Opinions on corporate and brand identity work.

A division of UnderConsideration.

Share ›

This is a very old entry — images are small, formatting is off.


Ready. Aim. Chat!

Reviewed Nov. 17, 2011 by Armin

Industry / Technology Tags /

AIM Logo, Before and After

Released in 1997, AIM, short for AOL Instant Messenger, was the original IM-ing choice for the first mass generation of internet users, making it the one socially acceptable product from AOL one could use without losing his or her cred. Even with the onslaught of instant message features in Gmail and Facebook and major applications like Skype and Apple’s own Chat, AIM has somehow managed to keep its spot — or at least a spot — in the market. Lacking any serious updates in recent years, AOL is completely rebooting AIM, launching a new version this week with mobile apps for the iPhone and Android, desktop clients for Mac and PC, and a site for chatting directly on your browser. With this a new logo has also been introduced.



iPhone home screen and Mac OS desktop icon. No idea what that monkey is or does.

The old logo, with the AOL running man, certainly had to go in order to break ties with the original AOL that no one wants to be associated with. There was nothing really wrong with it, other than its AOLness. The new logo is a radical change and it’s one of the few redesigns that I’m undecided about whether I like or not. I’ll start with the easy, what I don’t like: as a lowercase wordmark, the product becomes “aim” instead of the acronym “AIM”, which is how people know it and I don’t see a reason why it should be read as “aim” since there is nothing aim-able about instant messaging. I also don’t like that it is similar to Vimeo; it’s not that no one else can do the quirky script approach anymore, but for a product competing for a similar audience, the similarity is not necessarily welcome. What I do like is that it’s a clean break with a fresh, friendly, bouncy attitude. Something the old one never had. There is a nice interplay between the swashes of the script right in the center where the “i” meets with its two companions. The “m” gets a little wonky towards the end, but the overall feel is quite decently executed. The main thing here is signaling change, and AIM does succeed in that regard.

Thanks to Eric Grant for first tip.



Share ›

Spotted Around the web

New Logo for Qualys

New Logo for Qualys
Spotted Jul. 27, 2017

New Logo for Saga Holidays

New Logo for Saga Holidays
Spotted Jul. 26, 2017

Pinned Recent, Big Stories

New Logo for NASCAR

New Logo for NASCAR
Posted Jan. 4, 2017

Curated Good-looking Summer Destinations

Peru’s New Brand

Peru's New Brand
Posted Mar. 15, 2011

Where the Cold Wind Blows

Where the Cold Wind Blows
Posted Sep. 29, 2010


Brand New, is a division of UnderConsideration, displaying opinions, and focusing solely, on corporate and brand identity work. More…

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.

Many Thanks to our Advertisers

When choosing between competing products and services, please consider our advertisers, who help support Brand New.


Brand New uses Mercury Text ScreenSmart and Operator ScreenSmart from Hoefler & Co.

Webfonts by Hoefler & Co.

Join our Mailing List