The Best Identities of 2011

To end the year on a positive note here are The Best Identities of 2011. As much as I enjoy posting the train wrecks, the Bests are more fun, mostly because my selections tend to generate plenty of disagreement. You can catch the worst here. Enjoy and see you in 2012.




No. 12: XL Group

Venturethree

Designed By

An XLent Redesign

Original Post
The Best and Worst Identities of 2011
The Best and Worst Identities of 2011

A global insurance company that isn’t afraid to look serious or even mean, with a super sharp and blacker than black logo. The applications added some levity and a playful animation showed its flexibility.

Commentary


No. 11: Atlassian

Jeff Kriege (in-house)

Designed By

Atlas Designed

Original Post
The Best and Worst Identities of 2011
The Best and Worst Identities of 2011

Where hundreds of swoosh-based, humanoid-shaped logos have gone horribly wrong, Atlassian succeeds with a very excellent execution in form, counterforms, and typography. In-house designer Jeffe Kriege even posted a behind-the-scenes look at the design of the identity.

Commentary


No. 10: CooperVision

Siegel+Gale

Designed By

CooperVision, Looking Good

Original Post
The Best and Worst Identities of 2011
The Best and Worst Identities of 2011

While a lot of commenters moaned that this was the opposite of “seeing clearly” — after all, who wants to think about their vision looking like a smooshed grape — I thought the idea of being able to see even the most delicate detail of the watercolor communicated the right thing. Plus, I just want to eat all those colorful blobs and wash them down with a glass of rainbow.

Commentary


No. 9: Voices of Youth

Hyperakt

Designed By

New Voice for Voices of Youth

Original Post
The Best and Worst Identities of 2011
The Best and Worst Identities of 2011

The logo played with all the elements of the name: An implied “V”, a Gestalt-ish “Y”, and a speech bubble for voices. While it could have been cliché, the logo was one of the crowd favorites of the year. The applications and supporting icon system made this one of the best rounded identities.

Commentary


No. 8: Little Chef

Venturethree

Designed By

Little Chef, Big Dreams

Original Post
The Best and Worst Identities of 2011
The Best and Worst Identities of 2011

I’m a sucker for both monoweight script wordmarks and happy, chubby mascots. This revitalization of UK roadside food chain fulfills both of these personal attractions with colorful joy.

Commentary


No. 7: OCAD U

Bruce Mau Design

Designed By

OCAD U, All New

Original Post
The Best and Worst Identities of 2011
The Best and Worst Identities of 2011

One of the best, and truest, flexible identities of the year. Simple, solid, and malleable. But most importantly, student, faculty, and alumni approved.

Commentary


No. 6: Mathaf, Arab Museum of Modern Art

Wolff Olins

Designed By

Typography: Where East Meets West

Original Post
The Best and Worst Identities of 2011
The Best and Worst Identities of 2011

Although it had a luke-warm reception when we first posted it, due in part to lack of proper materials to show, the Mathaf identity got a second wind after taking Best of Show in the 2010 Brand New Awards and we were able to post this comprehensive follow-up.

Commentary


No. 5: MIT Media Lab

E Roon Kang + TheGreenEyl

Designed By

MIT Media Lab, Full of Squares

Original Post
The Best and Worst Identities of 2011
The Best and Worst Identities of 2011

A nerd-fueled flexible identity with a web interface that allows people to generate their very own iteration. The logo is kind of ugly, but you can’t stop looking at it.

Commentary


No. 4: Current

Wolff Olins

Designed By

Current Lets its Bold Flag Fly

Original Post
The Best and Worst Identities of 2011
The Best and Worst Identities of 2011

A logo designed first to live on screen through beautiful, bold typography mapped on a waving flag. Even in static form it’s pretty badass.

Commentary


No. 3: IFC

Feel Good Anyway

Designed By

With a Great Tagline Comes Great Responsibility

Original Post
The Best and Worst Identities of 2011
The Best and Worst Identities of 2011

Just like its tagline, “Always On. Slightly Off.”, this identity is so on it hurts. Smart, funny, and totally unsexy (in a good way). One of my favorite aspects of the identity is that it uses like five different sans serif typefaces, sort of a big no-no but it works remarkably off here.

Commentary


No. 2: Peru

Futurebrand

Designed By

Peru’s New Brand

Original Post
The Best and Worst Identities of 2011
The Best and Worst Identities of 2011

How do you capture the essence and totality of a country? Like this. Exactly like this. Something that no other country could own, rooted in the tradition and visual culture of the place, with a sophisticated modern touch. A remarkably comprehensive identity.

Commentary


No. 1: Starbucks

Lippincott + Starbucks Global Creative

Designed By

All right Mr. Schultz, I’m Ready for my Close-up

Original Post
The Best and Worst Identities of 2011
The Best and Worst Identities of 2011

From the moment this rolled out I loved it. You can’t really revolutionize a global brand like Starbucks, it would be too hard and risky. This was the perfect evolution to elevate it into an iconic brand, one beyond coffee. Losing the name around the siren allowed the icon to be the star of the brand and it performs like one in all the applications — see here. This may not be the identity with the most visual pow of the year but the sheer effort it takes to move a brand of this size into a more refined and sophisticated aesthetic, especially for a brand that takes up so much of our visual landscape, is well worth applauding.

Commentary

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December 26, 201112.26.11 by Armin


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