long, straight-up middle finger to all that is common in modern-day logos. For that alone, I like it. But I also have a thing for electric-looking, 1980s-stuff and this one is very much on that wavelength. I wish the texture of the logo looked less like a dozen Adobe warp/distort/halftone filters one on top of the other and maybe it's just one and more power to them. I also really like how the wordmark can sit on top of other text and both elements are still readable. The process post on Medium is entertaining and worth a read. One last thing is for sure: I still have no idea what Matter Studios is so the logo works perfectly in furthering that confusion.
Thanks to Lexi Vanni for the tip.