Reviewed

Yale University Press Logo, Before and After

First established in 1908 and operating from a small office in Manhattan, it wasn’t until 1961 that Yale University Press (YUP) officially became a part of Yale University while remaining, all this time, financially and operationally independent. YUP has published over 8,000 books and now does so at a rate of approximately 300 titles a year. And since 1985, much of these titles have carried the idiosyncratic logo designed by Paul Rand. After this point, 24 years later, Rand’s logo will no longer grace spines, instead, it will now be the primary Yale logo — typeset in Matthew Carter’s The Yale Typeface designed in 2004 — as reported by the Yale Daily News.

In what instances might it be appropriate to create and use nonstandard logos?
To distinguish for legal and organizational purposes Yale-affiliated commercial initiatives from the activities of the University per se—for instance, the imprint of Yale Press.— A Note about Logos, Yale University Identity Guidelines

The only explanation for this is to make it perfectly clear and leave no doubt that Yale and Yale University Press are the same entity and that one informs the other and benefits from each other’s cachet. With Rand’s logo, there was an implied distance between the university and the press and for some behind-the-scenes reason that is not wanted anymore. So, strategically, it might make perfect sense to adopt the Yale logo as the press’ identity.

Emotionally — and given the large amount of e-mails I received about this change — it’s another story. Most of us are wired to react negatively to anything that rids the world of yet another Rand logo. Like many, I am an admirer of this logo and I’m sad to see it go. But it’s crystal clear that the world in which Rand created identities is not the same world they exist in now and most are reaching their expiry date… IBM being the exception. So, yes, it’s lamentable to see Rand’s work slowly dissolve in this über branded era where form doesn’t follow function but the bottom line.

Thanks to Chris Rugen for first tip.

filed under Publishing and tagged with

Reviewed October 1, 200910.01.09 by Armin


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