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AT&T Says Bye-bye to Saul Bass

We all knew it was coming. It was just a matter of when and how — more specifically: how bad. A lengthy history on what led us to this point can be read in, the now three-times-linked, Michael B.’s The Final Days of AT&T. So let’s skip right ahead to the result and the reasons behind it:

att_new_logo.jpg

Although not credited in any press release, word on the street is that Interbrand was responsible for creating the new identity. If new information arises we will update this point.

Frankly, there is a lot to be written about this redesign, but I would rather make this post as simple and objective as possible so that the best is left for the comments.

A few bits from the official press release:

— “The revitalized mark symbolizes these attributes — innovation, integrity, quality, reliability and unsurpassed customer care”

— The new logo reinvigorates the AT&T globe — one of the most recognized corporate symbols in the world. The new globe is three-dimensional, representing the expanding breadth and depth of services that the new AT&T family of companies provides to customers, as well as its global presence.

— Transparency was added to the globe to represent clarity and vision.

— Lowercase type is now used for the “AT&T” characters because it projects a more welcoming and accessible image.

You can access more information on AT&T’s — sorry, at&t’sBrand Center, including an evolutionary chart of the logo [PDF], ads and a variety of logo formats for your inspection.

Many thanks to — who else? — DesignMaven for the early notification of this launch.

During this discussion, please feel free (obligated?) to expand on any “I like it/I don’t like it” comments you might have on the logo — we can only get so far with those comments.

[Title of this post is the second in what is now a series of Bye-byes to important identities of our time. Hopefully we’ll see little of these — Ed.]

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ENTRY DETAILS
ARCHIVE ID 2478 FILED UNDER Branding and Identity
PUBLISHED ON Nov.21.2005 BY Armin
WITH 241 COMMENTS
Comments
JT III’s comment is:

Carefully-craftedness is out, blobbyness is in.

On Nov.21.2005 at 09:46 AM
Gary Fogelson’s comment is:

That's the worst possible thing that could ever happen to that logo.

On Nov.21.2005 at 10:02 AM
Daniel Green’s comment is:

I find it interesting that the new mark tries to retain equity of the Saul Bass globe by using modulated lines to define light and dark.

However, in the new design, the modulated lines suggest a foreground shadow, instead of a foreground highlight. Is AT&T showing us their backside?

On Nov.21.2005 at 10:07 AM
DesignMaven’s comment is:

Rare Guest Appearance:

I'm Going to Allow the Original Illustrator of the Identity Jerry The King Kuyper to Comment. I've been up all night waiting for the Launch. Sent out all my Communications.

I'll SLEEP ON IT!!!!!!!!

JonSel and Felix I expect you to Comment.

I'm Going Back To Bed.

DM

P.S. Arm I absolutely LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!

On Nov.21.2005 at 10:13 AM
Michael Holdren’s comment is:

I'm repulsed by it, and yet strangely at the same time attracted to it. Much like an obese woman in a bikini.

On Nov.21.2005 at 10:20 AM
Coudal’s comment is:

Yikes. A 3-D ball. That's 'clarity and vision' all right.

On Nov.21.2005 at 10:20 AM
Nathan Philpot’s comment is:

I like the logotype, but the globe, it reminds me of what happend to the UPS logo. If I had to say something good about it . . . it's cool.

On Nov.21.2005 at 10:22 AM
Theo’s comment is:

The first thing it reminds me of is a gumball, or a jawbreaker.

It also, randomly enough, made me think of a frozen zebra.

This is one of those cases where a clean break would probably have been preferable to trying to modify an existing logo.

On Nov.21.2005 at 10:30 AM
Rob Weychert’s comment is:

This battlestation is fully operational.

On Nov.21.2005 at 10:31 AM
Armin’s comment is:

One-liners are good and funny, but c'mon, a little more? I will add my comments as soon as I get a moment.

On Nov.21.2005 at 10:33 AM
fatknuckle’s comment is:

Seems to me to be a half hearted attempt to retain the integrity of the original yet still appear "fresh." Make it 3d! Wow. treading new ground there.

uggh. double uggh.

I'm interested to see what this would look like as a one color version.

Seems like interbrand (or whoever did this) completely dropped the ball on this. They had the opportunity to really come up with something spectacular, somethinig truly symbolic of the nature of the new entity and they SBC'd it up. shame.

And whats with the pregnant a in the wordmark?

On Nov.21.2005 at 10:38 AM
Rob Weychert’s comment is:

I think was repulses me most about this new logo is the tonal overstatement of the sphere. The original's flat color implied dimension but didn't feel the need to oversell it. It was a bold, distinctive mark. This is an illustration of a marble from a community college Adobe Illustrator class.

On Nov.21.2005 at 10:38 AM
fatknuckle’s comment is:

Rob-

Funny you mentioned the marble thing. I am doing work for the American Toy Marble museum and one of my comps looked exactly like that.

The mark is horribly rendered, the thins and thicks used to simulate the flat lines in the original just look odd in a sculpted mark like this.

I think the thinking was we make it look close enough to the original and just 3d it we wont have to spend as much to relaunch the identity since there is still a smidge of the original apparent.

On Nov.21.2005 at 10:47 AM
Scott Stowell’s comment is:

Wow.

This is a very odd solution (notable for its lack of vision or quality in almost every respect) that reminds me of how real-estate developers often name their projects after what they destroyed to build them.

So a peaceful meadow is replaced by "Peaceful Meadow Industrial Park," etc. The intent is to celebrate history. The result is just enough to cause a painful wince of recognition, but nothing more.

On Nov.21.2005 at 10:50 AM
Doug Bartow’s comment is:

Seems like interbrand (or whoever did this) completely dropped the ball on this

It's unfair to blame the creative team's lack of vision for this solution w/o knowing MUCH more about the job and the details behind the path to the final mark. Sometimes designers don't has as much influence over the final selected direction as we would like. ie: It's rare that a large public corporation has the courage to accept the new BP logo as their new mark...

Also, I'm a firm believer that if you can't come up with a one-liner about any corporate mark, then it's probably not a very strong solution. Why? Because the semantics/semiotics used in the most successful marks is loosely based in the (changing) cultural fabric in which we all live. If the mark evokes nothing from you, then it's destined for anonymity. So, sorry Armin, but I say bring on the one-liners. They are more entertaining (and much easier to read) than some of the recent bickering posted hereabouts.

On Nov.21.2005 at 10:53 AM
feelicks sockwl jr’s comment is:

I think its pretty fresh. I like it.

The b/w application falls short of the colored, 3D version but all in all it retains it's integrity. Yes, the armchair design barkers here on Speak Up will assail it but whats new and original about that? Be sure of one thing: this is not akin to Hitlerization of UPS. Look for the new ad campaign to reveal itself on the 24th.

btw- Armin, though not mentioned in any official AT&T press release, the design firm was named in this morning's edition of the The New York Times

On Nov.21.2005 at 10:57 AM
fatknuckle’s comment is:

Doug-

I say that whoever did this failed because as a mark it holds absolutely nothing. I would place more blame on the marketing people and managment of the new entity but ultimately the marks designers take the credit or the criticism.

You are correct though that many of the things that we do get watered down to a point where it isnt ours anymore but that doesnt remove us from culpability in the matter. It is part of our job to convince clients that a particular direction is better than another and if we cant sell it then thats our fault.

And speaking of cultural fabric represented in the marks of our times then this most certainly was done in 2001 when the modeled 3d approach was de rigeur.

On Nov.21.2005 at 11:03 AM
Chris Johanesen’s comment is:

Formally, the new logo is a mess. The modulated lines in the original created an illusion of a highlight and three-dimentionality. What purpose are they serving on the 3d-shaded logo? They only look like weirdly misshapen lines. And the lines that show through from that back aren't in the right perspective, making the sphere look flat-bottomed.

I'm not completely against 3d logos, and perhaps the idea of 3d-ifying the original Bass logo could have been executed well, but it hasn't been here. It just looks too complicated, and gets quite muddled at smaller sizes.

It looks like a mummy's head to me.

And I agree that the "a" looks weirdly deformed.

On Nov.21.2005 at 11:08 AM
Jason Santa Maria’s comment is:

The globe bugs me for the same reasons Rob mentions above, but something else that just makes me wince is that haphazard typography. Rather than seeming open and approachable, they seem juvenile and trendy. The type looks like it will feel dated in just a few years. That ampersand just doesn't sit well in there, masquerading as a normal letter. The whole thing just feel very shortsighted (which is only further supported by the generalized adjectives from the press release).

Do we really need to proclaim something "Hitlerized"? Awful as it may be, no one was killed in the process of changing the UPS logo :D

On Nov.21.2005 at 11:09 AM
Joseph’s comment is:

Okay, I'm not even going to touch on the mark because I can't even begin to try to wrap my mind around that one. As a complete logo it's completely not cohesive. The logotype looks like it crawled over from the reminents of the afflak brand and lost weight along the way. I think I've seen this type so many times over it's making me sick. Oi vey!

On Nov.21.2005 at 11:13 AM
itzovela’s comment is:

The credit is posted in Interbrand's website. I keep on thinking of how many iterations the mark must have gone through, only to be left with this, that I guess is slightly disappointing. But I heard comments (non-designers) about how fresh and active it is, and that it feels more welcoming ("it looks rather squishy"...!!).

On Nov.21.2005 at 11:13 AM
Chris Johanesen’s comment is:

From the NYTimes piece:

"The new globe has an airy feel, and it will be able to spin slowly when posted on Web sites."

Yeah, that's a major selling point for a logo!

On Nov.21.2005 at 11:16 AM
JT III’s comment is:

Armin-

Sorry about the one liner, pal. Here's a more in depth examination:

I tend to agree with many of the posters that the lines surrounding the globe feel slightly awkward as though the transition between thick & thin isn't entirely resolved. It also feels as though the see-through blue area and the white lines don't have enough contrast so both are fighting for hiearchy. Over all, this logo feels like a good start rather than a carefully polished finish.

Felix-

A strong supporting visual system / campaign may improve the logo's presence a bit so I still hold out hope.

On Nov.21.2005 at 11:21 AM
ps’s comment is:

i think sticking with the globe was not a bad move. it shows us that they recognized the tremendous equity they built in their "old" mark. so that leaves them with updating the existing mark. unfortunately, that falls short: while i like the reduction of strokes, they are trying to do too much with them and it turn the strokes seem arbitrary and the globe turns flat. not even the shadow helps. i would not be surprised to see minor tweaks to happen on this mark fairly soon as they move forward. as far as the type is concerned. i like the all lowercase, but think the "&" has too much weight and the "a" is falling off.

On Nov.21.2005 at 11:27 AM
Martin Bentley Krebs’s comment is:

Hmmm . . . where have I seen this globe before? Oh yeah, on my grandmother's Christmas tree forty years ago . . .

Was this project given to a first-week intern at 4:00 on a Friday? I didn't think anyone actually used Kai's Power Tools anymore . . .

On Nov.21.2005 at 11:35 AM
JT III’s comment is:

I would also like to add that the 2D version of the logo which is found in the upper left corner of the evolution fact sheet isn't all that bad. Contrast is better and it links to the type.

On Nov.21.2005 at 11:35 AM
Mr. Mojo’s comment is:

Not a good choice. I'm against them retaining the AT&T name, and essentially, the logo.

When Bell Atlantic and GTE merged, they created a brand new name and logo with Verizon, so that what they do as a company going forward is Verizon's new history.

Despite its recognition worldwide, AT&T evokes images to some of the old way of doing business. Just because a name is recognizable doesn't mean that fact should drive the decision?

For example, people recognize the Chicago Cubs and their logo worldwide, but the Cubs haven't won a title in years and are thought of as perennial losers. So I don't think AT&T should have stuck with their recognizable name and logo just for recognition's sake, when their recent history was been a struggling one?

Just my two cents.

On Nov.21.2005 at 11:40 AM
Armin’s comment is:

> Look for the new ad campaign to reveal itself on the 24th.

A few, I guess, of the ads are here, I meant to post this in the entry.

> A strong supporting visual system / campaign may improve the logo's presence a bit so I still hold out hope.

From the look of it, the campaign does nothing for the logo. All ads, except "Ad 1" are the logo on a gray background with some sans serif type that is neither here nor there as it relates to the at&t logotype. "Ad 1" [PDF], however has some more transparency effects which, again, do absolutely nothing to reinforce or invigorate the logo. It's funny that only the logo's "front" is transparent; I mean, if the logo were really transparent wouldn't you be able to see the photo behind it? Of course not, because that would be a weird treatment for the logo. But if the premise is transparency, stick with it and make it work.

There is something unfortunately captivating about the forms created by the logo, which deforms the original globe logos to a fault. It feels really odd and looks as if it were a water balloon version of the logo.

Unlike the work that that Interbrand did — and the strategic decision it reflects — for Sprint (scroll down) I am very surprised that there is no hint of SBC anywhere. Not that SBC had any sort of strong recognition and I guess I just answered myself but, other than blue, I think there might have been something of SBC that could have been carried over.

The typography is another unfortunate. It is not very rhythmic and the "a" is strangely-shaped.

JT also mentioned the flat logo in the PDF, here it is:

Feels awfully awkward without the transparency, doesn't it?

On Nov.21.2005 at 11:50 AM
JT III’s comment is:

Armin-

Oh my. It does look rather awkward in 2D black & white, doesn't it? Am I crazy or does it somehow look slightly better in smaller 2D white & blue? Crazy is a perfectly acceptly answer although I think when it's smaller, the wobblyness of the lines isn't as apparent.

On Nov.21.2005 at 12:00 PM
Valon’s comment is:

I'm not going to even try and explain how bad this logo makes me feel, but I'm going to point out the technical part of it; more specifically the Illustrator (?!) rendition of the logo, especially in this part...(see the highlighted part below):

I'm not sure how the designer did this logo, but is it me or those lines are not matching with the lines in the back...especially the bottom part behind (transparency). They didn't really need to be literal with transparency to suggest the actual Transparency.

The lines brake so abruptly that they suggest no natural flow [of the lines] of any kind. I am a freak with details and that's why it bothers me.

Also, the typography (?!)

All I see is t&t and then letter a on the left. I think I see t&t because in some wierd way sounds like TNT (?!). The ampersand should have been a smaller type-size with the same weight to suggest and separate at from t.

Meaning of the logo(?!)...I'm going to let others say some more...ugh.

On Nov.21.2005 at 12:02 PM
.sara’s comment is:

I don't even want to pretend to imagine what it must be like trying to "freshen up" a brand like AT&T. As an observer, consumer, etc., though, I'm not wowed by it. Not really.

The desire to revive the strength of the old brand is easy to understand, but overall this update feels weaker. Having succumbed to the peer pressure of 3D logos (UPS) and transparency and these lowercase letters the strength they were looking to recapture seems to have bounced away.

An item of note; from an article @ USA Today:

---

The overhaul is aimed at freshening up the brand, Whitacre says. He says the pint-sized letters, reminiscent of alphabet soup, were a tough sell internally.

"We agonized over the letters," says Whitacre, who made the final call on the name and the logo.

He says marketing people finally convinced him that the new look was more evocative of the Internet generation: "They tell me it's more trendy and modern."

---

On Nov.21.2005 at 12:14 PM
Andrew Twigg’s comment is:

I'm not opposed to a logo being refreshed, even if it was created by one Saul Bass. One of the things I like about design (whether it be architecture, product design, graphic design, etc) is that it marks a time in history when certain things were happening, certain things were possible, and certain things were driving culture. A new mark, in this case, is a new marker.

However, this does seem messy to me. And I don't mean "casual" or "accessible" or "friendly".... meaning it doesn't seem like something designed to make ATT feel less like a telecom juggernaut. It just seems sloppy. Valon, I don't necessarily agree with the way you critique the area you've identified, but I agree with you that it's not working. It seems cheap and plastic, more in the vein of the Cingular mark than the old AT&T mark.

I think my major beef with the mark is that there's this shifting foreground/background thing happening. I'm also not into the type, like many of you. I don't think the mark is interesting or engaging (especially when you compare the color version to the black and white line art version). It just seems like it's incomplete.

*sigh*

On Nov.21.2005 at 12:16 PM
DesignMaven’s comment is:

I haven't Gone to Bed and probably will not.

How the Hell can I with so much going on.

I will comment tonight.

Felix:

The Trade off of Modifying the Globe Sphere and keeping it's integrity is only exacerbated by the Death of Cingular's Avatar Man. Which I know you loved!!!!!!

I'm Pleased with the Trade Off. I hated the Cingular Avatar Man. No Disrepect to VSA Partners. I only liked the Avatar Man because Arm made a statement about how Very Bad or Ugly Logos were enhanced by Animation. He was absolutely Correct. Arm made me sit up and take notice of the Avatar Man. Via Animation he was something to Behold. As an Identity it left little to be Desired.

Cingular is Dead. No More Freaking Orange Stores.

Lick your Chops or Mourn the Death of the Cingular Avatar Here.

http://www.sbc.com/gen/press-room?pid=4800&cdvn=news&newsarticleid=21906

DM

P.S. Felix thanks for the link to N.Y. Times.

My sources are Bullet Proof!!!!!

On Nov.21.2005 at 12:19 PM
fatknuckle’s comment is:

Apparently Ed, you didnt agonize enough.

I also think that this mark falls under the category of trying to do something too quick without doing the due diligence and making sure its right rather than right now.

That "marketing people" are making the call on such a important company mark just gives me shivers.

On Nov.21.2005 at 12:23 PM
Katie’s comment is:

It looks like an orange peel when you're actually able to get it off in one coil (an inane but satisfying feat); the spaces between the bands are too large, which undermines the unity, the bands themselves are inconsistent; its lost its superiority through the loss of Bass' detail that created a simultaneous solid fusion--now its fallen into the cauldron of all other marks coming out these days.

bummer.

On Nov.21.2005 at 12:26 PM
Andrew Twigg’s comment is:

That "marketing people" are making the call on such a important company mark just gives me shivers.

There are good marketing people working out there. I've met many and had the privilege of working with some too!

Even if "bad" marketing people are involved, fault lies at least partly with the designers.

On Nov.21.2005 at 12:40 PM
Derrick Schultz’s comment is:

I'll admit it. I kind of like the globe. I like the interior, but the white outside with gradation bothers me. It does feel squishy and refreshing for a corporate identity, but im not sure squishy is ever a good attribute for a corporation.

the type treatment annoys to me, but I cant say what it is that gets me. it feels unfinished. like its trying to be humanist and geometric at the same time and instead its neither. It looks like a mix of Avenir and Frutiger.

The whole thing is rather technically flawed—from the odd curves in the globe to the odd choice of type. I hope its fixed in what im sure will be many updates in the next couple years.

The whole thing kind of feels like it was designed by a dutch firm (particularly Studio Dumbar style from a few years ago), where they are trying to be cute and fun and less corporate. I wish them luck in pulling that off when it comes to consumers.

On Nov.21.2005 at 12:44 PM
Nate Voss’s comment is:

Glad to see at least one comment on Avatar vs. Identity Mark. I have to reserve judgment until I get a change to see it in motion. In print I'd stick with black and white or one color and step away.

The thing is, this is very "new school" as an identity. I can only assume it will be more avatar than mark, meant to be seen in motion on TV and the web. But to encapsulate a previous comment, shouldn't a new school identity mark function equally as well as an avatar and as a mark? And if it succeeds at one yet fails at another, I think that means its not as good as it could be.

On Nov.21.2005 at 01:00 PM
doug’s comment is:

Ouch. Looks like some big corporate execs got snookered by some slick "brand marketers". I've seen it a hundred times. You leave the window open and let the brand fairy in, next thing you know your daughter's knocked up and the cash is missing from your dresser.

To be a fly on the wall at the presentation. The orb is cool and 3-d, but it is ambiguously rendered. Why bother with the lines at all since they were originally used to infer 3-dimentionality. With the 3-d rendering, they're extraneous.

The type is the least bad part of the mark, but it still shows laziness and clumsiness. By shrinking the ampersand and not considering its impact on the other letters, it becomes overly busy in relation, when, in fact, it's the least important character. Maybe a simplifying of shape or a lighter weight would afford the appropriate mitigating influence.

Overall, another disappointment from the overwrought branding factories.

On Nov.21.2005 at 01:23 PM
Theo’s comment is:

Another problem I'm having is that the "at&t", in lower case, reads more like a bit of code accidentally displayed. but perhaps that's deliberate.

On Nov.21.2005 at 01:43 PM
tom’s comment is:

i think that this a very interesting topic......as designers, we tend to rise against "renovations" of our hero's (Saul Bass or Paul Rand) original design almost immediately.

some are very deserving of the scrutinity...the UPS logo is a perfect example.

But, don't we react to nearly everything that is new? look at new cars. when the new VW Jetta came out, it was vasly different that the previous model. true VW fans scoffed at its "trying to be something it ain't" stylings. now that the car has been out over a year, look how many you see on the road. they are everywhere. the criticizm seems to packed it bags for another journey.

the original shock has worn off and it has integrated itself into everyday culture. no one notices anymore.

now, will this happen to the at&t logo? probably.

do we have to like it? not really.

__

and now....the rest of the story...

my take ont he logo is very much like everyone else's. the new globe illustration is a bit clunky. if they were designing it to be in motion then they were off to a bad start. the type is careless almost like an after thought.

however, over all it is not the worst thing i have ever seen. i think there are other revamped logos that are worse (quark). let's just hope that this one is the worst that it gets for a while.

---just my $.02

On Nov.21.2005 at 01:52 PM
Miriam’s comment is:

The "a" looks like it has had too much to drink, and knows it, and is trying to stand straight and not act drunk... but everyone can still tell.

Horribly toyish. Ah! Now I know why the globe looks familiar - the bouncing ball bombs from that old Avengers episode. Yeah, I know it's a stretch.

On Nov.21.2005 at 02:02 PM
Anonymous’s comment is:

“The revitalized mark symbolizes these attributes — innovation, integrity, quality, reliability and unsurpassed customer care”

The euphemistic, buzzword-laden hype is absolutely disgusting, and, as far as I can tell, has almost no relevance to the actual mark. It's like making a logo of a spitting cobra fellating a vacuum cleaner, and calling it a "hallmark of synergistic cooperation and a testament to the pursuit of unparalleled personal service."

Ugh.

On Nov.21.2005 at 02:34 PM
carlos’s comment is:

I think the overall wobbliness and squishy feel, while not something I like much, was done with the purpose of appearing more friendly (like the lower case typography).

It's saying "hey, look, we're not this big stiff all powerful corporate monster. We're your new cute, squishy soft, fluffy friendly phone company" it also says "we're young, and trendy and know how to use the internet"

I think the sloppiness, was in part done on purpose.

However, most people are and have been familiar with at&t over the years. It's not like they're going to change their perceptions just because the new logo is wobbly. People aren't THAT dumb. It's like an old man wearing baggy pants and his baseball cap side ways. They're not fooling anyone. But that's not Interbrand's fault. We all know how many times, a client is stubborn as all hell and even though you offer a better solution, they always have the last word.

The logo doesn't bother me all that much in some ways. However, making something "trendy" instead of doing a solid update seems like the easy way out. The biggest problem I see, is that this logo is going to be very dated, and will look old in a couple years, and then it will need another facelift.

On Nov.21.2005 at 02:34 PM
Michelle’s comment is:

There doesn't seem to be a relationship between the type and the image. The globe appears to be akwardly spinning leftwards while the type moves rightwards-creating an odd juxtaposition.

They almost feel like two seperate logos side by side. The type is also difficult to read suggesting atat rather than at&t. using lowercase type isn't the only way to convey "friendliness" -There are plenty of beautiful typefaces that look friendly in uppercase-and in this case it seems to say we're less credible.

another one bites the dust.

On Nov.21.2005 at 02:38 PM
stuck in type class’s comment is:

...the a is now rather far from Avenir and closing in on Trebuchet; its lower bowl is rather like a sumo wrestler's, the lower return stroke on the bowl back into the stem is too strong

...the counters in & are far more angular than elsewhere, the curves tighter and more circular and in no way related to the a or t; compare the almost radiused (think rounded corners on picture boxes) ending curves on the bottom of the t's with the near circular loop at the top of the ampersand, the horizontal bar of the t's overdominate, need I go on?

The whole thing is really a rough digital sketch, all the forms need redrawing for balance and color...Did anyone look at the negative spaces in this thing? Where was a discerning eye or even the brief to get someone to make it look as good as possible?!

...and next time, before similar ignorance gets passed off as finished work, will a type designer will get called?!

On Nov.21.2005 at 02:47 PM
ChrisL’s comment is:

Ahhh, the smell of marketing dribble "3d means..." Lower case means..."etc.

Graphic Design and symbol design is now officially reduced to PhotoShop cute tricks. Design is dead. Long live Marketing.

Chris

On Nov.21.2005 at 02:50 PM
David E.’s comment is:

Several people have said it already, but the old logo was ALREADY 3-dimensional. That's what the lines were for. They were an abstraction of 3-dimensionality. Now the lines have become a weird pattern that wraps around a sphere. They have no visual meaning any longer. Not only that, but to take those lines and actually wrap them around a sphere creates a really awkward, inelegant design.

As far as the "transparency" effect, ITS BACKWARDS. On the front, the blue stripes are at their narrowest point on the right side of the icon. Then they supposedly continue on the back, starting at their WIDEST point.

This is much worse than than the UPS redesign, which was merely bland. This is one of the worst logos I've ever seen in my life. I can't imagine how trained designers could have ever come up with it, no matter how much input the client had.

On Nov.21.2005 at 02:51 PM
Gary Fogelson’s comment is:

On the bright side, it's still better than the Verizon logo.

Or is it?

On Nov.21.2005 at 02:59 PM
vibranium’s comment is:

I do not hate it. Still soaking it in.

I agree with Scott, when it comes to development, but not this logo.

I agree with Felix in temrs of the bandwagon hopping.

(I wrote the last two sentences, oh, and this one, to avoid a 'one liner')

On Nov.21.2005 at 03:04 PM
David E.’s comment is:

Gary, No. It isn't.

On Nov.21.2005 at 03:11 PM
fatknuckle’s comment is:

"and I shall call him squishy, and he will be mine" (Finding Nemo.)

Toys are squishy, Koala Bears are squishy, my gut is getting squishy, marks for large "corporate monsters" are not supposed to be squishy.

I've always thought that the animations of the AT&T globe were quite impressive in their more recent commercials, and the old mark lead to a wide variety of things that could be accomplished in that medium. This particular mark locks itself into "spinning" (one direction no less!) as about the only thing that it can do motion wise. So it really does fail in that respect as well.

On Nov.21.2005 at 03:19 PM
Michael Surtees’s comment is:

I'm surprised they kept the "&", why not just go att?

Over at Engadget there's some interesting perspectives on the roll out, mostly from non designers. Here's one post that I thought was interesting: As an employee of a call center that was AT&T Wireless before the merger with Cingular, I have to ask if anyone has a baseball bat handy.

After the twentieth call from John Q. Public about why he's being billed by AT&T Wireless again, I'm probably going to bash my own brains in.

On Nov.21.2005 at 03:27 PM
Zoelle’s comment is:

As far as spinning spiral logos go, I think that this one is well executed:

red dot

It feels more like red dot and at&t merged to me. I don't hate the new at&t logo, but I can't stop thinking that it looks as though it has suffered heat damage on the left side.

On Nov.21.2005 at 03:42 PM
Craig Kroeger’s comment is:

Lowest common denominator. But we all should be used to this by now.

To sum it up - "They tell me it's more trendy and modern."

Way to lead, Ed Whitacre. I tell you it's trite and meaningless.

Thank you all for sharing my pain.

On Nov.21.2005 at 03:44 PM
pk’s comment is:

odes anyone actually know why so many companies are trying to look harmless and fluffy? i mean, obviously, yes, it makes sense to be cute because it's disarming.

but is there some document that hit a multiple marketing folks' desks simultaneously that says "cute is good" in such a convincing way that they all bought it simultaneously?

i'm asking this because the cutefication began fairly recently, and it seems fairly consistent in tone: cingular, GE, kinko's, that sort of thing.

my suspicion is that the reasoning may lead back to altria. that mark, while beautiful, was unbelievably transparent in its motives for hiding behind beauty. did the much-publicized backlash lead someone to this sort of thing?

On Nov.21.2005 at 04:02 PM
DesignMaven’s comment is:

fatknuckle’s

Your off the Heezee for Shezee!!!!!

pk

did the much-publicized backlash lead someone to this sort of thing?

You know it did. And Design Observer was THE FOCUS GROUP.

r agrayspace

Don't Chicken out know. You're comments are WELCOMED NOW, MORE THAN EVER!!!!!!!!

DM

P.S. pk Get SU in on this!!!!!

On Nov.21.2005 at 04:17 PM
ToddG’s comment is:

does anyone actually know why so many companies are trying to look harmless and fluffy?

My guess -- to weaken/soften the impression of technology as harsh, cold and complicated. See Apple. Especially as the phones and services are getting vastly more complicated and diverse. They've also seen Apple be able to charge much more based on design and marketing. Motorola is picking up this tack as well.

And I think they're very strongly targeting 25-and-under markets, who likely have near-zero recall or familiarity with the Bass version of the logo and none of the freakout exhibited here by us design geeks. On that note the type and overall feel in this new version reminds me of the 3Com logotype/mark that was redone a few(?) years ago (which also intro'd a 3-dimensional mark).

On Nov.21.2005 at 04:20 PM
JM’s comment is:

I do not dislike all dimensional or 3D-ish logos. The original AT&T icon was dimensional in its own way, globe/sphere rendered via bands of varying width. This new icon mixes "metaphors" or rendering styles, keeping the bands and adding a new style, shading and transparency, to render the sphere. Now the bands appear to be a pattern on the sphere, rather than an abstract way of representing the sphere. Yuck.

On Nov.21.2005 at 04:25 PM
Andre SC’s comment is:

Actually I seem to remember a spherical toilet air freshener that looked almost exactly like this.

On Nov.21.2005 at 04:27 PM
Craig C.’s comment is:

This globe could only exist in R'lyeh. It's creepy and unnatural. As Chris Johanesen said above, the perspective is all wonky... the rings curving across the front of the sphere don't match the curvature of the back (as visible through the jelly center). The front side is viewed from just slightly above the equator, but the back is viewed from near the north pole. That's simply not possible if it were truly spherical, so either we're looking at a misshapen mass or a non-Euclidean nightmare.

Then the thin/thick lines that so nicely suggested dimension in the old flat version now don't jive with the lighting effects on the surface of the new 3D version, as if there are two light sources that don't combine at all. Again, not possible in the real universe.

Because we're all familiar with 3D objects in the real world, we have a sort of natural sense of how objects should be shaped, and when something violates that logic we'll tend to have a negative gut reaction. It's disturbing and weird even if you can't quite put your finger on it.

On Nov.21.2005 at 04:44 PM
mandy’s comment is:

Why is it that these corporate rebrandings inspire so much attention here? Is this the blog equivalent of slowing down on the highway so you can get a good look at the wreckage from a collision?

On Nov.21.2005 at 04:54 PM
Stefan’s comment is:

I think the mark is a formal disaster. Of course, I'm upset by the fact they bastardized a (argueably) classic logo by a classic designer. But that's not really the point - the general public doesn't care if it's Bass or Rand or Interbrand who makes the mark.

What really bothers me about this new mark is the language that is being used to sell it. All of the sentences in Armin's post that include the words "represent" "symbolize" etc - They are all empty, meaningless BS - that do a huge disservice to the profession of design.

"Transparency was added to the globe to represent clarity and vision." - This is snake-oil salesmanship at its worst, and it will only re-inforce the perception that designers are charlatans and hucksters who make things that are pretty but devoid of meaning or purpose.

On Nov.21.2005 at 05:04 PM
Sam Sherwood’s comment is:

It should be noted that Cingular isn't going anywhere, contrary to the hullabaloo. A new version of at&t wireless is just sprouting.

Note the lack of uppercase... the name almost disappears on its own.

I seem to recall someone spending a lot of time perfecting the ampersand in the past mark. Is my mind playing tricks on me? Maybe that was M&Ms. Eh, I must be all shook up by the logo terrorism of today.

On Nov.21.2005 at 05:07 PM
Mr.Frankie L’s comment is:

Viewing this new logo, I think I can see

what they were trying to do, but simply put,

the execution fell short..

The type isn't that bad, isn't it more to

do with how it is placed within context of

the logo?

Interestingly enough, is it really true that

non-designers find the logo engaging?

Being the devil's advocate, if the target

audience likes it, should us designers huff

and puff so much? -- our world is as mysterious

as Alantis to most.

On Nov.21.2005 at 05:14 PM
Rob’s comment is:

I really have waited all day to say a word. Because I knew my first reaction would be laced with that "maybe I could have done a better job and certainly would have enjoyed the big paycheck" kind of feeling. So, to critique it fairly, or unfairly, I wanted to give it some amount of time and consideration.

I think the logo has possibilities that were left unexplored. Or at worst, were just denied. I agree with Tony Spaeth's statement that the colors are a weakness and not a strength. Had the logo used a less "lighter is more" approach it might have garnered the visual strength it was reaching for and missed. Stare at it long enough and it almost becomes infantile, as in the top of a baby's rattle. The swirl, the colors just don't seem to bring across the feeling of strength, commitment, etc.

The Bass 'Death Star' was criticized by the AT&T's Sr. VP for HR & Communications, in today's NY TImes article, as being 'to 80's.' The question I submit, is how long will this stylized version last before it becomes too "early 2000's?'

I'm really still torn about the typography and the tag line. I usually enjoy the use of lower case but here, it just doesn't seem to work with the logo. And again, quoting the AT&T executive, "open and approachable' are not words I normally associate with a sans serif type face. But then again, that's just me.

On Nov.21.2005 at 05:20 PM
DesignMaven’s comment is:

TODD G.

does anyone actually know why so many companies are trying to look harmless and fluffy?

THINK WAL*MART and all the Corporate Unfriendliness and Anti-Union stuff that has recently come out...

WAL*MART is the Target now. No pun intended.

Next, will it will be TARGET...???

DM

On Nov.21.2005 at 05:24 PM
aubrey island’s comment is:

I think it would have been better to just lowercase the at&t, make it that nice blue, and just leave it at that - get rid of the globe; if you wanted to change it. But, if it 'aint broke, don't fix it, that's what I say. The flat image looks horrible, the globe itself is strangly appealing, but goes nowhere with the lowercase typeface. Good idea, but bad for a logo.

On Nov.21.2005 at 05:28 PM
Valon’s comment is:

...I don't necessarily agree with the way you critique the area you've identified, but I agree with you that it's not working. It seems cheap and plastic, more in the vein of the Cingular mark than the old AT&T mark.

Commenting on this:

I'm not sure how the designer did this logo, but is it me or those lines are not matching with the lines in the back...especially the bottom part behind (transparency). - Valon.

Andrew, your way of describing it as cheap and plastic it's more or less what I wanted to say - I guess I tried to be too technical in my explanation.

I still have a problem with those lines though...It seems to me more of a comp than a finished piece. Not sure how to express myself here, but don't they seem disproportionate to the negative space (white or blue) (?!)

I'm sure "they" tried to achieve some sort of balance in illustrating the logo, however the thin white lines with the 'see-through' background of the logo...; they totally kill the purpose.

On Nov.21.2005 at 05:35 PM
Julik’s comment is:

I see no "identity" here. I see that some poor guy was sitting behind his Mac surrounded by 78 managers of all the corporate Dilbertian hells you can think of, whispering into his ear how the Great Corporate Vision has to be embodied in one little comp the poor guy was forced to do. All of these "...3-D means..." and other "...xyz means..." tell one thing - politics prevailed, therefore it looks awful. As in "designed by the bosses" awful.

On Nov.21.2005 at 05:46 PM
Josh’s comment is:

Well im off to make the first installment of "Why Would You Want To Be A Graphic Designer". Those marketing people that sold hotdogs outside the bar during college have all the angles covered.

Im done.

On Nov.21.2005 at 05:56 PM
vibranium’s comment is:

Armin, the white is opaque, the blue is translucent, and thats consistant all around. Transparent and solid. Metaphysical!

I'm sorry, other than sympathy for old versus new...the detractors seem grasping for something wrong to find. And at that it's all very subjective, which is fine for venting, but not app for debate.

The type is awful, but mostly in it's lack of 'nesting' with the mark. In that sense it seems like 2 diff. logos. $.02

On Nov.21.2005 at 05:59 PM
g’s comment is:


Is it me or it does look like it's going backwards?

I mean, looking at the black & white version, the left part looks stronger.

On Nov.21.2005 at 06:05 PM
Tom B’s comment is:

Hang on, I've seen that before.

On Nov.21.2005 at 06:32 PM
James Reeves’s comment is:

Initially, I hated this thing. But this is always my knee-jerk reaction when icons are updated, so I tried hard to find something to like about it. No luck. The typography is thoughtless. At first glance I thought my computer was missing the correct font & some kind of default setting took over. As for the ball, it seems like an exercise in rendering rather than delivering a memorable mark.

This is going to be inflicted on all of us. How does one protest a bad logo? Have any major logos been quickly retracted due to public outcry (or, more realistically, graphic designer outcry)?

On Nov.21.2005 at 06:56 PM
chris dixon’s comment is:

Pretty sad, really. It does reek of marketers/management hovering over the poor Mac monkey, emailing lo-res gifs of some “cool logo that I saw when I was surfing the net last night”, spouting maningless buzzwords like “innovative” and “benevolent”.

Do we sometimes feel powerless, as designers, to stand up to our clients and demand that they let us do what they are paying us to do stay out of the creative process? Oh, wait. My boss would fire me if I said that to a client. Now if I were running my own studio...

On Nov.21.2005 at 06:59 PM
feelicks sockwl jr’s comment is:

Chris,

If your boss is still Luke Hayman (New York Magazine's briliant Creative Director) I doubt you're feeling like the stifled carmudgeon you may make yourself out to be. Now, if you were on my side of the tracks you'd be asking the people in accts payable why it took 3 months to get paid $300 for a spot illustration....

or a person decides to call Riccardo Vecchio and ask for a painting for $200. I hope that this art director doesnt hover like a mac monkey and reference buzzwords. That'd be deplorable!

On Nov.21.2005 at 07:15 PM
chris dixon’s comment is:

Funny. Reading the press release on the website. The CEO keeps referring to AT&T, even when describing how AT&T is now represented in lower case. How do they expect their customers to fall for the friendly lower-case-ism when the CEO won’t tow is own line. Doublespeak.

On Nov.21.2005 at 07:21 PM
ruben’s comment is:

This is definately a gamble in brand management. I can't say whether it will suceeed or fail. But I think most of us agree that the current design exceedingly awkward.

The overarching goal of the brand repositioning is ambitious. There's nothing wrong here. But it's putting unnecessary strain on the logo in its static form.

As much as identities can be used to champion and inspire change in a organization's culture and its overall appeal. This desire needs to be leveraged with its pre-exisiting brand equity. A logo identity is who we are not what we want to be.

As it is here, the rebranding wants for the logo to jump that gap. If this repositioning falls flat, then the identity representing the company falls flat with it. This won't look pretty.

ATT and SBC: their respective identities seem to represent a good amount of corporate formalism that early 2000 brands are trying to veer away from. Everybody wants to be "Apple" friendly. There may or may not be good reasons for that. The new identity tries to bank in the familiarity of the old identity (rigid, formal) and the newly desired brand values that lie at diametrically opposed ends of the same spectrum (informalism, friendliness). This gap is huge. Thus the awkwardness.

My point. the New ATT can try to be friendlier but they don't need to put such a great burden on it's logo identity at this point in time. We all have seen "friendly" brands that don't require "fun" logos to be friendly. HP's as a brand is a case in point.

They could have simplified and "modernized" the logo identity placing it somewhere between the rigid formalism of its past and the complete loosness of its current design, while trying to make itself more friendly throgh other mediums. TV advert campaigns... motion graphics... etc.

A logo redesign 3-4 years from now can always be scheduled to try to bring the logo design to where they truely want it, without it having to be so awkward and gangly.

On Nov.21.2005 at 07:29 PM
feelicks sockwl jr’s comment is:

note to future self- New York Mag check just came in mail for Fuchs... must be new acct staff(?)... shouldnt harsh art dept. for shitty ethics there...

But for Ricky ? ...you may have some splainin' to do. Guys a genius talent and one helluva futboller.

back to ATT / Interbrand ...now these guys pay well... and on time!

On Nov.21.2005 at 07:34 PM
Sal’s comment is:

Oh god. Looks like a minty special edition cremesaver. This is an extreme insult to Bass's original idea. It seems as if they amalgamated as much of the metaphors for a globe as they could to call it a logo. Worst of all they used Bass's idea of thick and thins within the 3d form. It's sorta like... masking a photograph of a peacock inside the shape of the nbc logo! Bad idea.

On Nov.21.2005 at 10:25 PM
DesignMaven’s comment is:

Bill:

Excellent Observation on RED DOT.

I'd never seen the Identity, It is Animated.

An Observation below, not my Official Comment.

The New AT&T is not an Anomaly. That's the difference between the New InterBrand Revitalized Identity and the Original Bass Yager Identity. The Original of 1984 set a Precedent and Identity Standard Raising the Bar which Exceeded Expectation. There was nothing else that existed at the time to compete with it. Yet, The Original Bass Yager Identity Spawned a Generation of Offspring and Imitators until this day. Giving Birth to such Identities as Sprint, New World Pictures, Los Angeles Olympic Games of 1984, Diet Pepsi, United Artist to name just a few.

With USA Today being a Distant Cousin.

Although, lesser known in the Identity World

RED DOT is apparently an Anomaly because it existed before InterBrand's AT&T.

What comes closest is Joe Finocchiaro's Globe for Pepsico.

DM

On Nov.21.2005 at 11:03 PM
Unnikrishna Menon Damodaran’s comment is:

It reminds me the WTO logo.

www.wto.org

A peeling blue orange!

On Nov.22.2005 at 01:19 AM
Tim Chambers’s comment is:

Very... trendy. We'll miss you, Saul.

On Nov.22.2005 at 01:30 AM
Siggi Orri Thorhannesson’s comment is:

If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it!

Adding transparency to "represent clarity and vision" is not a good solution. A good design can represent so much if it's designed right, like the original logo did.

This globe is just plain weird! and it seems the ampersand is optically thinner then the type...

On Nov.22.2005 at 04:38 AM
Michael Holdren’s comment is:

(in case this hasn't been addressed already...)

So the transparency is supposed to represent the new at&t's "clarity and vision." The transparency is roughly about (guesstimating here) down to about 20% I think... so I'd assume they mean that to equate into their clarity and vision being only 80% effective instead of 100% effective?

Given their perspective on what they deem to be a good logo, the 80% is very generous.

I also want to echo other comments regarding the lines, there seems to be a disconnect in the rythm and balance.

They've quit literally bastardized the logo. There's a reason that word has a negative connotation.

On Nov.22.2005 at 05:06 AM
Jason Tselentis’s comment is:

Yeah, they've bastardized the logo, and also ignored certain application issues. How does this thing look when faxed or rendered in a cell phone's limited color space? I know where in the 21st Century, but really, will this thing hold up across all media?

On Nov.22.2005 at 07:09 AM
Robert Wetzlmayr’s comment is:

Obviously, inspiration came from the dish decoration during a stay in Austria: A sighting of prior art.

On Nov.22.2005 at 08:00 AM
Pesky Illustrator’s comment is:

Dateline: November 3005

at&t has recently redesigned their transparent 3D logo into a brand new 4D implant logo.

see attached.

CEO O. Boingo has asserted, in official press releases today, that the revitalized ultra-unfriendly logo symbolizes a new recognition by corporations that they need not try anymore to impress customers with such antique symbolism as quality, innovation and unsurpassed customer care. "Customers are dogs." Boingo says, "and they need to know their place."

A new control system now places this logo/mark/avatar/dingbat onto the forehead of every at&t customer permitted to use telecommunication implants.

The buzz is that this new change in perspective of corporate dimensional density heralds the beginning of futurecontrol systems on planet earth. Cultural/genetic programming is the way to go.

The new tag line- "you wanna talk? - has laid down the gaunlet for other worldcontrol corporations to follow suit.

(many thanks to the saline-solutioned brainpod of Design Maven preserved in the Great Hall of Corporate Design in New Washington D.C.)

end of transmission from the future

On Nov.22.2005 at 08:01 AM
Armin’s comment is:

There are a couple of overall mis/preconceptions that I would like to clarify and, perhaps, debunk.

1. Photoshop Logo: It is very important that we all understand that this is not a Photoshop filtered logo. You can not produce a logo like this with any filter. A very conscious decision was made to build and design a transparent and dimensional logo in Illustrator, a vector program, so that the logo is scalable in any media. This is not the reflection of a trend of software-capability-trumping-original-thinking. The idea was to make it look like this and Interbrand employed the tools to design the logo — and if you care to download the EPS version of the logo, you will see that they went to great lengths to achieve this effect. The tools did not drive the process.

2. MacMonkey overpowered by Marketing people: Intebrand's AT&T team probably consisted of at least a dozen people — from junior designers mounting boards, to creative directors drafting ideas, to project and account managers providing communication with the client — with another dozen (or couple dozen) people on AT&T's end. This is not the case where a poor designer with an associates degree got manhandled and mistreated into doing this logo by a bunch of tasteless marketers. The process of creating a logo like this goes beyond that. It involves decisions at the highest levels and Interbrand surely drew the big guns in every single presentation to make sure that their work was considered appropriately. At this level, it is shortsighted to put blame on "marketing people". If you want to blame someone, you blame the CEO, you blame the Brand Manager, you blame the creative director at Interbrand, the senior designers, but, please, not the "marketing people".

3. Pesky is Funny when he sends memos from the future: No contest. He is funny.

On Nov.22.2005 at 08:59 AM
DesignMaven’s comment is:

My Official Response After I got some much needed Sleep.

Quoted from The Bible of Saul Bass.

"My Mission is not to make Corporations seem better than they are. They are what they are. But I do believe that there are many Corporations and Corporate Leaders with Profound Concerns and an understanding of how the Public sees them...Still, my first Duty is to give my Client, something that works. My Great Delight is when I Design something that does what it is supposed to do. I have a Passion for Function".

"If I do my Job well, the Identity Program will also Clean up the Image of the Company, Position it as being Contemporary and keep it from Ever Looking Dated".

"Each Identity Program begins with the Formulation of a Set of Objectives. We Study the Company, Visit the Offices, Interview and Meet with its People and come to a very Clear Definition of what is to be Achieved, before any Designing is Done. Intent has to be Articulated before you begin any Identity Program, or you just get sucked into a Process where everything you do is Self-Justifying".

"Once the objectives have been agreed upon, we Mentally Engrave them on Stone and Nail them to the Wall. From that Point everything we Design is Constantly Measured against them".

"A Redesigning of a Major Corporate Identity System may take Bass Yager several years to include Full Implementation. Along the line Hundreds maybe Thousands of Designs are worked up, considered, scrapped or redone until a few Surviving Ideas are winnowed out".

"The Surviving Designs are again Measured Against the Original Corporate Objectives. It's not a Simple Process It's not a Mysterious Process. But it is a Process. The Question is always Does it Satisfy Corporate Objectives one, two, three, et cetera? If so, it's a Good Design. 'I like it' or 'I don't like it' are Irrelevant Attitudes. Designing Trademark or Corporate Identity System cannot be Simplified Down to Personal Taste. There are a lot of Ugly Trademarks around that do a Hell of A Good Job".

Direct Quote from an Interveiw by Saul Bass.

Other than Gunnar Swanson and Steven D. Heller whom both write on Speak Up. Gunnar being an Author and Steve being the Foremost Historian of Visual Communication of our time. I think its safe to asses I knew Saul Bass better than anyone else that Regularly Contribute to this site. And I'll go on Record to say I probably own more work of Saul Bass than anyone in Cyber Space.

If Saul Bass were confronted with the Problem of Redesigning the AT&T Identity. Without a Doubt in my Mind he would've changed it. As only he could've Done. And the Redesign would've been Better than the Original of 1984.

Only Saul Bass or Paul Rand could pulled this off.

Along with a few choice Historically Significant Identity Designers. All approaching 70 years of age or already in their 70s.

My Public Outcry on Design Observer was for Ed Whitacre along with his Design Council to maintain semblance of the Original Identity.

Being an Identity Designer for over 25 years I went through every Process Imaginable to Redesign the AT&T Globe Sphere except one. I never Envisioned a Three Dimensional Globe, InterBrand and it's team of Designer(s) did.

The outcome of the AT&T Identity Solidified what my Mother instilled in me from a Child. "When you are asleep other(s) are up Working".

What that means is regardless of how Adept you think you are at doing something somebody else come up with a Grand Idea.

What I Envisioned as a Redesign for AT&T was a slight modification to the type and a nip and tuck to the symbol.

The Original AT&T Globe Sphere was Designed to Create the Illusion of 3 Dimension on a two dimensional surface.

If need to create a more 3 Dimensional Globe, this could' ve been accomplished with reversing the printing process. With the Highlight becoming the Dominant Feature. Further 3 Dimension could be accomplished with Rendering Highlights on the Striations.

What separates the two Identities the Original and Revitalized is the Typography. I've been informed the Type Treatment of the Original was Designed by Saul Bass and given Special Attention. Bass' AT&T Logytype wheathered many Storms. Notwithstanding being able to stand alone as a Logotype without the Symbol. InterBrand's at&t logotype is does not have the Visual Strength of Bass's Original which Presents a Major, Major Problem. Perhaps Friendlier and not as Monolithic as it's Predecessor. at&t reak Inferiority, within an Environment of Superior Brands of the Same Statue.

Originally, CEO Ed Whitacre wanted to get rid of any semblance of the Original AT&T Globe. Reason, he didn't believe the younger Generation X &Y had any Connection with the Identity or Brand. Which he believed Marketing Analysis would prove. I'm not Privy to what Research InterBrand's Qualitative, Quantitative, or Focus Group Research Testing Proved.

Its difficult for me nit to believe the Public Outcry to maintain some semblance of the Original Identity didn't help.

What Ed Whitacre was absolutely Correct in was his assessment that he was Marketing AT&T to a new Generation of Buying Public, Young Adults, Teenagers and Children. Primarily his Target Audience.

As an Aside, I no longer own a Cell Phone. They're simply a Tracking Device.

Young Adults and Children Love them. There are more Children in my Upper Middle Class Community with Cell Phones than Professionals and Adults.

With many of the Negative Comments Levied at this Revitalization. I'll ask you to Go Back and Read my Opening Comments taken from and Interview with my DesignFather Saul Bass. If you don't understand, go Back and Read it again, again, again, again, again, again, again and again until you understand the Corporate Identity Process.

A Designer(s) Personal Taste has no Bearing on the Success of an Identity Project. A Logo is the Tip of the Iceberg of an Identity Project. A Logo alone is a Useless Device which cannot Function or Perform on it's own.

It is Marketing and Communication that Ultimately Drive an Identity. It is the Synergistic Fusion of Design, Marketing and Communication that make an Identity Design Project Successful. If I may Paraphrase my Mentor and DesignFather Super Lou Danziger, "Designer(s) don't make Identities and Trademarks Successful, Corporations do. An Identity or Trademark will Succeed or Fail on the Practice and Performance of the Corporation not the Identity. Because there is no way to Measure the Success of an Identity Program alone".

This time Ed Whitacre did get is Right. The First Step was Hiring a Preeminent First Tier Identity Consultancy, InterBrand. Unlike his prevous attempt at Identity Revitalization by abolishing Southern Bell a Saul Bass Identity. And Hiring a Public Relations Firm Fleishman Hillard to Design SBC's Hideous Identity which was a Travesty.

The new AT&T Identity is being Marketed to a new Generation of Buying Public my Children. And the Imagery need to be Applicable to Diverse Media. Cell Phones and the Internet. The Original AT&T Identity would've accomplished the same.

With Mergers and Acquisitions the CEO need to put his Personal Stamp on the Corporations Vision and Signal Change. Which is what Ed Whitacre has accomplished.

He created a new Identity and Maintained the AT&T Globe Sphere with Striations.

Because some Bass Yager's elements were retained I'm thankful. As an Identity Designer I can emphatically inform you the New Identity will be dated in a very short period because of it's Trendiness and was not Designed for Long Ranged Goals on Mind.

? 'Do I like the Identity'. "No Comment".

I'll assume the Revitalized Identity adresses the current

CEO Goals and Aspirations, albeit the typograhy.

What the New Identity Accomplishes is another Set of Values Attributed to Successful Identity and Trademark Design.

1. Memorability

2. Usability

3. Livability

4. Propriety

5. Unique

6. Visual Impact

7. Imaginative

The above written attributes for Successful Identity and Trademark Design were surmised by Saul Bass and Paul Rand.

Again, doesn't matter whether or not you like an Identity or Trademark. The Trademark has to be Justified by Corporate Objectives. InterBrand has met five (5) of seven (7) the above Objectives which Constitute Success Trademark and Identity Design. Like it or Not!!!!!!!!

The problem I see is Livability which is a Longivity Issue. The other is Usability, Reproduction Capability across all media. Over time I believe the Flat Two Dimensional Design will out live the Three Dimensional Design. Time is our BEST MEASURING STICK.

DM

P.S. For those Genius Designer(s) that think InterBrand should've went in another Direction other than Retaining the Globe Sphere.

I'd like to hear your Suggestions!!!!!!!!

On Nov.22.2005 at 09:00 AM
DesignMaven’s comment is:

Follow Up:

Pesky:

I just read your comments; I'm Dying Laughing.

Not Licking My Chops. I take no Credit.

Design Observer was akin to CUSTER'S LAST STAND!!!

DM

P.S. Michael, ATT was also on my list of Possibilities. It most definitely Survived, Trust that's some Consolation.

On Nov.22.2005 at 09:27 AM
Joseph’s comment is:

1. Memorability

No. It's a globe. I've seen a globe. The only reason this will be remembered is because it's not a well-executed design.

2. Usability

Definitely not. Everyone has stated this.

3. Livability

This will look like an early 2000's logo in 2010. It falls into a dated look immediately. The cutting edge is the first thing that gets dull.

4. Propriety

It's in appropriate. There is no function to the wavy lines that have been brought over from the last. The lines were drawn that way originally to give the feeling of 3D without the use of a gradient. The type has no relationship to the mark. It's just there. It's very wonky.

5. Unique

It's a globe. I've seen globes, everywhere. I've seen the type everywhere too. It's not unique, it doesn't stand out. It's just another attempt.

6. Visual Impact

Maybe, because of a change, but only because it's a change. If you put this in the brandscape it wil be lost in the menagerie of gradient ridden logos that have sprung up as of late.

7. Imaginative

Yes. But so is throwing feces at a white board and calling it art.

I don't think Bass, Rand and Glaser are the end-all designers. There are a lot of great designers out there. Like Bass said "I like it or I don't like it" are statements of irrelevancy. However, this new mark does not meet a standard. It's poorly rendered, poorly concepted and . . . just poor.

I think everyone on this site is capable of better; much better.

On Nov.22.2005 at 09:30 AM
Joseph’s comment is:

DM - If you're willing to supply me with the budget Interbrand had, I would love to show some suggestions. ::wink wink:: :)

On Nov.22.2005 at 09:35 AM
agrayspace’s comment is:

Umm well. Everything has really been said.

I guess I feel silly for defending the possibility that this redesign could have turned out okay. Still I think condemning it prior to its arrival was childish and rife with pointless hero worship. Moving on.

This hardly even feels like identity design as we know it. Its so amateur and trite its amazing that it survived any formal design critique.

Maybe thats because the definition of Brand and Identity is changing before our very eyes. In actuality a brand lives in 4 dimensions. It comes alive as it lives and breathes in real life. I don't believe you can evaluate a "Brand" by looking at a logo on a screen or piece of paper. Cingular being a great example. It was a great & differentiated brand, but it wasn't much of a logo.

This is a terrible logo. But it will probably appeal to most people and through its endless repetition and through creative implementation by top notch advertising people. It will serve the corporation's goals just fine. Thats if they don't run the company in the ground through shoddy technology and shitty customer service. We are all just awaiting the next merger.

One thing is for certain. This will not be around very long.

On Nov.22.2005 at 10:01 AM
BlueStreak’s comment is:

I guess this thing will grow on us all. If the new company survives long enough. I still remember Carly Fiorina launching the mother of all marketing campaigns for Hewlett Packard. It was a similar CEO ego trip. But I bet Whitacre will get a better severance package. He is a guy after all. What these CEO always forget is that customers interact with service and employees, not logos. Will Whitacre and crew put the same branding effort and resources into the branding components that really matter? That part isn't quite as sexy and fun. We'll see soon enough.

(I was proofing this while agrayspace was posting. Yeah, what he said too.)

As to the design itself, does anyone else think the perspective on the new globe is distorted and awkward? It seems to me that the back of the globe is on a different perspective plane than the front. And more importantly why are we viewing a perspective globe from a raised vantage point, yet we view flat, black type straight on? There is no cohesion between the mark and the type. They are two elements that have nothing in common with one another. Why couldn't the type have been developed in the same dimensional treatment and viewed from the same point of view?

On Nov.22.2005 at 10:16 AM
lindon leader’s comment is:

The new at&t symbol strikes me as an attempt by a first semester design student to draw Saul's mark from memory. The designers' have simply obliterated Saul's finely modulated line work. As for the type, while lowercase usually connotes informality, approachable, nimbleness, etc., in this case it looks downright trivial.

On Nov.22.2005 at 10:26 AM
feelicks sockwl jr’s comment is:

Lindon,

welcome to SU. (for those unaware, Lindon designed the Fedex logo while at Landor) with additional brand direction/ design by Courtney D Reaser, Nancy Hoefig and Margaret Youngblood.

This AT&T mark was also refurbished by Landor alumn. Perhaps once the dust settles we'll hear from him as well. Given the strategy/ goal of retaining/ reinvigorating the globe- which most people scrutinize as "very 80's" I don't see how this new globe is such a terrible mark. As Armin notes, labeling it "photoshopy" label doesnt stand to reason.

On Nov.22.2005 at 11:04 AM
Rick’s comment is:

I don't think anyone could have completely pulled this off. In the hearts and minds of every designer, this ends up as a no-win.

But on the business side, there are a few laughing all the way to the bank.

On Nov.22.2005 at 11:06 AM
Tim Lapetino’s comment is:

It's already been said before, and probably better. While context and animation might help this mark somewhat, it's got issues formally. Needs to be re-drawn and re-worked. Abandon the thicks and thins of Uncle Saul's old mark. The sim-3D on real 3D doesn't work.

As a side note, I remember seeing some movie that was partially set in the future (was it RoboCop, or maybe Back To the Future..?) which showed TV in that time. A commercial for AT&T had the Bass logo with lines springing forth from the globe's striations. It's been a while, but I remember this being pretty cool. I wonder if anyone can dig this up.

On Nov.22.2005 at 11:14 AM
Kelly’s comment is:

I agree that it is a terrible rendering, but I do like the "idea" of the transparent globe, communicating this idea of a global seamlessness that the information age is promising.

On Nov.22.2005 at 11:15 AM
Tim’s comment is:

I remember - It was Back to the Future II- After 2015 Marty is fired by his Japanese boss, the video screen shows an AT&T logo with the lines breaking out of the globe in a zigzag formation. I tried finding it on Google Image search but could only come up the Pizza Hut logo on the dehydrated pizza packaging...which was pretty ugly but no worse than their current version...I digress.

On Nov.22.2005 at 11:55 AM
Tim Lapetino’s comment is:

After 2015 Marty is fired by his Japanese boss, the video screen shows an AT&T logo with the lines breaking out of the globe in a zigzag formation.

Good call, Tim.

And no, I'm not talking to myself. :)

On Nov.22.2005 at 12:09 PM
Guy’s comment is:

When you think about it, this logo is a perfect fit for this company. Is there a company out there that has worse customer service than SBC/AT&T? Is there a company that sparks more ire amongst consumers than SBC/AT&T? Ok, maybe that last statement is debatable, but you will be hard pressed to find anyone who has anything favorable to say about SBC/AT&T. It serves them perfectly to have a crap logo such as this and I applaud them for not wanting to look better than they actually are.

On Nov.22.2005 at 12:50 PM
Koleslaw’s comment is:

Here's the logo, animated.

On Nov.22.2005 at 01:16 PM
ben...’s comment is:

This new logo seems directly drawn from its new partner in the cellular market: Cingular . It reminds me of newegg.com for some reason or a marble, peeled apple or something. Some interesting info at: www.bellsystemmemorial.com

On Nov.22.2005 at 01:28 PM
Patrick Mullen’s comment is:

If AT&T wanted a blue and white marble look, they should have borrowed Google Earth's icon.

On Nov.22.2005 at 01:42 PM
agrayspace’s comment is:

oh god the animated rotation just emphasizes the useless of the stroke variation in the lines.

not really getting any better.

But I am with GUY. They deserve a fucking standing ovation for looking as mediocre as they really are. HOORAY!

On Nov.22.2005 at 01:48 PM
Joseph Miller’s comment is:

It's an abomination....the desiner should be FIRED as well as the exec who commisioned it and approved it. YUCK.

On Nov.22.2005 at 02:04 PM
Zutro’s comment is:

Koleslaw’s comment is:

Here's the logo, animated.

That's IT? Well now I'm really disappointed. I thought maybe in motion it would be far more interesting. That's just lame.

On Nov.22.2005 at 02:34 PM
ben...’s comment is:

I found another new version of the logo... with arms and legs. Copy and paste this link, I can't figure out how to use the quick tags for images...

http://www.rickey.org/blog/images/hitchhikersguidetothegalaxythe2005011304.jpg

On Nov.22.2005 at 02:36 PM
Jason L.’s comment is:

To abandon the stronger elements of AT&T's brand and identity to be more fun and approachable just seems idiotic. While AT&T was clearly struggling in the world of wireless communication, Ma Bell had a certain mystique to it that has now been hung, burned, beaten bloody, and dragged through the street for all of us to see.

It's a shame that brands are no longer associated with words like service or reliability or responsibility but instead transparent and inviting. These are words that tell us nothing. Which is exactly what the mark does. I don't care how much they bounce it around a screen. And I seem to remember the old mark being put into motion with a great deal of thought and character a few years ago.

So if you change it change it. Man do I sound way more angry than I am about this.

On Nov.22.2005 at 04:26 PM
Anthony Baker’s comment is:


Don't know if this puts me in the minority camp or not, but I was never really happy with the original AT&T logo to begin with, so I wasn't that worried about updating it, nor of SBC switching itself over to AT&T -- particulary given how much I hate the SBC logo.

While I agree on all fronts about the at&t type, I do like the 3-D nature of the new mark, even with the technical faults of the stripes on the opposite side. Am sure they went with something like this to allow for an interesting bit of animation once it moves to broadcast or motion graphics and will be interesting to see how it pans out there.

Question/Idea:

Have any companies ever opened up their logo design to a public beta? It seems to me that there are an awful lot of great ideas here and, as with software/shareware, you tend to get a lot of wonderful feedback when you make something available online.

Seems to me that companies might go a long way -- and get more bang for their design dollar -- by opening up their ideas/work to public comments and then make revisions based on the best feedback.

Insofar as I'm aware, most businesses have not done this and I've certainly seen companies spend a lot of time and expense to ditch bad logos once they've finally seen the light of day.

Naming and logo design is a terribly difficult business and whenever I've been involved in the process, it seems that the mind's gone numb at one point or another in a revision process. Microscopic tweaking, inflated meaning and marketing-speak, etc. I really think it's not terribly difficult to loose yourself in bad judgement along the way.

Thoughts?

On Nov.22.2005 at 05:03 PM
Zoelle’s comment is:

Have any companies ever opened up their logo design to a public beta?

Almost nothing could make a company appear more weak and insecure as to ask the public what their identity should be.

This company logo was the result of a contest, so be careful what you wish for.

On Nov.22.2005 at 05:22 PM
vibranium’s comment is:

1. Memorability

I contend that by modifying the existing logo there is built in memorability. This is a modification, a moderization that feels thought out, well crafted and still remains an homage. People will know whose logo this is. period. no question.

2. Usability

As a vector it is scalable, the one color version is bold and simple allowing for use at various sizes and mediums.

3. Livability

Who is to say that this look doesn't become a classic, like the corporate-abstract original version? Only time will tell. The c-a look had many, many, many detractors at the time...and is now considered 'classic', let us not forget. Frankly as long as at&t stands behind it and defends it, it has livability.

4. Propriety

How could a modernization of the existing mark be anything but appropriate?

5. Unique

A combination of tried and true legacy, combined with a modern visualization? I'd call this unique.

6. Visual Impact

Subjective, but this mark has scale and a true sense of dimension (in a non-filter-y chees-y way). it carries an inherent animation potential. Definite stopping power.

7. Imaginative

In the sense that they achieved "3D" in a fairly unique way (using falt art technique), seems to satisfy this one. It has a mix of opacity and transparency that is unique and imaginative.

And I don't work for interbrand OR at&t.

On Nov.22.2005 at 05:33 PM
Ruben Sun’s comment is:

The animated logo is changing my mind somewhat from what I felt before.

It seems to me that this logo is intended to be seen more in its motion graphic format over its static format. I think it works better in motion than it does just sitting there.

My reasoning:

The decision to stick with AT&T was because of it's brand recognition. I believe that the two largest factors in the revitalization was negotiating the identity's recognizability against freshening the logo up to the contemporary values we place on corporations. transparency, friendliness... like that of a "target" or "apple"...

The motion graphic seems to mirror the spirit of AT&T's old logo... continuity, connectivity, consistancy and reliability. It should be clear that the animated logo is meant to be underwhelming. It's not supposed to be flashy and arguably it can even be described as passive. The globe just turns. That's it. the bands don't stretch out to connect... they don't warp in from top and bottom... they just are. These speak to the values that AT&T always seem to embody. The logo seems to speak to me a certain conservativism, or a certain humility and who wouldn't want that out of a communications company.

On Nov.22.2005 at 05:41 PM
chris dixon’s comment is:

If you want to blame someone, you blame the CEO, you blame the Brand Manager, you blame the creative director at Interbrand, the senior designers, but, please, not the "marketing people".

OK. I blame all these people for a logo that is an abject failure. I suggested the “MacMonkey overpowered by Marketing People” syndrome, because I thought that might at least go some way in explaining how such a horrible thing might come to be. The fact that all of the people you listed apparently agreed that this was the way to go, combined with the pneumatic press release from the CEO is, franky worrying.

On Nov.22.2005 at 06:00 PM
Ravenone’s comment is:

Is this 'big corporations change logos' a new trend, or something I just didn't notice before? What's the drive to change a logo which already had brand-recognition across the board? I liked the old logo. Why change when you already have something that works quite well?

The new one is interesting but it makes me think that they took the old logo... and put it through an apple peeler.

I can't really say if it's good or bad. I'm too new at this, and far from a professional; and it's simply too new for my eyes to be able to judge on its own merits.

On Nov.22.2005 at 06:19 PM
Mark’s comment is:

From Chris Dixon: The CEO keeps referring to AT&T, even when describing how AT&T is now represented in lower case. How do they expect their customers to fall for the friendly lower-case-ism when the CEO won’t tow is own line. Doublespeak.

The CEO is just showing that he knows the difference between a logo and a name. The name of the company is still AT&T, not at&t, just as the department store is Macy's, not the macy*s that appears in the logo.

Washington Post style guy Bill Walsh has an article on his site that explains the distinction a lot better than I can. An excerpt:

"Your credit card may say VISA, your athletic shoes may say NIKE or adidas, but this is just because the companies chose an all-caps or all-lowercase presentation for the brand names. That doesn't mean you write the words that way, any more than you would write WEBSTER'S NEW UNIVERSAL UNABRIDGED DICTIONARY just because that's what it says on the spine."

AT&T's at&t is just the company's way of trying to look friendly by adopting the Webby nonsense of lower-casing everything. And like some others have said on here, it doesn't work with the globe at all.

On Nov.22.2005 at 08:50 PM
Eric West’s comment is:

I just can't believe just how BAD the type was treated. Avenir bastardized. Corners rounded, top left of the top of the t is 'slightly' lowered, the bend of the bottom of the t has been altered. The bowl of the a was modified. Blah blah blah. it's almost as bad as slanted romans.

On Nov.22.2005 at 11:19 PM
chris dixon’s comment is:

Point taken, Mark.

In this case I was probably being unnecessarily nit-picky (or just plain wrong). The point I probably should have made is that rather than trying to look friendly by (ineptly) utilising lower case type in the logo, how about actually being friendly in their actions? To me, re-branding should encompass all of these things. What is the point in representing qualities such as friendliness and transparency in a logo when most customers know the company doesn’t posses those qualities in their culture — more so when the logo design ends up being compromised in the process.

The qualities which Whitacre claims are embodied in the logo seem to be from the standard grab-bag of meaningless, intangible buzz-words doled out to the public when neither the Designers nor the Bosses really know, or are prepared to admit, what the company culture is, or how they believe they might be regarded. And it’s hard to tell which came first — is the logo supposed to represent those qualities, or were those particular qualities arbitrarily attached to the vapid mark after its completion?

It often seems that when these sorts of massive companies re-brand these days, there is a certain amount of hopeful spin attached — a kind of “if we serve up a new identity and claim that we have a new attitude, hopefully our customers will forget how shabbily we have treated them in the past”. The design, then, is only serving the spin. In this case I don’t believe it is even doing that.

On Nov.23.2005 at 12:05 AM
Mark’s comment is:

Chris Dixon: The point I probably should have made is that rather than trying to look friendly by (ineptly) utilising lower case type in the logo, how about actually being friendly in their actions?

That's a great point. It's like when a newspaper "redesign" consists of little more than a new headline font. The readers will see through that, just as AT&T's customers will see through this lower-case stunt if the company doesn't improve the way it does business.

And I did get a bit het up over the name/logo thing, didn't I? Well, weird capitalization (or noncapitalization) has bugged me ever since the days of the disappointing TV series "seaQuest DSV." It just looks wrong.

On Nov.23.2005 at 12:56 AM
Nick Shinn’s comment is:

Last year's logo has got to go, no matter how brilliant. No-one wants to get caught with an old-fashioned logo on their watch. New CEO, new logo.

That's good business for graphic designers, ennit?

Why are we always complaining about trendyness?

So, get rid of those flat , dull, static logos and replace them with something colorful, dimensional (preferably with transparency), and animated (ie moving). "Good" slick rendering (according to old-school flat design standards) is rather quaint, and to be avoided. If it looks a bit off, great.

Better brush up on your After Effects, or bite your lip when the motion design guys get the gig and botch the static/print version of the logo.

On Nov.23.2005 at 12:59 AM
chris dixon’s comment is:

Nick,

Static logos tend to look better than animated logos in the printed medium which, despite predictions to the contrary, is still alive and well. ;-)

On Nov.23.2005 at 01:54 AM
a student's voice’s comment is:

i have read every single entry in this blog post and carefully considered everyone's feedback (mostly bashing the logo). i am not giving a critique for the logo, for i can not make a valid claim to anything without seeing the research that went into this logo. the reason why i need to see research is because without it, the logo just replicates what has been done already. this occurs plenty in design school with people such as david carson and people "immitating" his style and just ripping off a design he has created. it feels similar, but i shall give the benfit of the doubt here. i was reading all these posts and came to a great realization:

i was handed an article in my design history class entitled "the next big thing in graphic design" by mr. vanderlans. he states that there is nothing that is the "next big thing" in graphic design. i think we may have hit on something here. it seems that the ups logo is a "fresh" look to a company but the design fails to keep the integrity of the company in its look.

perhaps this same effect is occurring in the new at&t logo. at first glimpse it feels refreshing, but after viewing it in the ad series and other contexts, it feels like the identity of at&t is not being represented at all. it seems as if at&t is trying to "be hip" versus identify themselves. if you want to "be hip" (ie, see the new itunes rokr ads) then create a stellar commercial or magazine advertisement in seventeen or another "hip" magazine.

ups and at&t fall into this category of trying to utilize the brand essence without identifying the company. so what was my entire point with this article? i would have to say the next big thing in graphic design is what's happening in logo design. perhaps the next big thing is the butchering of past logo's we have all grown to admire.

On Nov.23.2005 at 02:35 AM
DesignMaven’s comment is:

Just Chiming In:

First and Foremost I want to thank my Esteemed Guest

Lindon Leader. One of the Preeminent Identity Designers of the 20th and 21st Century. Mr. Leader worked with Saul Bass most noted Project Exxon Petrol Stations 1981.

While employed at Landor in Senior Management Lindon Leader Revitalized and Created Identities for Ryder, Double Tree Hotels, Cigna. NCAA.

Of course Fedex which is considered by many as Omnipotent and Ubiquitous as Paul Rand's IBM.

With Addison Mr. Leader Revitalized the Identity for Hawaiian Airlines. Others to numerous to mention.

Both Lindon Leader and Jerry Kuyper worked together at Bass Yager and Landor.

Ravenone:

It is a Canon (law) in Corporate Identity Design when there is a Merger or Acquisition a new Corporate Identity is Designed to Reposition the Corporation.

Management usually the CEO wishes to Signal a Change in Competency, Culture or Marketing Strategy. This happens because a new Company is created as a result of a Merger or Acquisition.

This didn't happen with Konica Minolta. A Merger and Acquisition. The Japanese are Smarter.

Ninety Nine percent of the time with a Merger and Acquisition a new Corporate Identity is Designed. Think Nextel and Sprint. Result Sprint Name and Nextel Trade Dress, Corporate Color, Yellow.

Another Merger and Acquisition, Bell Atlantic, GTE, and NYNEX. Result Verizon.

Lindon Leader wrote a wonderful Fact Sheet Titled the Ten Reasons for Corporate Identity Change. Perhaps one day he'll allow me to upload. Currently, I don't have permission and its for my Eyes Only.

Nick Shinn:

Trendyness doesn't Transcend Timelessness and Longivity. Contrary to Popular Belief Corporate Identity is not a Fashion Statement.

Vibranium:

Thanks for your Sanity and Astute Observations.

All Design Objectives were met with exception of two Usability and Livability. Actually I believe the two dimensional Globe will have Greater Longivity than the three dimensional Globe.Overtime the three dimensional Globe will will look dated. And at&t will look dated and reposition itself with the two dimensional Globe.

On Nov.23.2005 at 07:36 AM
DesignMaven’s comment is:

Follow Up:

Anyone wanting to see at&t Applications of the Identity Applied to Signage and Livery visit

Maestro Tony Spaeth's website below.

http://www.identityworks.com/reviews/2005/at&t.htm

Further Comments reserved for those with Secret Code and Handshake.

This should get us another 100 Post.

Jealous as Hell of Tony. He's already got the Freaken Identity Manual. I'd settle for a Brand Book at this stage.

DM

On Nov.23.2005 at 07:53 AM
Pesky Illustrator’s comment is:

::::::::: update: november 25, 3005:::::::::

last night's brief revolt of designslaves has been squashed, reports at&t c.e.o. boingo in a newly released report today. the introduction of new 4d logo implants was met with some resistance by renagade members of the outlawed group calling themselves vanderlandians (see uplink on who was r. vanderlans).

policerobots have captured the small group of these vanderlandians in a pre-dawn raid outside disneyland, iraq last night. illegal computers were found in ther hideaway along with books (see uplink on the end of print). a highly publicized trial is expected in new washington d.c. in early january 3006.

their supposed leader, a renagade who calls himself el rudy, has been spotted in the underwater city of new orleans reports confirm.

as we all know, computers have been under corporate control since the end of world war 6, so finding this cache of machines is further proof that both saulbassians and vanderlandians have been operating outside sanctioned facilities.

recently "DOWN WITH LOWER CASE" grafitti has been spotted on web sites worldwide, dispite a ban making such illegal pronouncments subject to severe reeducation.

dispite this revolt, the majority of the citizens of planet earth have happily accepted their new logo 4d logo implants with a minimum of trouble claims at&t.

spokesperson bono, of u2 fame, now a brainpod clebrity, has created a special song for the occasion entitled, "att&t we love you".

"corporations" says chairman and c.e.o. boingo, "need to show who's boss. think of us as a 'father figure' to future generations. we cannot allow misguided designslaves voicing their silly opinions about well thought-out innovations to our

beloved planet's futurecontrol vision. they don't realize that it's for their comfort and evolution that we created implants."

"once these vanderlandians realize that logos are serious business, life will be easier for them.",

reports chairman boingo.

::::::end of transmission from the future::::::

On Nov.23.2005 at 08:28 AM
S. De Chellis’s comment is:

I always wondered if the company that once used a "coffee stain" for a corporate logo could do it again...

They have!

Now we have a logo that looks like someone dropped a ping-pong ball through a food proccesor!

(please forgive my spelling)

On Nov.23.2005 at 10:32 AM
Darrel’s comment is:

When Saul Bass did the original one, did he use the same amount of bullet-pointed BS to sell it?

On Nov.23.2005 at 11:46 AM
Darrel’s comment is:

Also, I agree with those that pointed out the technical problems with the rendering. There is something physically way off about it that just gives you this feeling of "this ain't quite right".

Sort of like when you are in life drawing that the proportions are just slightly off. It's not enough to take it into an interesting abastraction...but enough to make it just look odd to the eye.

On Nov.23.2005 at 11:53 AM
agrayspace’s comment is:

Secret handshake? Crass elitism anyone?

Lets not succumb to some design aristocracy. Thats is what design observer is for (I kid! I kid!) :)

We are all aware that the contributers to this forum run a wide gamut. Some extremely talented, experienced and knowledgable and some extremely wet behind the ears. But the minute we belittle any contribution with even the suggestion of a secret handshake or required knowledge base is the minute we become the "administration". We become that man.

That would be regretful to say the least.

On Nov.23.2005 at 12:03 PM
Nick Shinn’s comment is:

>Static logos tend to look better than animated logos in the printed medium

I'm just pointing out the Achilles heel of print-centric designers. The corollary of your point is that static logos don't necessarily animate well.

However, there is a generation of designers in college now who are learning interactive and time-based design, so in future hopefully the whole process can be more integrated.

Print-centricism puts the blinkers on: the revered Saul Bass logo reeks of engraving -- hardly appropriate for a 21st century high tech company.

>Corporate Identity is not a Fashion Statement.

Maven, that was a nice myth back in the day, but smart people don't buy that any more, because they know: Design is Fashion. (Whatever part of it that's not is just techie automated/drone stuff) .

On Nov.23.2005 at 01:08 PM
eric janssen strohl’s comment is:

This discussion leads me back to that of the new Sprint mark from a few months ago. The issue being discussed was that of usage: imprinted into the case of a plastic phone, how it appears on a small low resolution phone screen.

Compared to the Cingular "X-man" and its simplicity, I am curious as to how this new 3d version will translate across these applications.

On Nov.23.2005 at 01:14 PM
Jerry Kuyper’s comment is:

Saul Bass was the pioneer in interactive time-based design and paved the way for this and other generations of designers.

He also created an amazing animation of the original logo.

On Nov.23.2005 at 01:39 PM
agrayspace’s comment is:

Its laughable to say that people in school now are suddenly going to revolutionize time-based design.

If they aren't learning from pioneering masters like Bass then I reckon they aren't going to be able to teach us anything in the future.

On Nov.23.2005 at 02:12 PM
Nick Shinn’s comment is:

>Its laughable to say that people in school now are suddenly going to revolutionize time-based design.

That's not what I said.

In the B.Des course I taught recently, students worked on integrating design across media - web, broadcast, print.

What I'm saying is that rather than have print specialists or TV specialists driving the corporate design agenda, in future designers will have the diversity of skills and experience to integrate design better across media, so that you don't get the situation with the new AT&T logo, which has this "illustrative" finish that seems overwrought for print ID.

That's my assumption of where this is coming from.

***

The new logo reminds me of a symbolic futurist airbrush illustration that someone like Herbert Bayer would have done for the cover of Fortune in the 1940s.

On Nov.23.2005 at 03:38 PM
DesignMaven’s comment is:

Dr. Shinn:

Yes, Design is Fashion, but it should never be Fashionable

for the Sake of Fashion.

DM

On Nov.23.2005 at 03:43 PM
Nick Shinn’s comment is:

>Saul Bass was the pioneer in interactive time-based design

OK, point taken.

But I always thought the Bass AT&T logo, with it's horizontal-screen effect, was a bit retro, pop-art blow up perhaps, and it looked like engraving as much as being a representation of a CRT image.

On Nov.23.2005 at 03:48 PM
Armin’s comment is:

- Ed Note

17 comments were removed from this thread. Only a few of them offensive, others just responses to that. I just barreled over the last 17 comments, so if something meaningful that related to AT&T was deleted by mistake, my apologies, and please feel free to recomment.

Judgmental comments towards anyone who shares their time on Speak Up is not tolerated.

I am going to sleep now. When I wake up, I want everyone in Thanksgivingy mood (ie, ready to pig out).

On Nov.23.2005 at 10:33 PM
David E.’s comment is:

This related to something that wasn't removed, so I'm re-posting this part of my last post:

When Saul Bass did the original one, did he use the same amount of bullet-pointed BS to sell it?

I once read something on the subject of grids where Saul Bass was quoted as saying that he sometimes designed something and then created a grid afterwards to help sell the design to the client. So he wasn't above using BS to sell his work.

On Nov.23.2005 at 10:42 PM
Lindon Leader’s comment is:

Maven (and Feelicks),

Thank you for your welcome to “Speak Up”. While I’m here I thought I’d add another note on the new AT&T identity. Maven, to your comment that management usually wishes to signal a change because a new company is created as a result of a merger or acquisition (among other reasons), I would agree that a new identity can go far and fast to achieve this.

What I find troubling in this instance is that AT&T management is apparently confused about what the company has become and what it wants to say about it. For all we know, Interbrand presented some excellent, revolutionary candidates that were rejected. Without Saul’s counsel (it wasn’t BS as David E. suggests), we don’t see here the dramatic leap in Management Vision clearly manifest in Saul’s change from the original Bell symbol to the 1968 version and again with the globe years later.

Saul would always tell a client on the brink of selecting a conservative, incrementally evolutionary candidate, “You’ll end up spending more of your marketing dollars getting your constituents to notice a modest change than you will with a bold one.” Not just in terms of advertising, he would explain, but in the always extraordinary costs of converting the company’s permanent media. “You can’t get across a canyon in two jumps,” I heard Saul once admonish a client.

The confused messaging the new AT&T identity broadcasts is evident in the recent overhaul of another famous Bass mark for The United Way. One can criticize the “new” United Way symbol as hardly a change for the better, which, in my opinion, is true. But when one considers how patently conservative The United Way is and how subordinate the national organization is to some of its powerful regional chapters it amazes not that the change is the worse for Saul’s design, but that The United Way could collectively agree to change the mark at all.

So it is with the “new” AT&T. If the company’s management cannot commit to significantly improving on the original, dramatically more resonant identity, and if it cannot graphically and metaphorically herald positive change in a more significant way, it would better serve itself trying to copy a Rembrandt in the Met on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

We’ll see that for the merger of SBC and AT&T, each coming into it with considerable baggage, “two jumps” (the first jump being Interbrand’s identity and the second: wishful thinking) just doesn’t cut it.

On Nov.25.2005 at 01:15 PM
steve’s comment is:

I really, really don't like this. Mark, your posts were a laugh. But on the topic of the logo, I don't know... It only looks good when really small to my eyes. When the off-perspective lines on the back of the sphere are visible, it looks so smash-uppy. I like the idea here, but I don't like the result. In practice it's very primitive in construction in a way that doesn't encourage the attractive elements of simplicity or the scalability you'd expect. I'm not sure what went wrong and why, but it did.

On Nov.25.2005 at 11:09 PM
Justin Mayer’s comment is:

My first thought: It looks like the Guggenheim laid an egg.

On Nov.26.2005 at 03:36 PM
Tom B’s comment is:

I've been trying to be open-minded about this, listening to people's comments. But I think I've made up my mind.

I really really really HATE this new version.

For whatever reason, something has gone horribly wrong here. I'd be ashamed to present this travesty to a client. It's just so... crappy.

I feel bad for launching into a rant like this without giving any detailed critique. But it's so bad I don't know where to begin.

Maybe someone should start an online wall-of-shame: a repository for all the horrible examples of misguided, stupid and downright crappy designs out there.

My apologies for the spleen-venting but, AAARGH IT's AWFUL!

On Nov.26.2005 at 08:53 PM
DesignMaven’s comment is:

IBM, NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, ESPN

1. IBM, Design, Paul Rand

2. NBC, Design, Chermayeff & Geismar

2. CBS, Design, William Golden, Geog Olden.

3. abc, Design, Paul Rand

4. CNN, Design, In House ???

5. ESPN, Design, Philip Gips for Frankfurt Gips Balkind.

Beginning with IBM, There isn't anyway to make IBM Better since Paul Rand gave the Identity Continuity with Stripes.

There are several former versions, in outline, and solid.

NBC, was involved in a Merger and Acquisition with Universal Studios and Vivendi. Vivendi was dropped as a name. NBC and Universal became the Dominant Brand, merging both Identities. The result a Disaster, see the Identity below, on Maestro Tony Spaeth's site.

http://www.identityworks.com/reviews/2004/nbc_universal.htm

Legend has it that William Golden wanted to change the CBS Identity two years after it was launched.

Frank Stanton then Head of CBS told Golden in No Uncertain Terms, Hell No!!!!!

During Lou Dorfsman's Reign as Head of CBS Corporate Design for over 40 years he recalled a meeting with a young CBS VP that wanted to change CBS Identity and Lou told him, if he even thought about it he would do him bodily harm.

abc, is being monkeyed with now. It's Pleasing Plump, it has succumb to trickery and quackery of 3 Dimension for some on air broadcast.

There was an attempt to change abc during Paul Rand's Life, by unknown Identity Consultancies. None of them could come up with a Better Design. The Story was told by Paul Rand.

You can read about it in Part 2 of Paul Rand's Interview with Michael Kroeger. After the discussion about the FedEx Logo. They Discuss abc.

Interesting Reading to say the least.

http://www.mkgraphic.com/paulrand.html

CNN and ESPN are not as old as the others, anything is possible.

In reference to the New at&t 3 Dimensional Globe.

The problem is not in the Drawing of the Globe, the Problem is the Rendering of the Globe.

This is a problem that I am counseling a young Designer now that is interested in Perfecting his Drawing Skills.

Regardless of the Software Program used whether 3 D Rendering Software or Illustrator with a Wacom Tablet.

If you cannot Draw or Paint in the First Place it is Impossible to Create Believable Renderings because you lack Proper know how and understanding of technique.

The Computer will not Compensate for your lack of ability to Draw or Paint Covencingly. It will only enhance you inability.

The Creative e.g. Dital Artist, Illustrator, Designer that Commenced Rendering of the Globe did not have a Strong Sense of Modeling and/or Rendering Technique to create the proper Texture and Volume of the Globe.

The Globe is Weightless and it is not Rendered with the Proper Understanding of Light and Shadow. Neither does the Globe create the proper Illusion of Values, Volume, Tone, Texture and Highlights.

The new at&t Globe is Rendered with Gradients and Transparency, that's it. Gradients and Transparency alone are not enough to create the Proper Illusion Depth, Value, Volume, and Tone.

The Original AT&T Identity was Created with the Highlight as the Focal Point. Creating the Correct Illusion to fool the eye into believing it was 3 Dimensional when it was actually Flat. This is accomplished with a thorough understanding of Drawing Technique. Where the Highlight in the Original Bass Design was in sharp contrast with the Tonal Value creating the illusion of Volume.

It will be interesting to learn from Jerry Kuyper how the Original AT&T Identity was Rendered. Since he was the Illustrator. Was it Rendered with Pen and Ink, Plaka on Board or Computer???

Most important, my Good Friend Nick Shinn mentioned the new at&t Identity looked like and Airbrush Rendering, he is correct. That's what Gradients and Transparency alone will create, Weightlessness.

The Designer, Artist or Illustrator did not understand how to create the proper underpainting to create the correct illusion of Volume, and Texture. Which is why it looks like a hot air balloon.

In more Capable, Knowledgeable and Expert hands such as Airbrush Luminaries, Charles White III, Dave Williardson,

Phillip Castle, Mamoru Shimokochi the Proper Optical Illusion would've been created to Fool the eye.

Any Object Rendered in 3 Dimensions has to have Light, Shadow, Tones, Values, Volume, Highlights and Perspective

to make the Object Believable. Even if it is an Identity, these Attributes can be hinted to achieve the Proper Effect.

With the Original Globe Design by Bass the Bass Yager Team understood that. You clearly see the light source coming from left,

Creating the the Illusion of Depth, Volume, Tone, Values, Light and Shadow. The Perfect Optical Illusion.

DM

On Nov.27.2005 at 01:10 AM
Armin’s comment is:

Mark, these are supposed to be "funny", right?

On Nov.27.2005 at 01:50 PM
Diane Witman’s comment is:

I think it's obvious. It was an obvious solution. The previous logo was just so straight forward and right on point that the only direction they could go is to create a three-dimensional, more web-friendly looking logo.

For there sakes I hope they plan to really play up this logo on the web, interactivity and television commercials. I can't see how this will benefit anything related to print, but lets see how they do it.

On Nov.27.2005 at 03:36 PM
Andre Andreev’s comment is:

Following diane's thought, it seems like the reason for recent 3d-fication of logos is to create the illusion of motion. the new at&t logo, even though static, it appears that its a still of an animation sequence, same with jack, same with ups (to a lesser extend). I can see interesting play-ups on animations and cute light effects, but that doesnt resolve the fact that the logo by itself should be memorable.

On Nov.28.2005 at 04:12 PM
Jerry Kuyper’s comment is:

As one of the team members at Saul Bass that created the AT&T globe in 1983, I have followed this discussion with great interest. To answer Maven's question, all final studies and refinements were done with black and white Plaka paint at 30 cm. diameter.

My introduction to the new AT&T globe was on their website and in the Wall Street Journal. 

On their site the globe appeared to be a sketch, the blue lines/transparency visually translated into a rough drawn quality as my first impression.

In the double page launch ad in the WSJ the 3.25" globe had a barely perceivable suggestion of transparency that would be invisible to the typical reader. The logo in the NY Times ad today was similar.  Amusingly the most effective depiction of the new globe I have seen so far is on this site.

I find it troubling that these critical first impressions appear to be falling short of the desired effect and trust someone is working on adjusting the artwork. Achieving the transparent quality at smaller sizes on brochures and stationery applications will prove to be even more challenging.

Several years ago I was told by the AT&T trademark counsel that there were over 20,000 companies in the US that use a globe as their logo. Creating another version is questionable from that perspective.

The other disconnect that has been touched on in this discussion is their desired perception. On the Corporate Information page the company is referred to as "the nation's largest telcom company" and "one of the world's largest telecommunications holding companies". 

The logo design suggests exactly the opposite qualities. Looking down on the globe makes it appear diminutive. The lower case letters add to this impression. It is a real challenge to be intergalactic and approachable. The only example I can think of is the Jolly Green Giant.

The original globe required involvement of the viewer to complete the globe, the new logo simply waits for you to pick it up.

Perhaps Picasso said it best "To know what to leave out is art".

On Nov.28.2005 at 10:08 PM
Mario Puig’s comment is:

Oh, my. Sorry Saul.

On Nov.29.2005 at 01:52 AM
Mario Puig’s comment is:

Oh, my. Sorry Saul.

On Nov.29.2005 at 01:52 AM
Marilyn Langfeld’s comment is:

All I can figure is someone at the new AT&T likes art glass marbles.

On Nov.29.2005 at 08:40 AM
Joe Hausch’s comment is:

ATT&T or at&t?

Yeah, sure but how will it look embroidered? How will it look through the fax? How will it work in one color?

I remember all of those "logo/identity/brand designer" questions we've asked ourselves over the years. Sure embroidered monograms might be giving way to hologram logos or even hologram uniforms. I'm sure the fax will be nothing more than a glorified paperweight in just a couple more years. And who really prints anything in one color any more - except maybe in newspaper and yellow pages ads - but those don't matter because print is just about dead. Right?

These are all fine and good ideas, obviously not concepts that drive a successful, dynamic, powerful, meaningful, and consistent identity and message. Those types of ideas are mentioned in all of the previous messages listed here.

I am mourning for the death of one of the icons that helped shape and inspire my career. I mourn for a pioneer in design, Mr. Saul Bass who single-handedly helped form the blueprint for brand design, as we know it. His portfolio is a body of dream work and dream clients. His work should live on forever (in many other brands) and we should celebrate his teachings and his work - and learn from at&t's mistake.

Go out and create new, influential successful and meaningful brands for the future. Don't get caught in the trendy "thoughtful-less" crutches that are supporting "the new, improved" at&t. Best of luck to you at&t, you'll need it if that's what leads you into tomorrow.

On Nov.29.2005 at 11:57 AM
feelicks sockwl jr’s comment is:

Need a hanky?

"I am mourning for the death of one of the icons that helped shape and inspire my career. I mourn for a pioneer in design, Mr. Saul Bass"

And if he were alive today he'd probably tell you to get a life. Saul Bass was an excellent identity designer. He was also a great visionary with a drawer full logos very similar AT&T's globe.

"single-handedly helped form the blueprint for brand design, as we know it."

You're doing bong hits with Wavey Mavey. Arent you? Sitting around flippin thru identity annuals listening to Blue Oyster Cult and Karen Carpenter.

We've turned the corner, folks. Quit crying and get in the bus.

On Nov.29.2005 at 02:31 PM
Tan’s comment is:

Man oh man. I take a little vacation with the family, and miss the debate of the year. I'm really sorry that I missed the 17 catfight comments that Armin had to remove. Damn, 17. That's got to be a record.

I'll share my thoughts more thoroughly when I get home tonight, but it might surprise people. Even more surprising is that I find myself agreeing with what Felix had just said. *Shudder*

Think about the business, people. Think about the business.

On Nov.29.2005 at 03:21 PM
BlueStreak’s comment is:

"We've turned the corner, folks.

Quit crying and get in the bus."

"On a blue bus

Doin' a blue rock

C'mon, yeah

Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill

This is the end beautiful friend"

Turned the corner? More like gone over the cliff.

The Doors tune is more appropriate than Reaper.

On Nov.29.2005 at 04:07 PM
Scott Stowell’s comment is:

Think about the business, people. Think about the business.

I think plenty of people on this project were thinking about the business.

For a while this discussion was derailed into a debate on the pros and cons of hero worship. Was Saul Bass a great designer? I think so. You may not. That's OK. But the logo did its job well. Meanwhile, it's true that logos today need to work in motion, on the web, etc. It's also true that most people will experience this logo silkscreened on their cellphones, or laserprinted on a phone bill.

Why didn't they simply keep the old logo and then make a 3-D, translucent version of it for the applications (motion, web, etc) that can handle it? This would have been a very elegant and efficient way to expand the established identity and would have expressed--as they put it in their press release--their "expanding breadth and depth of services" and "clarity and vision" just fine.

There is a one-color version of the new logo (Armin posted it above), and it will no doubt get used a lot--silkscreened on cellphones, laserprinted on phone bills, etc. So why does it look so different from the old one? The choices made on that level--looking down on the "globe," the stripes not emphasizing the form, etc--are the most puzzling aspects of this new symbol.

Are these the parts of the identity that are meant to express "innovation, integrity, quality, reliability and unsurpassed customer care?" To me those changes are what makes this seem like change for change's sake. Clearly they wanted this new logo to look like the old one, but why not build on what worked while "revitalizing" it?

As Michael Bierut said in one of his comments to his own post on The Final Days of AT&T over at Design Observer, "...graphic design is so often viewed as the easiest thing in the world to change. I wonder if the as-of-yet-unidentified design consultant has suggested leaving it alone." I doubt it--but then that wouldn't be thinking about the business, would it?

On Nov.29.2005 at 05:12 PM
feelicks sockwl jr’s comment is:

True, the rules have changed. Marketing has swallowed Design's balls. We knew that a long time ago. Good designers will find a way to reintegrate themselves, or be left weaping, scratching, complaining.

"Bringing back the death star?" Cry me a river.

On Nov.29.2005 at 05:13 PM
Mark’s comment is:

What I don't like about it is that the lines are maximized to the point making the globe look smaller and unimpressive.

I'm really getting tired of all the so-called "friendly, soft-cute" logos only logos that should be that type is kid stuff and other fun products like toys.

For crying out loud are logos still stuck in the millenium? Its 5 years after its time to get back to work and create an identity thats strong and meaningful, and for crying out loud make it look like some hard work was done to make it.

Heck SBC's logo was ugly but they meant business.

Since AT&T finally changed its logo, anybody remember a scene in Back to The Future II where the senior Marty Mcfly got a call from Needles and after he accepted his deal by scanning his card the AT&T logo was on screen and it was at that time supposed to take place in 2015 yet AT&T had the same logo since 1984 Well acually its slightly changed the Saul Bass globe is there yet it also has the lines zig-zaging from the globe too.

Hell they should of used that logo instead of Interbrand's would look a hell of a lot nicer too.

sadly you'll need to get the movie yourself I can't find the prop the thumb scanner that had it or a screenshot showing it.

On Nov.29.2005 at 05:16 PM
feelicks sockwl jr’s comment is:

Was Saul Bass a great designer? I think so. You may not. That's OK

don't paint this black and white. great designers like Bass shit identity turds too. Rand was perhaps a better identity designer, and even he phoned it in on occasion.

why not build on what worked

What worked in 1982 was hair spray, Spencer's Gifts, Whos the Boss, and Vans footwear. You wanna go back that far? Well, OK. You're the trivia expert!

On Nov.29.2005 at 05:25 PM
JT III’s comment is:

What worked in 1982 was hair spray, Spencer's Gifts, Whos the Boss, and Vans footwear. You wanna go back that far? Well, OK. You're the trivia expert!

Feelicks-

Are you suggesting there is no way to add to an existing design or are you suggesting 1982 was a crappy year? I'm not really sure but, either way I believe it is entirely possible to breathe new life into at&t's existing identity without changing the logo. I mean we are designers after all, right? Isn't this the sort of thing we're suppose to do well?

I believe it is possible to have one foot in the past and one foot in the future! I believe in America! I believe in equal rights! I believe in love!

On Nov.29.2005 at 06:05 PM
feelicks sockwl jr’s comment is:

I believe you need to design it for us to believe it.

Go ahead. Design the new AT&T logo, shedding its ques to 2 dimentional 1984 Pepsi Free - IBM - Minolta - USA Today - trendiness allthewhile retaining its integrity and updated for 2006. Can you do that? Believably?

On Nov.29.2005 at 06:31 PM
anonymous’s comment is:

feelicks sockwl jr,

until you produce quality logo's like bass, perhaps you shouldn't pass judgement. his genius is hardly ever matched, only a few have done it. unfortunately for you, you're not one of them.

On Nov.29.2005 at 06:33 PM
JT III’s comment is:

Feelicks-

Although I completely agree with Scott that developing a 3D version of Saul's logo is possible, I'm not even sure the logo needs to messed with that much.

Imagine, if you would, The Saul Bass logo in magenta and you might already see the limitless possibilities for a new visual system. I'm simply suggesting there are any number of ways to update an identity without messing with an established logo (feelings about magenta aside).

Chiggity-check Pentagram's update to the United brand. The sweep / tulip / what-have-you remained intact while the typography changed.

Perhaps we can have a design throw-down another day.

On Nov.29.2005 at 06:50 PM
DesignMaven’s comment is:

Felix:

"great designers like Bass shit identity turds too".

Name them!!!

"Rand was perhaps a better identity designer".

Lets not turn this into a SAUL BASS vs PAUL RAND Debate.

Both were Equally as Gifted.

Paul Rand being the True Master of Design Consulted with only a Handful of Major Corporations over his Lifetime. Only has IBM, abc, and Westinghouse as Indicative of his Major, Major Identity Design Vocabulary.

The other existing Identities are for smaller Companies.

Saul Bass was more International than Paul Rand. Cornering the Japanese Market and Europe. Saul Bass worked within Every Industry Market Sector, to include: Oil and Petroleum, Airlines, Industrial Manufacturing, Food Products, Financial Institutions, Insurance, Transportation, Business, Professional Services, Government, Utilities, Healthcare, Institutions, Non Profits, Pharmaceuticals, Restaurants, Fast Food, Media, Information Services, Retail Stores, Property Development.

To name just a few.

There are a Plethora of Identities Designed by Saul Bass the Design Community is unaware of within North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

And I know where the Bodies are Buried.

Losing AT&T is nothing compared to what remains of Existing Identities by Saul Bass.

Inasmuch as we like to compare SAUL BASS and PAUL RAND. They were Truly very Different Designers in Methodology and Approach.

Saul Bass being a Functionalist and Paul Rand being a Formalist.

DM

On Nov.29.2005 at 08:32 PM
jayp’s comment is:

I hope it has the same public appeal as "New Coke" did back in '85. If it ain't broke ...

On Nov.29.2005 at 09:54 PM
mike’s comment is:

I have a problem with the top/looking down perspective on the globe/logo. Shouldn't the perspective appear as if you're looking up to the logo. Also, what's up with id marks trending toward appearing dimensional instead of flat?

On Nov.29.2005 at 10:03 PM
Tan’s comment is:

I had written this lengthy post about the life cycle of a brand and how it tied in to its Knowledgeability and Relevance factor, and yadda, yadda.

But I decided to scrub it.

Because in the end, it comes to this. Everyone knows what the old AT&T logo looks like and what it represents. But few people care anymore about how the company affects their lives. It's not part of current public consciousness, culture, or visual vernacular. You don't depend on it like Google; you don't want to buy it like an iPod or Sony; heck, you don't even quite understand what it really offers as a company anymore.

That's the beginning of the end for a lot of mature brands — especially a brand that must exist in the high-tech sector where markets and technology changes by the second. Xerox faced this. Kodak is facing it right now as we speak.

So, did the AT&T logo need to be revitalized? In my opinion, yes it did.

Does the end of a Bass mark play any significance outside of our insular little world of graphic design? No. As designers, we'd like to think that we can produce landmarks that become untouchable. But the truth is, not even Rand or Bass could.

And last question—is the new mark different enough to be worth the sacrilege of the Bass mark? In my opinion, I don't think so. It should've been more drastic, like FedEx or Xerox. Make a clean break, or don't bother in the first place. If the goal was to create a new brand that stands for new technology and new innovative thinking, then it's futile to evolve a standard that represented old technology and corporate thinking for more than 30 years.

So I lament the missed opportunity more than the loss itself.

On Nov.30.2005 at 12:32 PM
agrayspace’s comment is:

"great designers like Bass shit identity turds too".

Name them!!!

Just to beat a dead horse already.

Maven will probably flame me for this but I'll go out on a limb. How about YWCA?

IMHO!! I repeat IMHO This is not "good" and I would go so far to classify it as "not timeless", "unpleasant" and dangerously close to "turd".

Then again I am in the camp that thinks the new YWCA identity is fucking ballsy and brilliant.

Hero worship is for sheep.

On Nov.30.2005 at 12:35 PM
Tan’s comment is:

>I think AT&T was in a pickle in deciding a logo when they found out they were merging with SBC.

Mark — don't know if you know this, but SBC was formed out of the original AT&T breakup. It's a brick from the old company. So the merge is actually a re-formation of the original AT&T behemoth.

It's also interesting to note that SBC has partial ownership of Cingular Wireless, who acquired AT&T Wireless last year. So with this latest merge, AT&T is slowly, piece by piece, re-forming itself whole again like the liquid metal terminator.

On Nov.30.2005 at 01:00 PM
Tan’s comment is:

Looks like this discussion has gone off the deep end.

What's your point Mark? Or are you now just posting crap for the hell of it?

On Nov.30.2005 at 03:49 PM
Zoelle’s comment is:

Before a logo can be deemed a turd or treasure I think you need to establish the laws by which the logos will be tried. The seven criteria listed by DM above are excellent guidelines, but everyone has the right to use whatever criteria they wish. Therefore one man’s turd is another man’s treasure (hopefully not literally).

I enjoy the cleverness and craftsmanship of Felix’s work, even though Radar Magazine thinks he is the creator of one of the “World’s Gayest Logos”. I’m sure that Rand and Bass have their own opinions related to their own work. I highly doubt that they love every logo they ever produced.

Hero worship does serve a good purpose, in that it gives the worshiper a reference by which success can be modeled. Conversely, it can also work to delude a person’s critical thinking. I’ve seen this demonstrated recently on TV with modern art critics who were asked to critique paintings and choose between works created by famous artists and those created by children. When the critics were told which paintings were which, the critics that were certain that the children’s work was that of a famous artist were left tripping over their words.

As for pissing of Design Maven — I can’t wait for him to throw his foil-lined hat back in the ring.

On Nov.30.2005 at 03:50 PM
DesignMaven’s comment is:

r agrayspace:

Most important, when has Felix given you Permission to SPEAK FOR HIM???!!!!

He is Thoroughly Capable of Fighting his own Fights. His Comment was a Subliminal Message for me. He knew I would Respond. He has not respnonded, perhaps because of time. He doesn't need your involvement.

Aficionados of the Speak Up Community are well aware you Lack Taste and Identity Acumen. Affectionately BREAKING YOUR BALLS!!!!!!!

I forgive you, because YOU KNOW NOT WHAT YOU ARE DOING!!!!!!!!!!!

Anybody, that suggest the current PROSAIC ywca Visual Statement is Better is sadly misguided and misinformed by shear ignorance and stupidity.

It is not an Identity, It is a Marketing Gimmick.

You see nobody has followed Landor down that Road to Hell. And if Walter Landor were alive that Garbage would have been thrown overboard upper deck Ferryboat Klamath.

As I sad last year the Goals and Aspirations sited by the Tag Line alone are unobtainable.

Empowering Women............Perhaps

Eliminating Racism..............A Fallacy and Unobtainable

Without Question under the new ywca Campaign.

They are sending the wrong Message.

With this current campaign, not one Television Commercial that I've seen. Or Mass Produced Print Campaign.

Notwithstanding the Signage Identity System is POORLY IMPLEMENTED.

At least with the Bass Designed Identity

an Abstract "W" with a Rising Sun Suggesting the Letter "Y" Emerging Representing A Ray of Sunshine, Hope and Prosperity.

The whole campaign was built around the Identity with Young Women holding outstretched Hands above their Heads forming the Identity "Y" Ingenious. This was carried through in their Literature, Print Ad Campaign, Television Commercials. etc.

The Custom Alphabet Bass Designed for YWCA that you're showing has more Character, Personality, Continuity and Readability than ywca.

I'm in D.C. where the Headquartered Office moved from New York. On the Building Designed for YWCA. They're continuing to use SAUL BASS' Alphabet for the Address he Design. Guess Landor's wasn't Good enough to Replace it.

What does the new ywca Identity Represent other than being Quasi Swiss and Forty Years Old???

How is that Progress???

The ywca Identity may have met Design Objectives.

I'm talking about aesthetics. How something Looks. See how a Bonafide Identity Designer Dance around the work Like or I don't like it.

Notice I never once used those terms.

DM

On Nov.30.2005 at 03:53 PM
Annoyed Reader’s comment is:

will someone get mark a hockey helmet for christmas before he hurts himself.

On Nov.30.2005 at 03:55 PM
DesignMaven’s comment is:

Bill:

Many thanks

Again, Difficult to IGNOR THE IGNORANT!!!!!

Only to SAY, HEROES HAVE HEROES.

I've never met a Designer in this Business that Reached the PINNACLE of our profession that didn't have a Hero.

Suffice it to SAY. IGNORANT DESIGNERS DON'T HAVE HEROES. That's why they BITCH and MOAN and

DENIGRATE THOSE THAT HAVE THEM.

IGNORANCE IS BLISS!!!!!!!!!

DM

On Nov.30.2005 at 04:17 PM
felix sockwell’s comment is:

you shouldn't pass judgement. his genius... (blah blah) -anonymous

i never made a comparison, but thx thinking of me.

(me as) gayest logo designer

note to zoelle - i was hired to illustrate, not design NYC2012. but your comment is duly noted- my wife says I'm "metro" and others have questions ("nice fauxhawk, are you part gay?")

unrelated ID design in crisis: Chase manhattan has a terribly updated mark freshly unvieled here in midtown. so many redesigns, so little blog time

On Nov.30.2005 at 04:54 PM
customer’s comment is:

You know, one would think that every other designer wouldn't care what a logo looks like. Think about it: if the client is happy with the job, that's all that matters. Who cares what AT&T (at&t) thinks about this design blog. They will still make more money than all of us and be happy. We will just sit here waiting for something else to bitch and moan about. I love my profession as a designer, but I think we as a design community should start embracing life and stop making waste with such hate about a logo. Seems silly in the long run of things... right?

On Nov.30.2005 at 09:32 PM
Jerry Kuyper’s comment is:

Mark has made several good points

1. for twenty years, the highlight of the globe has been in the upper left, why darken it now?

2. it is better to have the transparent blue to the right side of the globe where it belongs

3. looking up at the logo may be better than down on the logo.

On Nov.30.2005 at 09:49 PM
agrayspace’s comment is:

Maven you make me laugh.

I didn't realize this public discussion forum was a place for you and Felix to have an exclusive conversation. I'll make a note of that. Sorry to interrupt. My certification papers must outdated or approved by the wrong agency.

Thanks for the dramatic reply.

And for taking the bait. :)

Ultimately my point is not that their are no GREAT designers, there are obviously individuals who are masters of design. Also my point is that we SHOULD look to them for guidance, inspiration and as touchstones of what great designers can be. I obviously have and do. Probably more than I care to admit.

But to depend on their absolute infallibilty is as you would say "A Fallacy and Unobtainable".

These are dangerous times to not actively practice questioning authority.

On Dec.01.2005 at 11:03 AM
Michael Surtees’s comment is:

The follow info below doesn't have much to do with the aesthetics of the att logo as much as it has to do with the strategy behind a phone company providing information.

From Reuters: AT&T, BellSouth Debut Yellowpages.com Venture One analyst said he believed that Yellowpages.com may have an edge over Web rivals in local search because they already have up-to-date databases with local information and a long-standing presence in local markets.

On Dec.01.2005 at 11:56 AM
matthew Gist’s comment is:

well. it's cute. and i guess cute is in. it just doesn't make sense to me... what happened to making things easily black and white transferable and like.. lower case letters look cute.. but also read different than AT&T did. i don't see the same name. the globe... again... cute... but it's a desktop icon, it's not a logo.

hrmmph. oh well.

On Dec.01.2005 at 09:22 PM
Von Glitschka’s comment is:

Yeah I am late to the game.

Maybe it's just me but it seems like the new trend with roll-outs of new branding unintentional or not is to eclipse the actual strength of a new logo mark?

I am sure the whole story at&t will tell with it's new branding will no doubt work well and there by in many designers minds will seemingly gloss over the lacking qualities in the new mark itself.

On it's own the new mark is pretty weak. Execution as pointed out by some is highly flawed. You have a mark that wants to be 3D but doesn't care if the actually elements that make it up violate true perspective. Not only is that poor attention to detail it just makes for a hinky looking mark when simplified.

But like I said I am sure in context of the complete branding roll-out it'll be forgiven at expense of the bigger picture. So many won't care but my opinion is it didn't have to be that way they could have created a mark that was in and of itself very strong and then moving out from that point create a successful branding around it.

But todays branding specialists seem to focus too much on the bigger picture at the expense of the new mark itself.

On Dec.02.2005 at 12:31 AM
sanver’s comment is:

You,ve GOT to be kidding! This is even worst then what they did to Paul Rand's UPS logo. It's terrible!

On Dec.02.2005 at 09:35 AM
sanver’s comment is:

Mark, no offense but...do you have a life?

On Dec.02.2005 at 09:49 AM
CJ’s comment is:

Okay... all nitpicking aside:

- I personally don't like the type too much, but it will work. It is a little friendlier, so I can't really fault it too much.

- 3D globe is fine, don't have a problem with that... I just get a twitch when shadows are used in a logo because I always think about using it in 2 color and 1 color applications.

- The lines in the background are horrible tho. Do they really need to be there? For some reason I really don't believe this was a designers decision, seems like a corporate/committee decision to me... "Transparency was added to the globe to represent clarity and vision." What?!?! What a load of ****.

Oh well.

On Dec.02.2005 at 10:19 AM
marc english’s comment is:

kuyper: right on the money, on all counts.

been away from news media, so only happened to hear about AT&T this morn, that SBC in their infinite wisdom decided to keep the name with world-wide equity. smart move.

were this NOT the logo for AT&T none of the above would have been written, but for those arguing about appropriateness of font (eg. lowercase is friendly, but not global arguement doesn't hold water) versus Rendering of Said Sphere in its Immovable and Static State (i'll leave that one alone).

were we not designers we wouldn't even notice the difference. i expect mark to use this special pre-holiday gift as it should be utilized: as christmas ornaments on a christmas tree. christmas balls.

speaking of balls, the bulleted list of What the Hell it Represents reminds me of the same design-speak crap we were taught NOT to use in school: it works or it doesn't. and if rand/bass/whomever (you/me) has a grid of talking points, i pray to Picasso Almightly that we know when the pasta is cooked enough. cause overcooking - as seen here - creates flaccid stuff. as seen here.

maybe its the caveman in me that says designers - marketers or bosses be damned - should have the balls to step back, to just say no. We don't have a Look-See at the New Mission Statement? who cares? for 40,000 years there has been public 'art' and private 'art.' this is the public stuff. John Q Public (tangent: does Quizno's still not have a proper apostrophe?) cares about service and what a company does for Him (or Her).

help me here, people. remember when IBM was in the dumper? what pulled them out? something tells me it wasn't a new logo, but instead by doing what we've been doing for millenia around the campfire while looking at those cave drawings: telling stories. maybe if AT&T can cook up some good stories that make clear all those bulleted points (except for that one about vision and clarity - "We are for Opacity and A Muddled Point of View" doesn't usually work, as it evident by every fucking annual report talking about vision and clarity)...as i was saying, if AT&T can pull off the kind of storytelling that IBM - or HP - has done, if they re-think their Business ('cause it all about Business, right?) then maybe designers can resume the responsibility of being Brand Stewards, instead of being sheep.

felix will no doub tell me to flock off, but the at&t emperor has no clothes, and wearing a funny hat only highlights the nakedness.

question: how are sheep branded? i believe a knife is involved, not a brand. different strokes for different folks.

...i once rode an elevator with saul bass in seattle. he was short. but his shadow was long, as it should be.

now about that prudential logo . . .

On Dec.02.2005 at 11:29 AM
Designoir’s comment is:

— “The revitalized mark symbolizes these attributes — innovation, integrity, quality, reliability and unsurpassed customer care”

The new mark hardly symbolizes integrity, reliability, etc. I love Saul Bass. Never like the AT&T mark much but at least it had some strength and integrity. he new mark seems rather week. Could be the soft color, transparency or typeface.

We as design professionals may or may not like it but it is all about business (Mark you're right) and if this revised mark can help AT&T increase it's bottom line, which is what AT&T hired Bass to do initially then it works.

On Dec.02.2005 at 01:19 PM
Oed’s comment is:

Yuck, the transparency/3-d thing totally would not translate very well on a small scale, say, on a pen.

On Dec.02.2005 at 03:01 PM
Ben’s comment is:

I wonder if anyone at the giant enterprise of AT&T realizes that interbrand, the agency that just rebranded AT&T completely ripped off the Red Dot Online logo.

It's not exact, but very similar.

AT&T's New Logo

Red Dot Online

On Dec.02.2005 at 04:25 PM
neal_s’s comment is:

Hi, folks -

First time checking in here, but I've been a fan for awhile. I posted to my weblog about this logo a few months back, and the discussion here spurred me to some thoughts about corporate design, semiotics, and the ugly things that can happen when the two disciplines intersect. For anyone who might be interested...

you can read it here.

Thanks for the opportunity to contribute.

On Dec.03.2005 at 12:01 AM
omar puig’s comment is:

Oh man... Its like they took a blue stripped zebra and twisted it into a sphere. I hate this logo along with its logotype. With all the design history haven't we learned anything about making a mark? Total insult to Saul Bass's work.

On Dec.03.2005 at 01:27 PM
omar puig’s comment is:

This further proves that we just "make things pretty." Further trivializes what designers do for a living. Yeah you could say hey if the clients happy then I am happy and you can go on your way and further sink design to a lower level while you listen to your ipod and purchase more Medium shoes. Or maybe we could give a shit and really put well thoughtout design that meets design rules that have been worked for more than 50 years....Maybe this is just a sign of the times. lack of substance..lack of thought.

On Dec.03.2005 at 01:51 PM
felixxx’s comment is:

Its amazing how many designers lack an understanding of business. When it comes to huge corporations merging, if its not in the brief, not on strategy, and not advantageous, why on earth would a company like AT&T reinvent the globe?

I've shown this new mark to several people (non-designers). They either didnt notice (care) or thought it was an improvement on an otherwise dated mark.

On Dec.03.2005 at 09:43 PM
Derrick Schultz’s comment is:

Felix, I was with you until the last line.

As I see it, non-designers not noticing or caring is actually worse then them hating it. At least with hate there is some emotional content involved.

And just because it isnt in the brief, doesnt mean designers shouldnt strive to create something that can make their profession can proud. In the talks about the awkward rendering, I have quaestions that are design solutions, despite the fact they are probably not in the brief: Was it awkwardly rendered on purpose (to communicate something about at&t)? If it wasn't, why wasn't it created correctly? Most corporations wouldnt care, but because designers care —and the people who made this mark are designers — the designers of this mark should care.

On Dec.04.2005 at 03:59 PM
boris’s comment is:

it looks like a birthday balloon. not like at&t.

On Dec.04.2005 at 10:27 PM
jason’s comment is:

I've only read about a 1/4 of the posts. I'll read the rest after I post this. I am a designer, and although I don't think the logo is great, I understand what they were going after. AT&T is a stronger brand when going forward in the areas they wish to compete in (local, long-distance, wireless, data and video). At first I thought the stripes were a bit awkward, because they kept Saul Bass's curves/flare in the upper left corner. This is what made the logo great in that it created a 3 dimensional space in a 2d logo. By making the logo 3d, leaving Bass's detail makes it unnecessary if not awkward. However, this mark is the AT&T mark, and by leaving it there, you leave its familiarity. Removing it would only make a zebra-like globe that had nothing to do with anything. So it makes send to make it 3D, as someone stated it marks a period in time. Us designer nerds know this trend has been long over for 4 or 5 years, but they rest of the world could care less about vectors, bitmaps, and kerning. I love this thread and reading everyones response. However, it seems most everyone (up to as far as I've read) is forgetting the clients needs and how this logo sends a message about the direction of the merger. I don't think it's graet. It defeintely doesn't compare to Bass's. However, most wouldn't, and as much as we'd liek to see a fresh version, it would never compare to their earlier one. Also, since at&t wants to appear as a solid company, they don't want to look like they need a fresh start. i must admit i secretly like that they added to Sauls logo thatn to dump ut altogether. It shows the strength a solid logo can have, even while it's being redesigned.

On Dec.04.2005 at 10:44 PM
David E.’s comment is:

Well, it looks like ANOTHER classic Saul Bass logo has bitten the dust along with the AT&T logo. The Lawry's Seasonings logo has been the latest victim of a 3-D photoshop makeover. When will it end?

Maybe this deserves to be a thread of it's own, or maybe someone could at least post both versions for everyone to see and comment on. I thought it related enough to this thread to post about it here.

The fact that it's such a trend bothers me even more than any individual logo. It makes you wonder if real graphic design as we know it could completely be replaced with cheap computer effects. Everyone keeps talking about what a great time this is to be a designer, but I'm feeling the opposite way. If the leading design firms are creating crap, won't everyone else follow? Are all logos going to end up swooshing beveled and embossed glowing 3-D nightmares that spin on websites?

On Dec.05.2005 at 01:58 AM
Frank M.’s comment is:

As Charlie Brown would say, "UUUUUUGHHHHHHH" after Lucy takes the football away. I'd really like to hear the inside story of how they created this giant marshmellow with stripes. Another case of a company chosing form without meaning.

On Dec.05.2005 at 11:15 AM
David E.’s comment is:

I actually don't know when Lawry's changed their logo — I supposed it could have been a while ago. We don't buy spices all that often.

On Dec.05.2005 at 12:26 PM
Jeff Lentz’s comment is:

When a company like AT&T would settle for such a dismal excuse for an identity it is proof that the hacks have taken over the asylum. The globe is horrible with absolutely no aesthetic quality. The lines throw the whole globe off balance and make it look more like a piece of candy from Xerox's Willy Wonka Division. The lower case san serif font thing was so played out in the 90's it is humiliating as a professional to still see it resurface. The whole 3-D aspect also makes the logo so versatile. Those gradients and highlights will bounce all over that ball on every print run. Honestly, If I were teaching Design 101, I would expect to see this from an untalented freshman. I am sure AT&T paid millions to some agency to come up with this. What is really sad is not only that the agency is obviously staffed with hacks but that their BS reasoning is the only thing worse than their logo. Crap like this makes us all look bad. GRADE F

On Dec.05.2005 at 01:26 PM
DesignMaven’s comment is:

David E.:

"I actually don't know when Lawry's changed their logo — I supposed it could have been a while ago. We don't buy spices all that often".

The Lawry's Revitalization is not Product Wide.

I noticed a year and a half to two years ago when everything went Pleasingly Plump. From Post Cereal to Volkswagon to BMW.

The Lawry's Partial Revitalization came about when some IMBECIL suggested it in HOW Magazine. An Article on Brand Revitalization for Product Design was featured in HOW Magazine by someone in the D.C. Metro Area, Namely Virginia circa

2002 or 2003.

I can Honestly inform you other than myself in D.C. there isn't any Legitimate Corporate Identity and Branding Experts 200 miles East of the Anacostia River and Hudson River.

I suggest, that we DO NOT Discuss this Disaster of a Partial Revitalization.

Lawry's Seasoned Salt and Pepper are the same, For Now.

The Lawry's Prime Rib Restaurant Original SAUL BASS Identity Remain the same.

I only noticed the 3D on Soft Packages and the Website. It has not been Implemented Brand Wide. And probably will not. I've seen it on some type of Lawry's A1 Sauce.

When this 3 Dimensional Craze Dies; all the Identities that were 3D'd are going to be returned to their Original Design, hopefully.

Referencing, Post Cereal, Ford, Volkswagon, BMW (others).

O Cedar A Raymond Loewy Identity has also become a VICTIM of 3 Dimensional Quackery.

3 Dimensional Logos is just a Phase, its Popular and For The Moment.

It will have no Longevity in Identity Design.

Remember InterBrand in 1999 Revitalized AT&T and turned it into a Rubber Ball. Later they returned to Saul Bass Original AT&T Identity.

Corporate Identity has become a VICTIM of Software Filters. Sort of like Letterman's, Stupid Human Tricks.

Rendering in 3 Dimensions incorporating Highlights, Gradients, and Transparency is Commercial Art not Graphic Design which Cater to the High Art Milieu.

??? Is Identity Design becoming Commercial Art. Think about it!!!!!!!

Rest assured, if I thought Lawry's was something of Interest to Speak Up and our Community at Large. I would've written the Editorial myself.

It's still Saul Bass' Identity, just INFLATED and Merged with Poor Type Treatment.

Just like Paul Rand's, abc Identity is now Pleasingly Plump and highlighted for certain on air promotions. It's still Paul Rand's Identity.

As I said earlier. There are an ENORMOUS amount of Saul Bass Identities the Design Public at Large is unaware he Designed, in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

DM

On Dec.05.2005 at 08:44 PM
Jakester’s comment is:

>>I can Honestly inform you other than myself in D.C. there isn't any Legitimate Corporate Identity and Branding Experts 200 miles East of the Anacostia River and Hudson River.

What makes one an expert in identity and brand design? Is it enough to simply be scholarly and outspoken on the subject, or do you need to have the design chops as well? Just curious...

On Dec.05.2005 at 10:12 PM
DesignMaven’s comment is:

Jakester:

"What makes one an expert in identity and brand design? Is it enough to simply be scholarly and outspoken on the subject, or do you need to have the design chops as well? Just curious..."

I could answer your Question with a Question. Then that would be a Smart Ass answer to your Question. It serves no Purpose.

Identity Design or Branding is not a Part of Design Curriculum or Business Curriculum or Academia.

There's no Program in Design or Academia Leading to Degree in Identity Design or Branding.

It's touched on in Design or Art School not enough for you to learn anything of Significance.

Yet, Identity Design is the PINNACLE of Visual Communication.

The only way to Learn or Get Into Identity Design is to work for one of the First Tier Identity Consultancies, or a Design Firm Recognized as having Corporate Identity Credibility.

The other is to be Born into it or Marry into it.

Much of what you Read and Hear is Pseudo Corporate Identity or Branding.

With Branding a lot of what you Read and Hear is Made Up. Depending on who you're talking.

In reference to D.C. I'm saying other than the Lippincott & Margulies Marketing Office in Washington D.C. There are no Legitimate Corporate Identity Constancies East of the Anacostia River in D.C. and Hudson River in New York.

All Corporate Identity Design Sprung from the Loins of the Industrial Revolution.

Architect Peter Behrens is acknowledged as having Commenced the First Corporate Identity Program Developed and Implemented for AEG.

The Founders of the Practice were essentially a Combination of World Design Masters and Industrial Designer(s). To include, Norman Bel Geddes, Donald Desky Associates, Raymond Loewy, Henry Dreyfuss, Eliot Noyes, Walter Dorwin Teague, Walter P. Margulies, Walter Landor, Herbert Bayer, Moholy-Nagy. and others.

World Design Master(s)

Saul Bass, Paul Rand, Lou Danziger, Alvin Lustig, Lester Beall, Ivan Chermayeff, Tom Geismar, Don Ervin, Eugene Grossman, Arthur King, Gregory Fosella, Gerald Stahl, Overlock Howe, Joe Selame, Tony Spaeth.

European World Design Masters

FHK Henrion, Alan Fletcher, Bob Noorda, Massimo Vignelli, Milner Gray, Donald Brun, Otl Aicher, Olle Eksell, Henry Steiner, Franco Grignani, Marcello Minale, Wally Olins. (others).

Asia Pacific World Design Masters

Yusaku Kamekura, Shegio Fukuda Rei Yashumura, Mamoru Shimokochi, Mooto Nakanishi, Ikko Tanaka. (others)

Being Scholarly about Identity Design means nothing until you Practice. You can't learn Identity Design by Reading Books. Hardly any material is written on the Subject. It's akin to someone Reading Kung Fu and Karate Books and never being in Competition or an Actual Fight. All they're doing is going through the Motion of Mock Form Exercises.

Another example, A Law Student Passing the Bar to become a Criminal Lawyer and never Practicing. Does that really make she/he an Attorney if they never been to Trial or before a Judge.???

Would you want an Attorney to Represent you if they never appeared before a Judge???

My point of Contention, Identity Design is LOS COSA NOSTRA.

Again, you're either Born into Identity Design, Marry into Identity Design. Or Work for one of the Noted Identity Consultancies or their Spin Offs or Offspring.

That's how you become an Expert!!!!!!!!!

DM

P.S. How do you think Felix got into the 2005 CA Design Annual ???

He's a Made Man.

Why do you think Felix is Tolerated???

He's a Made Man.

I had many SIT DOWNS with the Bosses and I can't Get Permission!!!!!!! :-D

Because Felix is a Made Man.

And so am I!!!!!!!!

WE ARE FAMILY!!!!!!!!!!!

On Dec.06.2005 at 12:01 AM
Jakester’s comment is:

OK, I'll buy some of that, (thanks for the response) although it's a lot of name dropping for my taste. Working for a major identity firm would be one way to gain knowledge, but certainly not the only way. Where did the founders of those firms learn from? My point: it's the chicken and the egg argument. The truly talented can find work anywhere in any economy, and teach themselves theory while practicing. A good number of the people on your list were no doubt better at teaching themselves design than they were at following instructions from pedagogy, or mentors at the workplace.

I don't know Felix, but I'll assume that he got into a magazine annual b/c he did some nice work and he paid his entry fee. As a prize, he got his work reproduced in postage stamp format and his friends are obviously impressed. As far as your blackbelt in this field, as you put it, is this your work on Michael Surtees blog? I assume it is, since it has your name on it. If not, please 'speak up' (...I kill me). In that text, you state:

At the same time, four (4) years of Design School Education is equivalent to 2 Days on the job.

Do you really believe that? If everyone took that to heart, (identity) design would indeed turn into commercial art.

Aces,

Jake (the greatest designer in the world*)

*of note: the world in this case has been limited to the the NW corner of Kansas including, but not limited to Oakley and St. Francis. This does not include one very talented designer in Atwood, KS, however, I believe I could take her in a head-to-head design-a-thon, if ever called to the mat.)

On Dec.06.2005 at 08:15 AM
felixxx’s comment is:

Made? ..more like mad. You crack me up, Boss.

Jake, welcome to Mavensville. You're not in Kansas anymore.

On Dec.06.2005 at 09:56 AM
JonSel’s comment is:

There are no Legitimate Corporate Identity Constancies (sic) East of the Anacostia River in D.C. and Hudson River in New York.

Just to clarify, for those NOT in the New York area, the entire island of Manhattan is, indeed, east of the Hudson River. I think there are a few decent, dare I say legitimate, corporate identity consultants in Manhattan, last I checked.

On Dec.06.2005 at 10:31 AM
DesignMaven’s comment is:

Jonsel:

I was specifically talking about between D.C. and New York. Not New York Per Se. The Mecca and one of the known Birth Place's of Identity Practice.

How could I name Ivan Chermayeff, Tom Geismar, Don Ervin, Eugene Grossman, Arthur King, names and DIS New York.

I'm already in Hot Water for mistakingly leaving out Milton, Seymour and Tscherny

JonSel, another Made Man Breaking my Balls!!!!!!!!

Jake

"Is this your Work".

Guilty!!!

Within my writing, I was trying to give you an Historical Overview of the Make Up of Identity Practice that have a MONOPOLOY on the Industry.

The Operative Word is Monopoly.

No, Sorry Regardless of how Good or Great you are there are NO WALK ON JOBS at Preeminent Identity Consultancies or Design Firms and Consultancies.

There is a Very Narrow Pool of Chosen Ones that are Selected for these Jobs. It is by Referral only. YOU DO NOT submitting an Application.

Statement of Fact.

I'm not supposed to say that. I SPEAK THE TRUTH. Will only Disseminate the Truth.

I've never known anyone to apply for a Job at a Preeminent Identity Consultancy and walk on into a position.

Not saying it doesn't happen. If it does, it doesn't happen, not that often.

Two Days on the Job is Equivalent to Four Years of Any Design School.

I've had Friends who've taught Design for 20 years or more Bow Down to me for saying that.

Identity Design is Becoming the Resurgence of Commercial Art.

If you never worked on Major Projects or worked for a Preeminent Design or Identity Consultancy, I better understand your indifference.

I'm not talking about Classified Ads for Design Positions in your Local Newspaper. These are Walk on Positions that Hire anybody, regardless of Credentials. Most Lack Credentials and Design Accumen. There are few exceptions.

The Best Design Talent is Recruited and very highly sought after. They are Recruited from Certain Design Schools.

You may want to come up to Speed with reading Rita Sue Siegel's pdf on Recruitment and Job Placement for First Tier Identity and Design Consultancies.

http://www.ritasue.com/downloads/just_doing_it.pdf

There is just so much that Design Schools cannot prepare students for.

As I said in that Interview with Michael Surtees. In Design School the work is Fake. It is not Reality Based, meaning you are not working for an Actual Client. So you don't get the Geniune Feedback from a client.

Speaking of Client input, the Tug of War.

Furthermore, you don't learn any Time Management, or Organizational Skills in Design School.

You don't learn to write an Effective RFP in Design School. It's never done, because the work is not Real.

Most important, No Design or Art School can prepare you for a Career in Corporate Identity.

It is on the Job Training.

Lastly the Founding Fathers that I mentioned who invented Corporate Identity Practice understood the need to Merge Design with Marketing, and Communication. It was a common consensus among the early Practitioners.

To much to Go into. This is not the Thread to talk about the Birth of Corporate Identity.

There are Great Designer(s) that are Good at Logo Design. Logo Design is not Corporate Identity.Neither is it Identity Design.

Do you understand the Difference between Formalism and Functionalism???

Something your Design or Art School should've taught you. This is the only way I can teach.

Paul Rand was a Formalist.

Saul Bass was a Functionalist.]

Do you understand the difference.

You will not find those Definitions in a Art or Design Book. You learn the methodologies working with the Master(s).

"I don't know Felix, but I'll assume that he got into a magazine annual b/c he did some nice work and he paid his entry fee. As a prize, he got his work reproduced in postage stamp format and his friends are obviously impressed."

Oocch!!!! Don't know if that was a Complement or Insult.

To Be Good is NOT Good Enough to Get into CA.

You have to be an Exceptional Talent. Among other things my Brother Felix is a Rare Exceptional Talent.

You may want to MOSEY on over to Design Observer and Read Michael Bieruts Editorial You May Already Be A Winner.

It's about Design Competitions. Link below.

http://www.designobserver.com/archives/005639.html

As Michael B. noted, CA is legendary for its selectivity; although there are no golds or silvers, it's easier, statistically, to get into Harvard.

Jake, I appreciate you Uploading my work and Interview.

I never look at my Work. It's like Looking in a Mirror, I'm not that POMPOUS. Neither am I that enamoured with myself.

How many times have your heard Actors say, they Don't Look at themselves on Screen. That's Me!!!!!!!!!!

Which is why, I SING THE PRAISE OF OTHERS!!!!!!!

DM

On Dec.06.2005 at 12:44 PM
felix sockwell’s comment is:

I never look at my Work DM

Neither do we. You're on a scroll today, Mavey.

I'm crying tiers of... design. No? Nuthin?

I got nuthin.

On Dec.06.2005 at 03:10 PM
Jimm Lasser’s comment is:

Hello.

I am a bit late on this one.

I like it. I shrug.

I feel they really didn't do too bad a job. I like the humanizing of the mark with the type. I like the thought of transparency. I like that they still hung on to a good deal of Saul Bass' original mark. They had to tread lightly, as it is one of the world's most recognized marks.

On Dec.07.2005 at 10:26 AM
Doug B’s comment is:

>>3 Dimensional Logos is just a Phase, its Popular and For The Moment.

It will have no Longevity in Identity Design.

I disagree. Identity (re)design using some level of depth or gradated shading specifically optimized for digital viewing is nowhere near its peak yet. at&t is simply one of the first of many of the 'greatest hits' of marks that will be sacrificed. There will be more, so brace yourselves . This (slight) shift in mark/logotype design methodology is a function of the cultural uses of the marks/logotypes themselves. ie: why design a new mark for a telcom co.(striclty for print) when the majority of its users will see the mark on their cell phone screens or in the masthead of the pdf monthly bill that gets emailed to them. This usage replaces the old standards such as the yellow pages or monthly paper snail-mail statements. Is this all-encompassing? No. The new Sprint/Nextel mark is 'old-school' flat (and rather well-drawn, IMO, don't want to discuss the yellow!) However, (like it or not) more marks (from pp. 386-392 of Megg's History...) will follow this trend. The upside: it keeps designers working.

On Dec.07.2005 at 12:33 PM
DesignMaven’s comment is:

Doug B.

In order to make an Identity Transcendent it has to work in all Media. Many of these 3 D Identities only Look Good on Screen.

I keep hearing this Argument about how these new Marks must work in all Media. They are not working in All Media.

It doesn't matter if a Trademark is 2 Dimensional or 3 Dimensional. However, for the Record, I prefer 2 Dimensional Marks, Regardless. Television is still the most Powerful Selling Medium of All and that will not change.

2 Dimensional Trademarks have worked on Screen for Television since it's inception. The Computer Screen or Cell Phone Screen is no Different.

Traditionally, Trademarks were Conceived and Designed 2 Dimensionally. The Better Designed 2 Dimensional Marks always had VISUAL IMPACT. It was Mandatory by Designers and Clients that 2 Dimensional Trademarks Translate to Kinetic Media as well as Print. Without question Successful 2 Dimensional Trademarks Performed beyond Expectation in all Media.The Overwhelming Characteristic of Successful and Well Designed Identities is that the Trademarks on which they were Conceived and Implemented keep those relationships in mind.

A well Conceived, Developed and Designed Identity has to be Recognized at a Glance. As well when put through several Distortion Test Showing Movement, Motion, Reduction and Enlargement. Successful 2 Dimensional Identities adhered to this Standard, Successful 3 Dimensional Identities will not. Because they are not Reduced to their BAREST ESSENTIAL.

The Argument about Designing for the Web and Cell Phone doesn't hold water. A well Conceived, Developed, Designed and Implemented Identity System Works Best.

Not the Latest Scott Kelby Dirty Commercial Art Tricks.

That's what Corporate Identity is Fast Becoming if is does not Remember its Past. When I hear the younger generation of Designers start talking about Designing for the Web and Cell Phones. Whether you know it or not you're talking about Commercial Art. Where the emphasis is on Rendering and Technique. Not Communication!!!!!!!!!!

The Essence of Corporate Identity and/or Identity Design is Reducing Symbols, Glyphs, Pictograms, Monograms, Monoseals, Seals, Ideograms to their BAREST ESSENTIAL!!!!! Not Ornamentation and Software Filter Quackery.

Imparative to Identity Design and Graphic Design is Organizing, Clarifying, Synthesizing and Disseminating Information.

In reference to 2 Dimensional vs 3 Dimensional. If you ever seen the Original Television Tag for AT&T by Saul Bass with the Information Bits forming the Globe, you'll better understand what I am talking about. It will put the SBC at&t animation to shame.

As Jerry Kuyper the Illustrator of Original Bass Yager Globe Sphere noted. The 3 Dimensional Identity by InterBrand is not reproduced well at small sizes.

"In the double page launch ad in the WSJ the 3.25" globe had a barely perceivable suggestion of transparency that would be invisible to the typical reader. The logo in the NY Times ad today was similar. Amusingly the most effective depiction of the new globe I have seen so far is on this site".

Jerry Kuyper, Nov 28,05 10:08 PM

As I stated early, 3 Dimensional Marks will never Replace 2 Dimensional Marks. 3 Dimensional Marks will soon be Tossed Out like Yesterday's Newspaper to Wrap Old Fish.

Three D' ing will soon be a Flash in the Pan. These Marks are not Transcendent. They DO NOT Translate in all Media.

I'll Guarantee in 3 years the 2 Dimensional at&t Identity by InterBrand will be used more after 2008 than the 3 Dimensional Mark. I really won't be surprised if they return to the Original.

DM

On Dec.07.2005 at 04:11 PM
Doug B’s comment is:

Three D' ing will soon be a Flash in the Pan. These Marks are not Transcendent. They DO NOT Translate in all Media.

In an ideal world, I agree with you. But the definition of media, or more importantly, what people perceive as the most important media is changing. The idea of transcendent or timeless identity design is only as good as the next corporate merger. I will wager that another historically iconic mark goes 'blob' before at&t goes back to a flat mark. It ain't right, but it is business...

On Dec.07.2005 at 04:47 PM
DesignMaven’s comment is:

Doug B.

I don't disagree that another MILESTONE Identity will become a VICTIM of some kind of Software Filter Quackery.

It may very well be Business. It is BAD BUSINESS and they're DEVELOPING, DESIGNING and IMPLEMENTING POOR BUSINESS MODELS.

The 3 Dimensional Craze works BEST with Brands, i.e. Product Design.

It doesn't Dress well Impersonating a Corporate Coat of Arms and Trade Dress.

Even with Mergers and Acquisitions Identities are Designed with Longevity in Mind, 10-20 years or longer.

The Game hasn't changed. Just the Players Don't know how to Play the Game. This wouldn't happen if Clients Dealt Directly with Designer(s) instead of Marketing.

Most important, just about all these First Tier Identity and Branding Consultancies are Operated by MBA's, Marketing, and Communications Professionals. Gone are the Days when said Identity Consultancies were Operated by Designer(s).

Therein Lies the PROBLEM!!!!!

Not one of the First Tier Identity Consultancies own themselves (Solvent). They are a part of a BUY OUT of a Global Communication Conglomerate and Network of Creative Services. Such as OMNICOM, WPP, Interpublic, Publisis Groupe, Dentsu, Havas, Grey Global Group, Incepta Group, plc, etc, etc, etc.

Pentagram is the only Worldwide Identity and Design Consultancy that has the COJONES to remain Independent and Solvent. Not be Suckered into SELLING OUT!!!!!!!!

Because of Competition and the Lure of Working for ALL OF DADDIES 200 Clients and not having to look outside of the of the Parental Global Network for Assignments.

How long can Pentagram or any Identity or Creative Consultancy HOLD OUT from A BUY OUT????????

DM

On Dec.07.2005 at 06:13 PM
Tom B’s comment is:

Not very original at all

M.C. Escher did this in 1958:

On Dec.08.2005 at 07:45 AM
David E.’s comment is:

Rest assured, if I thought Lawry's was something of Interest to Speak Up and our Community at Large. I would've written the Editorial myself.

It's still Saul Bass' Identity, just INFLATED and Merged with Poor Type Treatment.

Design Maven,

Actually it isn't just the same logo "inflated." They re-drew it (maybe you saw a different version?). I wish I hadn't thrown my empty packet of taco seasoning away, I'd scan it and email it to you. The "L" icon is drawn differently.

On Dec.08.2005 at 12:42 PM
DesignMaven’s comment is:

David E.

Lets wait and see who's credited for the Revitalization.

The change is Radical, the 3 D' ing leaves little to be Desired.

It's actually funny you bring this up. For almost two years since the Revitalization, I've gone into Safeway, Giant, and other Supermarkets to see if Lawry's Seasoned Salt, Seasoned Pepper, and Garlic Spread Packaging has changed.

They have not. It could be because Lawry's has not exhaused their supply with the Old Design.

I dunno!!!!

I've seen the Revitalized Identity as stated earlier, as well as the soft packets and A1 Sauce.

When I say it is still Saul's Identity whether it is Redrawn or not. In Reference to Concept and Development, it is still Saul's Identity.

No, Bass did not Commence Execution on this Identity, neither did his staff.

Ownership comes from Intellectual Property. And Saul Bass gave Birth to the "L" Ideogram forming a Ram's Horn or Antelar

In Reference to who gave Birth Idea to the Ram Horn or Antler.

The Existing Revitalization is Based on Saul Bass' Design.

Until Lawry's create another entirely Different Identity System the Lawry's Ram Horn belongs to Saul Bass regardless how many different Incarnations it GOES THROUGH.

Trademark, and Symbol Design ownership is Based on who intially Concept and Developed the IDEA.

And whether or not the Identity System is continued to be in Service. Bass Yager's Lawry's

Identity is still Live and being used.

Rockwell International another Saul Bass Identity has been Modified in the Last Ten years by Clifford Yuguchi of Yuguchi Group California and Monigle Associates Denver Colorado.

Neither Clifford Yuguchi or Monigle Associates can Claim to have Designed Rockwell International. They get Credit for Revitalization.

Both Pentagram and Siegel & Gale Revitalized Bass Yager Identities.

With Modifications to the Type.

Pentagram Revitalized United Airlines.

Siegel & Gale Revitalized Girl Scouts.

The above mentioned Revitalizations have been been Appropo.

Lawry's is the Worst and Most Extreme of all the Revitalizations.

at&t is a bit Extreme. Like other Friends msntioned to me in Private. I would've liked to seen other Identity Concepts Developed by InterBrand as Alternative to Bass Yager's Globe Sphere.

I won't CRAP in my PAINTS until I see Lawry's Marquee for the PRIME RIB IMPLEMENT that GARGOYLE of a Revitalization.

DM

P.S. I'd like to take this time to Mention Phillis Tanner was the Artist and Illustrator of Saul Bass' Ram Horn Identity.

Special Note, I'd like to thank everybody that has Contributed to this Editorial in Speak Up's Community, to include, First Time Posters.

This has been without a Doubt the Biggest Revitalization in Identity Design History. Speak Up again was in the ForeFront as Usual and has Garnered the most Responses of any of the Design Blogs. Without Question the Most Astute Responses (Positive or Negative) of All the Design Blogs except Design Observer. Whom initially is Responsible for Breaking the Story.

I'd like to make this 300 to really set a Speak Up Record.

Only IBM will Break this Record.

I PRAY IBM will never be Revitalized.

I Thank you and Assure you The Bass Family has Read every Comment on Speak Up and Design Observer.

DM

On Dec.08.2005 at 02:04 PM
DesignMaven’s comment is:

Follow Up:

Tom B.

You're a Genius.

What hasn't M.C. Escher done???

DM

On Dec.08.2005 at 02:08 PM
Ravenone’s comment is:

Having taken a week or so off the logo, and come back, it's just as hideous as ever. I don't think I'll ever like it. As for it promoting the AT&T Identity? We've already pointed out several painfully simmilar images- it's been done before, it doesn't catch the eye, it catches the stomach and gives it a nice uncomftorble spin.

With that said;

I don't think the logo will last. They'll probably change it again soon, to something bigger, better, newer. Chasing the hype-train. whoo-whoo.

Is this the future of art and design?

To quote Tzara, "Morality is an injection of chocolate into the veins of all men". Replace morality with most forms of modern 'art' or 'design', and you'll have my sentiments. All fluff and no content.

On Dec.09.2005 at 01:34 PM
Amy’s comment is:

Ok, the AT&T globe was Saul's idea. This new logo is basically a hack execution of a good idea. My partner used to work for Saul and says that if Saul were presented with this execution, he would have left it on the cutting room floor. Or fired the designer (or the intern.)

Concept aside (since the concept didn't come from Interbrand) what is with the execution? Saul's globe had more dimension with suggesting the highlight on the globe in the undulating lines. How totally lame to dimensionalize those lines and call it 3-D. Now it's simply messed up. I didn't understand the transparency thing at all-- transparent to what? Where are those lines coming from, another logo? And in my mind, if transparency was Interbrand's big concept (building on Saul's concept) how come it doesn't work in black and white? Saul's did.

On the typography: I thought we were over the 'all-lower-case logotypes-are-more-modern' thing with the .com crash. It is a bit formulaic but if you are gonna do it, at least do it well.

My partner and I were discussing the sad decline of our industry, where large "Branding Firms" have taken the fine craft out of design. Where selling the identity has become more important than the identity itself. Where design has become formulaic versus thought-provoking. It's a real bummer.

On Dec.10.2005 at 05:13 PM
Ravenone’s comment is:

Is it that the skill/craft no longer exists, or has expediency/speed merely replaced it, or made it nearly impossible to show? Are we so intent on getting everything we want RIGHT NOW, that we're willing to utterly forgo any quality in the product? Has quantity fully replaced quality? Is speed what matters and not the actual execution these days? How much time did these guys put into the new logo?

On Dec.11.2005 at 03:03 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

"They had to tread lightly, as it is one of the world's most recognized marks."

Isn't that an argument for 'don't mess with a good thing'? ;o)

On Dec.12.2005 at 10:37 AM
Ligea’s comment is:

I just saw something interesting about this... check out the red dot design award logo:

http://en.red-dot.org/typo3temp/pics/773f5d4ae3.jpg

look familiar to anyone? so it's not identical, but close enough to be suspicious...

On Dec.15.2005 at 09:49 PM
Ligea’s comment is:

Oh, I guess I could have included the image!

I hope this works...

On Dec.15.2005 at 09:51 PM
Stephanie ’s comment is:

When I was learning about logo design the cornerstones of a good logo were always first and foremost that it should be strong in it’s sillhouette, a simple and easily recognizable form, and, most importantly, look equally good in grayscale (preferably solid black) as it does in color.

I feel like so many of these new ‘bubbly’ logos are trying to be something that is not even in the same category as a ‘logo’. A logo shouldn’t have ‘transparency’ nor should it have a gradient. That’ll look really hot on a fax. Maybe that is less relevant in the ‘internet’ age, but I have to believe it still holds pretty strong.

The most you can hope for in a logo is to convey a very basic idea or feeling. Trying to express a whole paragraph of attributes with a single mark really gets at a problem with the organization at a deeper level.

On Dec.16.2005 at 03:16 PM
Francisco Gramage’s comment is:

Anyone up for some beach volleyball?

On Dec.19.2005 at 05:50 PM
Mark’s comment is:

according to BTTF part II in the year 2015 ten years from now AT&T has a monopoly on telephone service, fax machines,security devices,and payphones.

Are they that far off?

examples to show you this seen in the movie,remember this movie was made in 1989:

AT&T Payphones (suddenly Pacific Telenisis is gone)

AT&T Thumbprint plate(replaces doorknobs)

AT&T video confrencing,telephoning on TV(replaces ordinary telephone)

AT&T fax machine(apperently faxes are supposed to be still around)

I'm getting a feeling that AT&T in 2015 DOESN'T stand for American Telephone & Telegraph but instead stands for American Telephone & Technology

Now let see current AT&T products: copy and paste

http://www.business.att.com/services.jsp?repoid=ProductCategory

I'm guessing that the movie's not very far off conerning how many products AT&T offers right now and if in the future, hell they already got their own cable service right now.

merging with SBC proves one thing they're out to dominate and if things go their way there will be no such thing as an RBOC anymore.

On Dec.30.2005 at 02:07 PM
Zoelle’s comment is:

I came across this a while ago:

It's pretty similar, if you ask me.

On Feb.06.2006 at 01:02 PM
Gregg Lain’s comment is:

I am not much of a logo guy but when I first saw the logo, I wanted to eat it. Looks like a gumball/candy - or maybe they got the idea from this petstore;

Whatever - logo's come and go, quality and greed stay the same.

G

On Mar.08.2006 at 01:30 AM
dan’s comment is:

Another at&t logo - (i know its been a while but ..) the artgraphics site has a page with 'best of the best 2006' - scroll right down and look for at&t or should i say DOMO i'm hoping its an at&t spin off!? And hopefuly it wasn't already pointed out above...

Identity : Best of the Best 2006

Domo, leading electronics and white goods retailer in Romania....

On Apr.06.2006 at 10:19 AM
Averyanna ’s comment is:

I can't believe that so many of you would waste your time talking about the logo. what the hell difference does it make to you! the globe went from a one demesional blurred blog to a more renowned looking globe to show that at&t's coming back together to bring you new services. you people need to get a life and stop worring about a damn logo. seriously you must have had a heart attack when you started seeing all the new pepsi cans. it's sad how pathetic people can be

On May.07.2007 at 03:14 PM
Andy Malhan’s comment is:

Averyanna, we're graphic designers. It's part and parcel of our professional growth to analyze critique and discuss what happens in the design world.

Saul Bass has had a dramatic influence on graphic design and as such inspires debate, oftentimes emotional debate. If you're a designer yourself (and the fact that you're here, leads me to believe you are), surely that's not hard to understand?

On May.08.2007 at 03:35 PM
Emily’s comment is:

We all knew it was coming. It was just a matter of when and how — more specifically: how bad. Just like Microsoft and Yahoo. :D

On Feb.18.2008 at 04:41 AM
Emily’s comment is:

The strange journey of Apple’s popular iPhone, to nearly every corner of the world, shows what happens when the world’s hottest consumer product defies a company’s attempt to slowly introduce it in new markets.

The iPhone has been swept up in a frenzy of global smuggling and word-of-mouth marketing that leads friends to ask friends, “While you’re in the U.S., would you mind picking up an iPhone for me?”

On Feb.18.2008 at 04:42 AM
Philip Butta’s comment is:

I managed the AT&T identity system from the corporate level for a long time back in the day. Many thought I was a real "logo cop" and a bit too strict ... thanks! More thanks to the support and "buy-in" from employees, partners, and agencies ... after all was said and done ... we had one of the strongest identity systems in the world. So, having watched the implementation of the new identity system intently since inception, I'm convinced the company needs to step back and take a look at what they really have and what they don't. What they have is a symbol that does not transpose accurately into all media. It "looks" different all over the board: No cohesiveness or consistency. The intended "more approachable-ness" use of typography doesn't work in vertical versus horizontal, positive versus negative applications. The transparency of the (what was a) globe symbol, with the lines showing through is distracting and almost impossible to reproduce accurately. Resellers and distributors are wreaking havoc without having a user-friendly system to guide them, and it doesn't appear there is a solid co-branding system in place.

Of course, I expected the new leadership to make changes ... that's a natural. But I fear that maybe ... just maybe ... the marketing people rather than expert brand/identity managers are running the show. One of the things I fought for during my tenure was not to allow the identity system to become merely a marketing tool in the hands of ad people who (for the most part) think in terms of short-term campaigns and the logo is a gimmick. AT&T needs to think in long terms ... big picture ... and help the ad people (internal and external) as well as all other end-users use the identity system in ways that contribute to the overall growth and value of the brand mark ... building equity in a component of the brand.

Maybe an old school approach rather than flashy, hip, look-how-contemporary-I-am positionning is what's called for.

The system can still be salvaged ... discreetly.

Just takes the wisdom to say "it's broke and it needs to be fixed."

On Mar.03.2008 at 09:43 PM
Kye Mitchell’s comment is:

All I can figure is someone at the new AT&T likes art glass marbles.

On Jun.16.2008 at 06:31 AM
Moises Perez’s comment is:

Most of the people is the classic envious designer, everybody could do it better, but the fact is that the at&t logo its working and its a good one.

On Sep.08.2008 at 10:52 PM
Steven’s comment is:

I have another one to throw in the mix. check out GlobeGround's logo.

On Sep.10.2008 at 10:29 AM
Hop David’s comment is:

Hot linking graphics without attribution shows a lack of class. Unlike Tom B, I got permission from Cordon Art B.V. to display Escher's sphere spiral image.

Here is the page Tom is stealing bandwidth from:
http://clowder.net/hop/Riemann/Riemann.html

I see at the bottom of this forum under HTML quick tags is even instructions for hotlinking.

This discussion over an A.T.T. logo is much ado over nothing. Why don't you self proclaimed designers find a better past time than this pointless B.S. and bandwidth theft?

On Sep.14.2008 at 05:58 PM
Mr. Baskerville’s comment is:

Hop, you have impressive fascinating paintings on your web page, but allow me to say something to you: Calling designers classless thieves and pointless bullshitters doesn't go very far on a web site devoted to discussing design. It just makes you look like an asshole, which you're probably not. (I'm taking a wild guess.) If the critiques, blabbering nonsense, mockery, grousing and perceptions aren't to your liking why do YOU spend the time denouncing it instead ignoring it? Granted, half the things designers say are not all that brilliant, but neither are you in your self-righteous pose.

On Sep.16.2008 at 09:23 PM
Hop David’s comment is:

Mr. Baskerville,

The reason I put up a website is to give myself exposure. Therefore it is very frustrating when Myspace pages, blogs, etc. hotlink to my web pages without giving attribution.

I have attempted to contact Tom Blackburn. I have politely asked him to acknowledge in this forum where his posted graphic comes from. But these communications were ignored.

I don't really regard all these discussions here as pointless bullshit and perhaps some of the participants are good designers. I lost my temper and fired out an ill advised post.

But I remain steadfast in my contention that blogs shouldn't hotlink graphics without attribution. When bootleg MP3's are distributed, is a musician supposed to ignor it? Is a homeowner supposed to ignor a burglar stealing his TV?

I'm willing to share the images on my website. All I ask for is attribution. In the case of Tom Blackburn's posting of Escher's Sphere Spirals, he should have also asked permission from Cordon Art B.V. as well as acknowledging the page he is taking bandwidth from.

I hope at least some of designers here sympathize with this position.

On Sep.22.2008 at 01:33 PM