Established in 1990, Polycom, with 3,800 employees in 80 offices in 36 countries, specializes in “open standards-based unified communications (UC) solutions for telepresence, video, and voice.” If that means not much to you, they make those triangle, UFO-shaped phones that people scream at during conference calls — they are as much a staple of corporate America offices as the cubicle. Simplification aside, Polycom does have quite the stronghold and edge on all kinds of conferencing platforms that go beyond the phone, offering video and mobile solutions — they have more than 800 issued or pending patents too. Last week, Polycom introduced a new logo and identity designed by San Jose, CA-based John McNeil Studio that signals a commitment to continuing its transformation to a software-led company.
The new Polycom (as of May 2012) — three fluid, transparent, elliptical arcs, symbolizing connection, mobility, information sharing and collaboration.
— Polycom Brand Page
I loved the old logo: it was striking, simple, and very corporate. The icon mimicked the shape of its famous triangle phone and even the wispy serif all caps wordmark had some gravitas to it. But I can see all the reason why Polycom wanted to move away from it: it’s not about the phone anymore, it’s not a product or service just for Fortune 500 companies, it’s not friendly enough. In exchange Polycom has gotten a logo that solves all those issues through a perfectly generic execution and ambiguously explained concept: The three rings that symbolize blah blah blah are uninspired and the Gotham book weight wordmark is one of a dozen things like it we’ve seen the past five years. For a company leading in innovation and entrenched so deeply with corporations one would hope that they would be more risky or innovative in how they portray themselves. This is just safe work at best.