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New Name and Logo for TIAA



Noted Feb. 24, 2016 by Armin

Industry / Corporate Tags /


(Est. 1918, previously TIAA-CREF) “TIAA is a unique financial partner. With an award-winning track record for consistent investment performance, TIAA is the leading provider of financial services in the academic, research, medical, cultural and government fields. TIAA has $854 billion in assets under management (as of 12/31/2015) and offers a wide range of financial solutions, including investing, banking, advice and guidance, and retirement services.”

Design by

"[A] highly integrated, multi-agency collaboration" consisting of The Martin Agency, Frog, Weber Shandwick, and Firstborn.

Related links

TIAA press release

Relevant quote
Along with the launch of a completely redesigned website (TIAA.org) and new logo, the shortened name is the culmination of a multi-year journey that places simplicity, clarity and engagement at the center of the customer experience. A national marketing campaign will highlight the ways in which TIAA continues to innovate and deliver unmatched and personalized financial services to its customers across all life stages. […] The new name takes the organization full circle from 1918, when TIAA was founded through the vision of Andrew Carnegie to make a difference in the lives of teachers. The name leverages TIAA’s esteemed heritage as a mission-driven organization while becoming easier to say, type and remember.

TIAA press release

Images (opinion after)
New Name and Logo for TIAA
Logo detail.
New Name and Logo for TIAA
Tagline/ribbon device.
New Name and Logo for TIAA
New Name and Logo for TIAA
New Name and Logo for TIAA

The old logo wasn't great — the holding shape was far too big and overpowering — but it had presence and resolved a difficult combination of names and letters in a stoic way. It had a sort of Brutalist Light aesthetic going that was somewhat favorable to its retiring teacher audience. The new logo, as is now the norm, attempts to soften the brand and make it more consumer friendly. The previous type was solid and changing to whatever the new one may be doesn't really make it better and the "A"s are too wide, leaving gaping holes at the end of the logo. The icon is a rounded-cornered version of the old hollow cube-like shape and now features a bland gradient that for some reason has one light source on the outside and another on the inside — shouldn't the inside corner also have a hard corner where the shadow shifts? Not that it matters because it wouldn't make the logo any better. Of all the highly integrated, multi-agencies listed I don't see a traditional graphic design or identity firm but plenty of advertising and digital-leaning agencies so, I guess, no surprise on the lackluster end result. Even the ads, which I assume would allow their talents to shine, are… sad. Bad copywriting, terrible illustrations, and no clear idea or message in sight.

Thanks to Jay-Michael Sutton for the tip.

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UnderConsideration is a graphic design firm generating its own projects, initiatives, and content while taking on limited client work. Run by Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit in Austin, TX.

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