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“Big Yellow”: More Curves, Less Yellow

During this morning’s keynote address at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, Kodak Chief Creative Officer, Antonio M. Perez, revealed a new identity for the 125-plus-year-old company.

kodak_logo_old.gif

In its most contemporarily recognizable format — a red “K” formed by the depiction of a camera exposure over a warm yellow — the identity was designed in 1972 by Peter J. Oestreich. The Kodak logo has been through various iterations over the past decades and its history but has always retained its basic typographic forms and has used in some form or another its graphic K.

Other than the colors and upper/lowercase combination (more freely changed than one would ever expect), which remain the same, the logo is a completely new version. From the only press release so far on the change: This new look moves the Kodak name out of the traditional yellow box; giving it a more contemporary design, a streamlined rounded look and distinctive letters. This introduction is the latest step in the company’s broad brand transformation effort, which reflects the multi-industry, digital imaging leader Kodak has become.

While information is scarce and a dedicated press release missing, here is an image of the logo, completely independent of any supporting elements. As more information is available we will dutifully update this post to provide everyone with the most complete background possible.

The new identity was designed by Ogilvy & Mather’s Brand Integration Group.

kodak_logo_new.gif

Many thanks to Andy Reddout for the early bird tip.

Update 1/7/06: The yellow horizontal bars that originally accompanied the logo image have been removed, as they are not officially part of the logo. However, the yellow will still be part of the overall identity and implementation.

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ENTRY DETAILS
ARCHIVE ID 2512 FILED UNDER Branding and Identity
PUBLISHED ON Jan.06.2006 BY Armin
WITH 99 COMMENTS
Comments
Patrick’s comment is:

Another old tech firm with an instantly recognizable identity, Intel, also shed its logo this week.

http://intel.com/pressroom/archive/releases/20060103corp.htm

On Jan.06.2006 at 09:06 PM
JonSel’s comment is:

In the spirit of constructive comments, I offer that it is absolutely a good move on the part of Kodak to ditch their old logo. What tremendously brave thinking by the CEO. Several years ago the very future of the company was in doubt, and now their digital capabilities are well-known and well-respected. The big K logo was only going to reinforce the old-school film equities. So, sometimes, you have to make the gutsy call and be prepared to start anew.

On the visual front...it feels unfinished. I have a lot of respect for B.I.G. and their abilities, so I would like to think the use of this mark is going to make it much more attractive. But for now, I'm confused. Why the emphasis on such a distinctive 'a'? Why do the 'K' letterforms not share some of the roundness. Wouldn't a Futura-ish 'a' have a better relationship to the 'o' and 'd'?

Damn. I hate to feel like the older designer that just hates "all that new stuff" being done today. I'm only 35! So, somebody, set me straight. Tell me why this is a great design.

On Jan.06.2006 at 10:01 PM
m. kingsley’s comment is:

Armin -

Allen Hori was the force behind that logotype. He is currently creative director for the Kodak team up at BIG — which also consisted of Christian Cervantes and Satian Pengsathapon. Before him, Weston Bingham (now at Wolff Olins) lead the project.

I'm compelled to give Allen a great amount of credit. We've been friends for well over a decade and I can attest to his great ability and sensitivity to both form and strategy. There are very few designers better than Allen.

Over the past year, I've seen various iterations of the Kodak project on his studio wall. And at first glance, I was impressed by their willingness to take such a dramatic step for such a conservative company. I grew up between Buffalo and Rochester, and attended RIT; so I know Kodak's influence very well. Many friends have worked for the company, and over the past 20-some years, employee layoffs and division closures have been a constant story.

While one could justifiably claim that the company is realizing their digital capability several years too late, it should also be noted that they hold several patents on image compression, digital storage, red-eye supression, etc. So they're not totally "Johnny-come-lately".

But I still miss things like the dye transfer process, Super 8 sound film, B+W paper...

If one would find small critiques of the rounded bottom of the "a", or the round vs. angular letterforms worth hashing out, I would (again) suggest that such energy be better put towards how the design works in the context of the company's history, marketing strategy, consumer communications, etc. Otherwise, it's all opinion.

Besides his position at BIG, Allen is an instructor of typography in the Yale MFA Graphic Design program. A graduate of Cranbrook, he previously was an art director at Atlantic Records.

And JonSel... he's over 40.

On Jan.06.2006 at 10:24 PM
JonSel’s comment is:

Mark,

While I don't know his work too well, I do know of Allen Hori, so I too look forward to the coming work that will tell much more of the story. But, since all I had to go on was what I saw here, then I'm compelled to render an opinion solely on that.

And speaking of B+W paper...I've had the darndest time finding someone in NJ to develop B+W medium format film in-house. Seems nobody does it anymore and everybody just sends the film back to Kodak for processing. Oh well.

On Jan.06.2006 at 10:40 PM
m. kingsley’s comment is:

JonSel,

I'm spending a month up at BIG sitting in an office with Allen, and have the unique opportunity to see what they're doing on the packaging. I think you'll be pleased.

Oh... and before I forget: you also have to give Brian Collins a lot of credit for enabling the folks at Kodak to say "yes". That alone, is waaay more interesting than any problems people could have with the letterforms.

On Jan.06.2006 at 10:44 PM
Paul’s comment is:

Hmmm...I don't know what to think here. I usually have pretty mixed feelings when a company sheds their logo, especially one that is so identifiable with a brand such as Kodak. New packaging usually puts new clothes on an old horse. Kodak needs to prove it's serious about digital photography. Sure they were one of the first out of the gate with their DSLRs, but almost nothing has been done to keep them in the race while others like Canon and Nikon have quickly eclipsed them. Their stock price is at the same level it was in 1980. Think about that!

BTW, Armin...I grew up in Buffalo. What town did you live in? What a small world...

Best wishes to everyone at Speak Up for a happy and healthy new year!

On Jan.06.2006 at 11:24 PM
allen hori’s comment is:

thanks for posting the launch - looking forward to the new kodak wordmark being ripped apart as per usual in the public forum.

keep in mind this is a soft launch and over the next year different pieces of the new identity will emerge as the company rolls out new product lines.

btw, the yellow bars are not part of the wordmark 'proper'. who's reading the guidelines anyway?

On Jan.07.2006 at 12:18 AM
Ravenone’s comment is:

I don't mind it. Except for the "a".

The a really, really, really stands out when I look at the "new Identity". Probably because in my mind, the 'circley' part of the a should match the circley part of the d, and the o-shape, and the lines of the tops of the lower-case letters just lead me in a loop to the middle of the a. *VWOOP!* (yes, complete with sound effects), and then goes to the vertical bar of the K and...stops, making my mind want to read it Kod-a-K! Other than that A (which will probably drive me crazy looking at it in stores now), I don't mind it. I really like the red/gold colour-scheme, and the general balance to it.

I just...like the old one better. It's 'classic', though perhaps my favoring of it is due to it's familiarity. In my mind it's always looked like that.

On Jan.07.2006 at 12:51 AM
adam’s comment is:

Am I a design fuddy-duddy? I haven't seen a major logo redesign/rebranding that I have liked in years, other than the recent Visa freshening. Companies have traded strong identities and supporting logos for weak, trendy, trite fluff that is easily interchangeable with any other identity out there. AT&T's bland new marble could just as easily be Intel's. How does this logo speak to who and what Kodak stands for other than by using red and yellow for the logo? Newer isn't always better, and brand equity built up in an existing mark is still worth something... or am I completely out of touch?

On Jan.07.2006 at 01:45 AM
m. kingsley’s comment is:

Holy crap!

Paul, I used to see you perform in clubs in Buffalo, and I distinctly remember an amazing organ trio back in 1982. You're truly one of the best guitar players I've ever seen perform; especially those chord substitution skills.

What are you doing hanging out on a graphic design blog?

Anyway, Armin's from Mexico; I'm from a small, one-stop-light town north of Batavia: Oakfield.

Now back to our recliners of logo rage...

On Jan.07.2006 at 02:02 AM
Sal’s comment is:

The old was Gold. Didn't know about Intel. From what I'm seeing, the new Intel and Kodak logos have individual letterforms that to call attention themselves, distracting from the word as a whole.

Considering its lifespan, the original drawing of the Kodak logotype does not look outdated at all. The departure, as always, is jarring. And Because I'm so used to the gold flood, the white background makes it feel like white is being used as part of their identity palette. Intersting move.

On Jan.07.2006 at 02:40 AM
Jeff Gill’s comment is:

1. I'm glad Mr Hori said the yellow bars are not part of the wordmark proper.

2. I love the typography. It's interesting that designers often complain of the blandness of new logos. Then when there is something not bland, like this rather beautifully formed 'a' there is complaining that it doesn't fit. Just because you can put 3 circles in a row doesn't mean you should.

Also, on the 'classic' mark the 'a' has a serify thing that makes it stand out from the other letters. That is surely something that would be complained about if it was being introduced today. Perhaps Mr Hori deliberately designed the different 'a' to carry on the spirit of the mark.

My small brain has nothing to offer on the strategy, but as far as looks go, Well Done.

On Jan.07.2006 at 08:28 AM
Jeff Gill’s comment is:

On the subject of my small brain & its potential enlargement, is there any chance that the story of how Brian Collins enabled 'the folks at Kodak to say "yes"'will be told? Apparently, 'that alone, is waaay more interesting than any problems people could have with the letterforms.'

On Jan.07.2006 at 08:40 AM
Armin’s comment is:

> btw, the yellow bars are not part of the wordmark 'proper'. who's reading the guidelines anyway?

If there were guidelines to read publicly, I would. So, if there are, I will. Otherwise, I can't. And, clearly, I haven't.

> BTW, Armin...I grew up in Buffalo. What town did you live in? What a small world...

Yup, I think you meant Mark, rather than me. He is the Buffaloan.

> give Brian Collins a lot of credit for enabling the folks at Kodak to say "yes". That alone, is waaay more interesting than any problems people could have with the letterforms.

Mark, I am sure it is a riveting tale seeded with high emotions and stakes specially after hearing the flair with which Brian can present, however that triumph does not exclude a formal critique of the logo and its execution. Unless in the back of every box of new cameras and printers the tale of the pitch is told.

On Jan.07.2006 at 09:17 AM
bryony’s comment is:

It is time for a change. Kodak is redefining itself in many levels, one being what they do. One of the best ways to make me (the consumer) aware of this, and the new products and areas of service is by highlighting the change. Some people dye their hair, others change their wardrobe and some change their signature. This is what Kodak is doing, and it is a courageous and bold move, and a much needed one.

Regarding the logo, overall I do like it. It lends itself to the roster of capabilities of the company (which are many and varied), while providing a consistent front for all. Unique but not enclosing in one industry. It can represent film, digital, medical equipment...you name it. The "a" does bother me in that it appears small, almost as if it going to be swallowed by the rest of the logo. Other than that small detail I like what I see, and I believe it will only do Kodak good.

And as long as BIG is involved in developing the rest of the materials, and the first round of implementation, the brand is in good and responsible hands.

On Jan.07.2006 at 09:58 AM
beto’s comment is:

It is always shocking when we find out an ubiquitous visual identity such as Kodak's being radically changed. My initial reactions were obviously of utter dissaproval, "how did they dare..", etc. However the more I see it the more I realize how it does relate to Kodak's goals as a company today.

As much as I can't help having some sympathy for the now-departing logo, it's too obvious it also screamed "1980s" and "film rolls" - not too useful assets for a company like Kodak if it is poised to survive in the age of digital photography. Hence I understand the need of a change. Still, not 100% to my liking (do we designers can be 100% satisfied with anything?), but it's understandable.

BTW, I didn't even notice the alterations on the "A" of the old logo until I saw it closely above. Now I can see where that twisted new "A" comes from. The devil is in the details indeed.

On Jan.07.2006 at 12:01 PM
m. kingsley’s comment is:

Jeff and Armin, the mysteries of Brian's abilities lie in his personality and the facility with which he presents the story behind the How and Why. He brings passion, drama and aspiration; while keeping focus of the larger strategy.

The interest is in watching the performance, not the back story.

On Jan.07.2006 at 01:35 PM
ChrisM70’s comment is:

I understand the need to update and convey that Kodak is a modern company that has embraced digital technology, but to completely throw out the famous Kodak "K" seems like a really DUMB move.

Isn't there a way to continue to echo that same K shape without losing it completely? In the "K" logo I see a focal point that mimics light being funneled into a camera. Does anyone else see this? I understand that people think the look is outdated, but couldn't the rounded corners be sharpened to give it a more modern look? Just an idea.

It just seems to me that everyone is so obsessed with re-branding themselves that they have no problem throwing out YEARS of history and well designed (and universally recognized) material in the blink of an eye.

Do you think that CBS should throw out the old "seeing eye" since it's old-fashioned?

I guess at least they are keeping the familiar Red & Gold color scheme.

On Jan.07.2006 at 02:34 PM
fatknuckle’s comment is:

My first thought was McDonald's...

A real ballsy move would be to switch the colors entirely (I know the importance of the ubiquitous Kodak red/yellow combination, a stretch but possible?) The colors themselves look like it's still old even though the typeface is new.

As for the letter A, that tiny counter is less than half of those in the o & d. Making it a little too diminutive in porportion to the other letterforms and thats the first thing my eye was immediately drawn to. I understand why they did it from a porportions perspective, but for some reason it doesnt seem to fit.

The loss of the symbol is neither here nor there as far as I'm concerned, as a strong wordmark can hold as much weight (sony for instance) as any symbol can, but I dont think this particular mark is stong/unique enough to carry the weight of the Kodak name on its own.

I would like to see the strategy behind how this was approached to put it into more context and comment with more understanding. At least they didn't just threedify the old version and call it a paycheck.

On Jan.07.2006 at 06:34 PM
hmm’s comment is:

So WTF? Nobody likes the "a" eh? Why am I not surprised? NEITHER DO I!!! Immediately my eye was drawn to it, then to the bars. . .but I didn't read the guidelines, so I won't go there! ;P As for the "a" - I don't like it at all . . . and here is why:

1. It just doesn't feel right. (it's "trapped" between the d & k . . . looks a lost there . . . doesn't fit the glove, IMO)

2. Without a "leg" or stem or whatever the professionals refer to the little thing that usually helps support the lowercase "a" -helping it to stand upright on it's own - seems like it should or could just topple over on it's backside. The only thing stopping it from doing just that is the vert in "k" - holding that little wobbly "a" up!

3. IT'S AN "e"!!!!

I enjoy the refreshed, "chalet" type treatment on the "o" & "d" but just really don't agree or like the face of the "a".

But that's all said without any knowledge or understanding of the marketing or past history of Kodak. Just the opinion of knowing what feels right and what doesn't feel right.

And I'm not a fan of the bars as they are now. Reminds me, despite the face, of the original BK logo or a sandwhich co. or something. But can't wait to see where it goes over the next year and how it's applied to it's respective environments.

On Jan.07.2006 at 08:54 PM
Dado Queiroz’s comment is:

The first impression I had was related to fast food too. It seems I could buy a KodaBurger for 2.99...

Perhaps it's due not only to the color scheme and the stripes, but also to a small local chain here that an year ago changed their logo to something surprisingly similar (they're so small that their site hasn't updated it yet... great rebranding, huh? -- damn, it's been a whole year, people! -- that's why I didn't post it)

Anyway, I actually like the "a" and the typography in general. However, I miss a lot the negative yellow-type-on-red-mass feel. I wish they had just re-shaped the old K mass to nest and to "talk" to the new type.

And what about Fuji? Will they rebrand?

On Jan.07.2006 at 09:30 PM
Ravenone’s comment is:

After being annoyed by the A in the kodak new logo...

I'm finding myself annoyed by the letter A in general. The capital form I don't mind but the lower-case A just seems dumber and dumber and more distracting the more I look at it.

This is one unlooked for side-effect of hanging out on SpeakUp. I find myself looking at things more closely; and looking I find things I don't like that annoy me, and therefore end up annoying myself.

But there are far worse things out there than a wonky letter a.

HEY 'MAVEN- what're your thoughts on the "a"? I know you're out there somewhere...

On Jan.08.2006 at 12:51 AM
Paul’s comment is:

Mark...

Unbelievable that we share a "location history" and that you've seen me play, albeit over 20 years ago!

Yes, 1982 was the last time I played in Buffalo before moving to Los Angeles. I used to play with a few organ trios (Bobby Jones, Al Fiorella) and also with Bobby Militello and his group.

In answer to your question about why I'm hanging out at a graphic design blog...well, the stuff has always fascinated me, although I've never pursued art except as an on-again-off-again hobby. I like the subject of web design as well, and hang out at some of those blogs as well, having learned enough of the technical side to put together my own site (valid XHTML transitional, thank you ;))

You've done really well for yourself, have a great client list, and your stuff looks totally awesome (sorry, I've been in California too long). The projects for Blue Note and Pat Metheny just blow me away along with the rest of your portfolio.

So glad to make your re-acquaintance here. Thanks for the kind words and keep doing great work!

Paul

On Jan.08.2006 at 01:03 AM
Laurus’s comment is:

It hurts me to see that tridition is no longer a value. I guess it has to do with the fact that ‘brand loyality’ does not rule anymore—brands are histerically trying to maintain their audience and the poor logos are the splinters that fly.

The old logo was one of the few great logos out there. I'm sorry to say, but I feel the new one is trendy and not much more.

BTW, I also spent a few of my childhood years in Buffalo....

On Jan.08.2006 at 02:09 AM
Armin’s comment is:

> And I'm not a fan of the bars as they are now.

As Allen Hori mentioned above, the bars are not part of the logo. I have updated the logo in the original post.

On Jan.08.2006 at 09:21 AM
Jeff Gill’s comment is:

Is this what you want?

Blah, Obvious & Generally Boring.

Hardly the weakness, the 'a' is the life of this wordmark.

On Jan.08.2006 at 10:35 AM
Ravenone’s comment is:

Jeff- I like the a now. :) I can stop obsessing...

On Jan.08.2006 at 01:35 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Jeff, close, but that is still not right. As a standalone character the new "a" is fascinating and the more I see it, the more I see its integration with the rest of the characters, however I still think the obvious solution yields a more cohesive set of letterforms — I'd be surprised if this was not shown as an option at one point during the process:

This is 5 minutes worth of work in ImageReady, the right-bottom dimple of the a would need a lot of work, but this seems like the logical typographic extension of the "o" and "d", and their geometric rigor. (BTW, Bryony and I were both doing this at the very same time, in our own computers on different rooms of the house).

I very much like the new logo, despite its awkward "a". What makes me like it is that it is a well thought out, timely rebranding. The old K graphic was clunky and not very elegant. Also, it was redundant, it was a K behind a K. This is cleaner and more streamlined.

Lastly, funny to point out that nobody's saying "I can't believe they got rid of an original Oestreich". If this were a Bass or Rand logo, this discussion would be very different.

On Jan.08.2006 at 02:21 PM
Derrick Schultz’s comment is:

I think I'd like the a and d more if it were shaped more like dax; where it comes to a point at the stem and bowl, instead of continuing the rounded shape. but then i guess it begins to look like the ups logotype, something BIG probably already realized.

Overall, i think strategy-wise this is a good move. and even the execution is relatively good. I think it will also allow for more systems to be introduced as the soft change occurs.

On Jan.08.2006 at 03:52 PM
Jeff Gill’s comment is:

You're right, Armin. Yours is better. But you spent your 5 minutes AFTER seeing the result of mine. (insert smiley)

I still think the obvious solution yields a more cohesive set of letterforms... this seems like the logical typographic extension of the "o" and "d", and their geometric rigor.

obvious + logical = boring

Give it a few weeks, and all of you, like Armin will come to see that I am right about the 'a'.

Now off to my Sunday night bath.

On Jan.08.2006 at 06:12 PM
pk’s comment is:

i'm seeing a lot of people use that sort of blobby lowercase a over the past year or so. kinda dig it. not nuts that the K and k aren't as curvy, but hey. that's just me.

nice refresh. two points to whoever managed to sell kodak on doing something contemporary. no small task.

On Jan.08.2006 at 06:26 PM
fatknuckle’s comment is:

contemporary. I think it's called cliche. and just as boring. I dont understand why you would want to hang the unique trait of the letterform on the letter a. Seems arbitrary, although I understand its the one letterform with the most possibility for interpretation.

But that a seems to have a fat tummy the more I look at it.

On Jan.08.2006 at 06:47 PM
aka’s comment is:

fatknuckle, i agree with you 100%...

On Jan.08.2006 at 09:02 PM
felixxx’s comment is:

Thumbs up.

I don't know how long it took Mr Hori so come out alive/smiling but Brian Collins has been entrenched in selling this rebrand for over 8 years now. I know because I worked with him on it in 1998 as design director. We weren't asked by the client to persue anything. Nothing. We just did it, hoping they would embrace it (it being core brand packaging) along with teh new advertising. It was risky. We lost.

After the dust settled a creative director from Kodak's advertising side came into my office with an "Man, I told you so". We all felt like idiots (still do), but- back to point- part of Brian's "fairy-dusted gift" is enducing young design hopefuls - not clients - into working harder. Clients aren't enabled- they're sold.

The account executive as Enabler? Hah! That my friend is the Cool-Aid talkin'. Yes, the red kind.

On Jan.09.2006 at 12:05 AM
ps’s comment is:

maybe the "akward a" is exactly what makes the new logo work.

but i'm sure that the logo itself does not tell the story. after all, kodak IS yellow.

On Jan.09.2006 at 12:23 AM
m. kingsley’s comment is:

> The account executive as Enabler? Hah! That my friend is the Cool-Aid talkin'. Yes, the red kind.

Felixxx, wouldn't you agree that it's better to guide a client to a shared conclusion than to convince with the power of your argument? When someone takes one of your foregone conclusions and shreds it before you — even though you may ultimately agree — aren't you, deep down, kind of pissed?

Better to do it with grace. That's what I mean by allowing the client to say "yes".

Finally... the Audi logo, presented without comment:

On Jan.09.2006 at 01:13 AM
Nick Blume’s comment is:

Manual Trackback.

On Jan.09.2006 at 04:40 AM
R Berger’s comment is:

Armin,

Adding Quark's new logo to Kodak's new logo will definitely reinforce their new image…

On Jan.09.2006 at 08:49 AM
felixxx’s comment is:

better to guide a client to a shared conclusion than to convince with the power of your argument?/em>

I'm not a good convincer, or selleror manueverer or business person or whatever label you give it. I wish I were.

grace?

C'mon, Mark. You know me. I don't do grace. However, I do give it on certain occasions.

On Jan.09.2006 at 10:16 AM
jo’s comment is:

New packaging usually puts new clothes on an old horse.

I think that's how I feel about this logo redesign. I'm not sure it's an improvement, because the visual "freshening" doesn't seem to correspond with any overall "freshening" within the company or the products and services it's marketing. I hate to critique the logo for the mere context of its release, but I think that's its biggest weakness; it seemed to come out of nowhere, without a well-argued reason, and without any other exciting news and/or strategy.

On Jan.09.2006 at 10:26 AM
Darrel’s comment is:

I'm still not sure what the strategy is in the branding world as of late to ditch strong, recognizable, well-known marks for generic logotypes.

On Jan.09.2006 at 10:50 AM
fatknuckle’s comment is:

Second that. You need to throw a lot of money at a fairly generic wordmark to make it work. But I guess kodak has got that so thats not the issue.

Hopefully someone close to the project will be able to offer up the insight into this.

On Jan.09.2006 at 12:30 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

"But I guess kodak has got that"

From what I've read, their business is eroding at a supersonic pace. Their cash flow has always been film, which is drying up.

I understand the need to rework the image of the company has a digital leader, but, really, they've always been a 'photo' company moreso than anything. Everyone knows of Kodak. Why mess with that?

IS there a lot of strategy put into these rebrandings? You'd think there would be, but on the surface, these look to be really absurd decisions.

It'd be great to know what was wrong with the old logo.

On Jan.09.2006 at 12:32 PM
felixxx’s comment is:

It'd be great to know what was wrong with the old logo.





Nothing. Its the company that fucked itself up (bad decision making.) Now they need to powder themsleves up with a new face. But will the business follow suit?

Next up: Sony.

On Jan.09.2006 at 12:42 PM
fatknuckle’s comment is:

It all comes down to application. I thought they had a wonderful ad strategy a few years back (true colors) that really caught the essence of Kodaks name, hopefully their strategy resulting from this will be to try capture that feeling.

A little difficult to do starting from scratch with such a cold and uninspiring mark. But hopefully they can make that happen.

I'd hate to see sony jump on this bandwagon but who knows? Seems everything is fair game in this climate.

On Jan.09.2006 at 01:15 PM
Hyun’s comment is:

I wish they would've kept the Original 'K.' I always thought it would be wonderful if they used that 'K' by itself without the word. Sort of like Nike dropping their name from the swoosh. It's interesting to see everyone rebranding with rounded corners now. Another rounded rebrand I recently saw is Club Med.

On Jan.09.2006 at 02:30 PM
Mr.Frankie L’s comment is:

Looking at the typeface in which the new Kodak

logo is based on, I see:

The "o" and the "d" are not based off a perfect

circle — it is actually more of an oval (negative space).

The "a" whose overall shape mimics the overall

impression of the "o" and "d" is not so out of place.

While not sharing the same negative space, I feel

it manages to "fit in" while being a little quirky; which makes for interesting typography.

On Jan.09.2006 at 02:33 PM
Mr.Frankie L’s comment is:

Also keep in mind, because the "a" is

quirky, not only is it unique, it also serves

as a nemonic device — both are great attributes

to have concerning logos (since this wordmark

is the logo as opposed to having a symbol)

On Jan.09.2006 at 02:40 PM
fatknuckle’s comment is:

What purpose does it serve,though? Having the quirky "a" as the quite arbitrary strength of the wordmark.

On Jan.09.2006 at 02:53 PM
Jason L.’s comment is:

Honestly the older Kodak logo was a fine logo, but certainly not spectacular. At no point did I ever think, "Wow, what a fantastic embodiment of a revolutionary photography company ." It's a "K" for crying out loud.

The new logotype is interesting and, I think, well thought out in it's relation to not only Kodak's move to digital photography, but to the old mark as well.

Is it groundbreaking? Probably not. But it seems like a fairly rational design for a company that has moved at a glacial pace into the digital realm.

On Jan.09.2006 at 03:20 PM
Mr.Frankie L’s comment is:

What purpose does it serve,though? Having the quirky "a" as the quite arbitrary strength of the wordmark.

Q. Purpose?

A. To be mnemonic as well as give some personality to the word.

Q. Why the "a"?

A. Perhaps not as arbitrary as one might think.

The "a" is a versatile character which allows for

many interpretations. Furthermore, because the

"a" was also prominent in the previous logo,

perhaps the designer wanted to carry over that tradition (as pointed out already).

On Jan.09.2006 at 03:33 PM
Dream Merchant’s comment is:

Patrick:

Not Blasting, The Man With The Golden Arm.

For the Record I gave Armin both Computer Associates "ca" and Intel several weeks before Christmas. Which I learned was being Revitalized by Maestro Tony Spaeth.

Not like we didn't know about them. On the Heels of AT&T Revitalization I think it would've been over taxing to discuss "ca" and Intel Identities at the time.

I haven't Recovered from AT&T.

D. Mark Kingsley:

I'm HAPPY to see Mark Kingsley excited about a Brand Revitalization.

He Rarely Gets Excited about Identity or Participates in the discussion. To involved with Social Issues.

Happy to see him Take the Bull by the Horn on this one and share his 411.

I'm happy to SEE . Mark HAPPY and Dominating the Post.

Reminds me of myself!!!!!!!!

Man With The Golden Arm.

"Lastly, funny to point out that nobody's saying "I can't believe they got rid of an original Oestreich". If this were a Bass or Rand logo, this discussion would be very different".

True, Bass and Rand's Name were Synonymous Unsurpassed Vison and Timeless Identity Design.

Unfortunately, Timeless Vision and Identity Acumen Died when they Died in 1996

My point is that Peter J. Oestreich created a Very Memorable Identity with Kodak.

Does anyone else no of any other Identities Peter Oestreich Designed???

My Point Exactly, with Bass and Rand you can name Many.

Ravenone:

Thanks for the SHOUT OUT.

Critique of Identity

I'm not a Fan of Advertising Agencies getting involved with Identity work. And Notorious B I G may be the Exception.

You know who MUSTAV Been Smokin on some Indo, Trees or Blunts when he Named that Group.

Groovin on B I G Warning.

Talking about, "Pops from the Barber Shop and why they want to Sick me for my Paper".

Back on Topic:

The New Kodak Identity is a little to Prosaic for my Taste.

Although, I understand the change. Not for Better, for Clearer Corporate Communication.

A Straight Logotype was implemented because the Ad Agency could not Develop and Design a more Omnipotent Identity than its Predecessor.

FYI, Verizon has acquired MCI.

Verizon the stronger Brand said it will maintain it's Identity while MCI will loose it's Identity.

No doubt because of Scandal, Chermayeff & Geismar's MERCK Identity will be Revitalized.

I Pray MERCK will have the Cojones to go to Steff Geissbuhler or C & G to Revitalized the Identity.

I'm on Sabaticle. Will Return in Spring or Summer.

P.S.

TEXAS STRANGER

Next up: Sony.

Apparently, Sony and Ericcson Merged to unite

their interest in the Mobile Phone Industry .

www.sonyericsson.com

This one Excaped our Discussion Group.

SONY Corporation Identity has remained the same.

Jonsel, sent me this after the at&t Revitalization.

The Designer formerly KNOWN AS...

Has ReBranded himself as Dream Merchant.

I will Retain the initials...

DM

On Jan.09.2006 at 03:37 PM
Rob’s comment is:

Kodak is clearly a company admist in a world of change, and this mark—while not graphically groundbreaking—is a completely workable solution that fits the current needs of the brand.

As I see it, from my oh-so-faraway perch, Kodak has faced a declining marketshare and while now in the process of reengineering the buinsess, needed to completely redress itself of the 'old' Kodak. Whether it will work long-term is to be decided. But for now, hats off to Alan Hori and his team at B.I.G. I look forward to seeing future incarnations of the new identity.

On Jan.09.2006 at 03:39 PM
Armin’s comment is:

> No doubt because of Scandal, Chermayeff & Geismar's MERCK Identity will be Revitalized.

[Emphasis mine]

Off topic, and silly, but that's just too grammatically unfortunate and funny: "Thank you for calling Scandal, Chermayeff & Geismar, how can I help you?".

On Jan.09.2006 at 03:45 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

Kodak has faced a declining marketshare and while now in the process of reengineering the buinsess, needed to completely redress itself of the 'old' Kodak.

That's what I'm stuck on. WHY do they need to do that? Kodak has always stood for 'good photo stuff'. The whole "we're now digital" is kind of a 'duh' progression. EVERYONE is now digital. We don't need a different logo to trigger that logic, do we?

On Jan.09.2006 at 03:50 PM
Jason L.’s comment is:

Actually Kodak is in need of letting the rest of the world know they are in on the digital photo front. I would imagine that a lay person would list Sony, Nikon, Canon and even HP on their list before Kodak in digital photography. Which for a company that wants to pride itself on being a force in the industry of picture making is not good, considering two of those companies only made their mark on photography in the digital age.

On Jan.09.2006 at 05:05 PM
felixxx’s comment is:

Design Maven

has left the building.

Hello,

Dream Merchant.?

Before this renaming

project gets underway, may

I suggest a few things:

A) Merchant is a

diminutive characterization.

Brian Collins would quote Rand and

call you an "exotic menial".

B) Dreaming is so 1998.

Free of charge:

1) Dope Mastaflash

2) Duder Man (D'Man also acceptable)

3) Dale Mankowski

On Jan.09.2006 at 05:34 PM
Tan’s comment is:

Late to the discussion, but....

First — Sony's not changing anything to their mark. I'd bet the farm on that. Their master brand mark, and name, is as flexible and rock solid as they come. In contrast to Kodak, they are a technology brand that's not built on a specific technology.

>WHY do they need to do that?

I'm only hyphothesizing here...

But for more than 100 years, Kodak represented the standard in traditional photography technology. It represented the craft as well as the tools and supplies of the trade.

Now, in the era of digital photography — where the technology can change by the minute — it's not enough for a brand to be anchored to a technology or even to a specific photographic product. That's because photography isn't about only photography anymore. It's about media, and media technology products — not only digital cameras, but cell phones and iPods. It's about imaging, both stills as well as motion. It's about services, like online storage and sharing accounts. It's about the idea of capturing images and how far a brand can go to represent the artifacts and services that exist and those that haven't even been invented yet.

So no, it's clearly not just about "we're now digital" — that would be too easy. It's much more than that — which I do think needed a new brand.

Now, having said THAT, a few thoughts on the new mark.

I think it's a mistake to lose the "K" mark and shape. The shape itself may have represented an obsolete film frame, but the idea of "encapsulating" an image or a moment of time still holds true.

And I might be mistaken, but I believe that the original word "Kodak" was specifically created as an amalgam of words that was chosen for its simplicity in pronunciation and memorability. The word itself doesn't really mean anything. The shape gave it some meaning and visual strength. The loss of the K-square weakens the mark, and turns it into one among millions of other logotypes out there.

So it almost doesn't matter what Allen Hori may have done to evolve the individual letterforms — the loss of the K-square make it a secondary issue.

I realize that it's too easy to play armchair quarterback — so I appreciate BIG's effort and openness to this onslaught of criticism.

On Jan.09.2006 at 06:02 PM
Ravenone’s comment is:

Dreaming Maven -Now that there's the new and improved Dream Merchant, does this mean I'll have to look harder for Design Maven Classic? Enjoy your well-earned break.

Felixxx- Cute. DUDERMAN! :D :D :D In a big, dumpy, red, round font of course!

On Jan.09.2006 at 11:10 PM
Tobias’s comment is:

My first thoughts on logo was one that made me think that "They've gone and done it again, they messed up an iconic logo and made it suck"

This logo neither feels "digital" to me or says "photographic technology". I suppose if you stretched it a bit you could say that the "d" is suppose to be a roll of film, or the "a" a viewfinder. But not really.

I think that a successful logo tells me something--anything about the product, and this does not. Not on second glance or third glance, not in the rain not on a train...etc.

I'd love to see what they rejected.

On Jan.10.2006 at 02:49 AM
Chris Rugen’s comment is:

Another big company shedding its well-known face, and this time for a wordmark with no visual equity (red alone does not say "Kodak" to me). If Kodak's business practices are the problem, how does this mark address that? It's a logo, not a business model, so it doesn't. I'll be impressed when Kodak impresses me. If there's a set of well-reasoned and strategic decisions behind this logo, I look forward to seeing their manifestation in Kodak's near future advertising, serivces, and products. Then the mark will take on meaning. Until then, I shrug and shake my head at a logo that says very little that isn't already being said.

I can't decide whether I like or dislike the 'a' in the context of the word, but it's got the most personality, that's for sure. Aside from some design minutae, it sure looks like a good decision to me. We'll all be fine with it once we're used to it and if Kodak's marketing works, it will sink into our brains like they want.

On Jan.10.2006 at 09:08 AM
BlueStreak’s comment is:

FWIW, here's a link from Kodak on their identity development. Maybe one day I'll figure out how to add it to the Design Encyclopedia. (Maybe not.)

Evolution of the Kodak brand

On Jan.10.2006 at 09:34 AM
Mr.Frankie L’s comment is:

Doing some research:

Before Kodak was Kodak,

it was called the "Eastman Dry Plate Company".

With the success of their first simple roll

film camera named Kodak, EDPC later adopted

it as the company name..

Tan is right about the word "Kodak" being

conceptually void; it was selected for its

simple and memorable pronunciation.

Because of the above mentioned, I don't feel

the name requires a visual mark to be

successful — the name itself is mnemonic.

A logo doesn't have to, and sometimes cannot

describe what a company does. To do so, may not

even be appropriate. Don't tell me that IBM

represents computers — it does not.

The wordmark of Kodak will eventually be known

as either superior or inferior based on the

products it makes.

As Paul Rand said, a logo has only 3 main

criteria:

Simplicity

Uniqueness

Memorability

On Jan.10.2006 at 10:06 AM
felixxx’s comment is:

I'd love to see what they rejected. —Tobias

Rejected? You think the client can make an informed decision when it comes to the subtleties of type design? I'd be surprised if they showed more than one.

On Jan.10.2006 at 10:23 AM
Ben’s comment is:

The well known red/yellow kodak logo is one of my personal favorites. I enjoyed the refracting lens graphic K as much as, or more than, the word mark itself. My first reaction to this post was that it was a big mistake for them to change it.

While I'm a little annoyed that they went so far, I must say that it is quite a handsome word mark. It's original, stable, and it feels forward moving. The 'a' does not seem too small, and I can really really appreciate the attention to balance. Good job, but I still miss major elements of the old mark.

On Jan.10.2006 at 11:45 AM
andi’s comment is:

is it too late for them to use armen's? so much better.

and agreed on the blandness factor--and on the need to abandon the main design. blah.

On Jan.10.2006 at 12:58 PM
Jeff’s comment is:

Didn't Kodak try to lauch a new logo a few years ago? Something like a 3-D version of its old logo wrapped around a cube? I think it was in CA or Print; anyone remember it or have a link? Evidently it just faded away.

On Jan.10.2006 at 07:28 PM
Toke Nygaard’s comment is:

The fantastic thing about the old logo(s) was that it was incredibly unique - I have never seen a logo that looked anything like it - even though it's been out there for 70 years+.

Now looking at this one (and I will give it some time to 'settle') - I feel that it is following the same route as many other modern logos in that any sort of 'mark' is ignored - it is all type, no humor, no playfulness, no quirky wit - just plain old type. You could argue that the type is playful, but everything is rounded these days, it does not make the type stand out.

On Jan.10.2006 at 08:41 PM
Bru McDermott’s comment is:

Although I really like Armin's version, I have to go with the idea of differentiating the "a" yet maintaining the balance. Repeating the white interior 3 times kills the effort. I'd try something like this...

my biggest problem with the current logo is that the "a" just isn't looking like an "a". I keep thinking backwards "6" for some reason and boy is it going to close up when it gets small.

On Jan.11.2006 at 05:10 PM
Timothy’s comment is:

Another late response...

I was working with BIG on another project while a lot of late nights were being spent on Kodak. Every morning I'd come in to find a new batch of amazing work tacked onto the walls. A daunting amount of development went into this project-- clearly, they did not "do a Paul Rand" and toss one solution onto the conference table.

(God, I've always wanted to do that. Successfully, that is.)

Having also attended RIT where Kodak were a conservative and omnipresent force, I'm afraid I thought "Nice work. Not a chance of it going through, though." I'm very glad to have been proven wrong.

Typographic details aside, (for the record, I like the 'a') I'm sure there's one thing we can all agree on-- at least it's not a updating of the old K-mark, given ye olde 3-D treatment, eh?

On Jan.11.2006 at 10:51 PM
Funtime Ben’s comment is:

This redesign is absolutely horrible. This is a travesty to the design industry as a whole and proves the point that agencies know nothing about design. The rendering of the "a" is unrefined and infantile. A first Year graphic design student could do better on one night's sleep and a can of Jolt.

I will now reefer to the firm as "Kodek"

On Jan.12.2006 at 12:40 PM
Doug B’s comment is:

...and proves the point that agencies know nothing about design. The rendering of the "a" is unrefined and infantile. A first Year graphic design student could do better on one night's sleep and a can of Jolt.

Funtime Ben, I suggest you do a little research and find out more about Allen Hori (who designed the new mark). He's a groundbreaking designer who has been on the leading edge for more than 15 years. He has changed the way many people look at and understand contemporary design (including myself). You have the right the not like the way the new mark looks, but try not to embarass yourself while doing so.

On Jan.12.2006 at 12:50 PM
Funtime Ben’s comment is:

The day it's wrong to feel passionate about design, is the day I will feel embarrassed about my comments.

I would also hasten to add that the design credit is to Ogilvy & Mather’s Brand Integration Group, which makes me think that their hands were on the pot at some point in the process. Branding rests a lot in the hands of people doing research and can mislead a designer's instincts. I'm sure that Allen Hori deserves the praises you give, but I firmly believe that agencies muddle with designer's doing their jobs.

Did Paul Rand use focus groups?

Doug B your point is taken - but I would caution that even the best designers are just people and very capable of making mistakes. I make no criticism of Allen Hori or his process, I am only criticizing the final mark. And is it not the critique, which we all learned back in college, which is the most important part of design? Without critique, design is only window dressing.

On Jan.12.2006 at 01:35 PM
felixxx’s comment is:

they did not "do a Paul Rand" and toss one solution onto the conference table.

Well, thats too bad then.

You would think after doing such an extensive job "tacking" internally they'd be able to make a firm reccomendation. I wonder if Mr Hori can elaborate on this process?

I can tell you this: when I was there we stood firm behind our work- presenting ONE idea. Showing many extensions or revisions on one particular idea only make you a subordinate- not an authority.

On Jan.12.2006 at 02:10 PM
Timothy’s comment is:

Critique by all means, though "travesty to the design industry as a whole" is a bit strong. Whether one likes the end result or not, anything that is the result of months and months (at least) of research, discussion and exhaustive design development cannot in good conscience be called a travesty.

On Jan.12.2006 at 02:11 PM
Bru McDermott’s comment is:

We might be missing something here...and that would be the logic behind the design.

When I look at the design I offered by standing back 6 feet (secret number, lol) from my monitor, I can still see "Kodak" in it. When I do the same experiment with the newly created brand, "Kodak" is gone. The brand is completely obliterated.

Perhaps that was the objective, and none of us realizes this. Perhaps any affiliation with the old brand was an affiliation with "film", and that spells disaster for Kodak right now. If that's the case, the new brand works well for what it was designed to do...start the company off with a attention grabbing image and a clean slate.

Maybe this is BIG's version of Crispin Porter + Bogusky, and all we are doing here is pining over the death of an old friend.

On Jan.12.2006 at 04:46 PM
Tan’s comment is:

>Maybe this is BIG's version of Crispin Porter + Bogusky

Not sure what you mean by this, Bru. If you're referring to brand work done by Crispin, most notably Mini, then that's a whole other story completely. If you're referring to Crispin's non-traditional advertising tactics to market brands, then that's also unclear as to what that has to do with BIG and Kodak.

>The brand is completely obliterated.

And sorry, not to pick on you...but while we're on the subject, let's get one thing clear here. A logo is not the same thing as a brand. And vice-versa. You can't 'obliterate' a brand by changing the logo. Kodak's brand is a combination of a number of things, including among others — its logo, its name, the Kodak yellow, its product design, its advertising, its reputation, its heritage, etc.

It's a pet peeve of mine when people use the word 'brand' indiscriminantly. We're talking about Kodak's logo execution in this instance.

On Jan.12.2006 at 08:38 PM
Bru McDermott’s comment is:

Whoops, Tan, you're correct, a brand is not a logo. Mea culpa. I should have consulted with my art dept. before I put my foot in my mouth.

I do however feel the logo is trying to redefine Kodak's direction in a very unconventional manner. Usually a new logo retains a lot of the company's past identity.

I'm not trying to be offensive here, but I feel if this logo was placed on the outside of an igloo and I walked by it, I'd have no problem thinking that there was a new company called Kodak (playing on the term Kodiac Bears) that was manufacuring igloos. If Kodak the film company took Kodak the igloo maker to court, I'm not sure Kodak the film company would win. The logo is that radical to me.

If you look at Intel's new logo you have no problem whatsoever seeing the old company in the new graphic. Kodak could unintentionally be confusing an old customer base.

You have to admit there is an overwhelming response here. You either like it or you really really hate it.

On Jan.13.2006 at 09:57 AM
BlueStreak’s comment is:

Gunnar's discussion of "The Crystal Goblet" has transparency at the top of my thoughts. The AT&T trademark evolution took transparency literally and missed the mark from my point of view. This work for Kodak is a beautiful example of a transparent trademark however. I closely associate it with the work Landor did for FedEx.

A brand has to achieve "1st tier" status before an identity like this can work. And Kodak has certainly achieved this status. I wonder if the Dream Merchant now considers BIG to be a 1st tier consultancy?

Tan, the indiscriminate use of the term "brand" is my peeve. But I'll be glad to share.

On Jan.13.2006 at 12:41 PM
joshua’s comment is:

bad trippppppppppppppppp

On Jan.13.2006 at 01:46 PM
Doug’s comment is:

The "a" in the new form looks way to much like a "schwa" -- it makes we want to say "Kodek"

On Jan.13.2006 at 03:07 PM
Dream Merchant’s comment is:

BlueStreak:

I wonder if the Dream Merchant now considers BIG to be a 1st tier consultancy?

Ogilvy & Mather, now Ogilvy has always been a First Tier Agency.

Remember, Advertising Agency's were Identity and Brand Stewards Several Light Years before Identity Consultancies, and Branding Consultancies Per Se.

Even Today after the Identity is Implemented and Rolled Out. Said Corporations Generally Retain an Advertising Agency to be Brand Steward.

Identity Consultancies Prevalence Matriculated in the 1970s by Design Consultancies. Were given Birth to in the late 1940 early 1950s and Largely an Industrial Design Activity.

Kodak is without Question a First Tier Identity Project.

In Reference to B I G. An Agency, Design Firm or Identity Consultancy is only as Great as their Personnel.

B I G, Currently has some Type A Personalities Manning the Ship in Brian Collins and Allen Horri. Both are Exceptional.

More on Kadak:

If what the TEXAS STRANGER shared in reference to Kodak and he and Brian Collins approaching them eight (8) years ago to Revitalized Kodak's Identity then Kodak did miss an Opportunity to Capitalize.

Eight years ago would've been PRIME TIME.

Reason:

Kodak doesn't have a Corporate Identity Problem. Yes, Clear Communication is an aspect of Corporate Identity Broad Umbrella.

Kodak has an Product Development Problem i.e. Product Design and Engineering.

The Identity Revitalization is akin to Putting a Band Aid on a Bleeding Ulcer!!!

Given the choice and Budget Constraints. Most TECHNOLOGICAL SAVVY Consumers will NOT buy a Kodak Digital Camera over Sony, Fuji, Konica-Minolta and other Better Aesthetically Designed Digital Cameras that are State-Of-The-Art and have more Bells

and Whistles than Kodak.

Kodak four yeara ago did get High Marks for their Digital Cameras by Consumer Reports. The Rating did not do much for Sales.

A New Corporate Identity Signals Change. That will not Solve Poor Product Development and Engineering which is Really Kodak's Problem!!!!!!!!

Hollywood Film Industry:

Kodak since it's inception has made the Bulk of their Income, at least half from the Hollywood Film Industry.

In talking to Film Makers and Photographers throughout the years, about the Digital Revolution. I've always asked, when Film Makers and Hollywood were going to convert to Digital.

Most responded, when they do convert it will change the GAME Forever.

I wonder with this new Revitalized Kodak Identity. Does this also Signal a Change that Hollywood Film Makers are Converting to Digital as well???

Video Productions for Television are all Digital now I assume.

Just about all Photo Journalist are using the High End Nikon and Cannon Digital 35MM Cameras.

Most Photo Journalist were in the Fore Front of the Movement from Onset.

Hollywood Film Makers have taken the longest to Convert.I'm sure in that Respect, Hollywood's Decision Yeh or Nah has had a Profound Impact on Kodak!!!!!!!!!

DM

On Jan.14.2006 at 03:22 PM
Morrick’s comment is:

The old Kodak's logo has always looked more than just a logo, to me. It was a symbol. Recognisable everywhere in whatever form (on paper, on a package, in the form of a sticker attached to a shop window or door, or of an neon sign, and so on). Moreover, like someone else pointed out, recognisable at a distance, thanks to the graphics+colour mixture (which in some old logo variations are enough to identify "Kodak" even without the type). A powerful, ageless logo, if I may add.

I agree with those who wondered about the need to change it altogether. My humble, perhaps naïve opinion: with such a strong logo, Kodak could have done whatever it wanted and still be recognisable. I can't really see any such equation as

old logo = "analog"; new logo = "digital".

What I do see, as a customer, as a man-of-the-street, is

old logo = "recognizability"; new logo = "anonymity"

If Kodak wants to "start over" and is looking for some kind of anonymity to start with, then the new logo is absolutely successful.

Just my visual feelings and my $0.02

R.

On Jan.14.2006 at 09:33 PM
Michael Surtees’s comment is:

Merchant's Dream has it half right. Kodak is a product development problem. The logo up-do is irrelevant at this point. If were talking strategy, why hasn't anyone mentioned what yahoo is doing. You take an image and want to share it, where are you placing it? Flickr is as good a guess as any, and guess who bought the CDN company a year ago? Yahoo did, this time next year people will think yahoo every-time they see purple. Why is this relevant to a Kodak logo you ask. Before there was brown there was a brownie that made image taking available to anyone. What do they do know?

On Jan.14.2006 at 09:43 PM
Tan’s comment is:

>You take an image and want to share it, where are you placing it?

Ahem...allow me to repeat my earlier post, "That's because photography isn't about only photography anymore. It's about media, and media technology products — not only digital cameras, but cell phones and iPods. It's about imaging, both stills as well as motion. It's about services, like online storage and sharing accounts. It's about the idea of capturing images and how far a brand can go to represent the artifacts and services that exist and those that haven't even been invented yet."

It's not just Flikr. There's Ophoto.com (bought by Kodak), Snapfish, MyPhotoAlbum, and a dozen other similar sites. It's the very beginning of new business segment that might be worth billions in a few years.

Let's not forget digital printers. And not just the little photo printers, but bigger desktop printers. Think it hasn't been done? Look at Canon.

What about plasma televisions, data projectors, or any other product that HP manufactures and offers? Kodak can be wherever it wants to be.

So how does this new logo serve Kodak better in the new world?

On Jan.15.2006 at 02:26 PM
bkperspectives’s comment is:

I am extremely late in reading this post, but I just wanted to throw in a few comments…

I long time ago, I used to work for Polaroid, which is obviously in much worse shape than Kodak. I know the corporate mindset is different between the two companies, Kodak being much more forward thinking actually, but I have first hand knowledge of the general “film business” mindset and I can say having Kodak actually change their logo is a GIGANTICALLY HUGE accomplishment. I agree with many of your comments in that the logo does not change the overall brand and that it doesn’t help the core of the business problems, but I can say that the company changing the logo alone is a huge mindset change for them and if they follow suit for their business plans, then they will be changing their brand. The logo can symbolize the change of the brand — or at least and attempt to do so.

And, I think the logo is great — I was a bit shocked at first, but…I see what they are trying to do here. I do miss the “K” and wished they kept it, but there must be some strategic decision made here, moving beyond the photographic context in some way. I do think “a” is a bit on an anomaly but it does add character the logotype — the other “a” does in previous posts are much cleaner, but boring and way to familiar with what has already been done. But…now that I think about it more, it reminds me a little bit of the type treatment of the Polaroid logo:

www.polaroid.com

hmmm… Not that you see these two companies’ products on the same shelf anymore…but kind of interesting.

I have to say I am still shocked about the “at&t” logo — seeing it in context has not help at all with the change for me. We’ll see how the new Kodak logo does in context as well.

On Jan.16.2006 at 01:39 PM
Marilyn Langfeld’s comment is:

I'm more willing to give this logotype a chance than AT&T's new logo or typography. While I don't think that many consumers will find the typography distinctive, it is true that the word Kodak is recognizable enough to identify the company no matter what type is used or created for it. The name will be much more prominent, and the horizontal aspect will work better in today's world, than the older rectangular symbol.

On Jan.18.2006 at 08:12 PM
Christian Cervantes’s comment is:

A COMMENT FROM ONE OF THE DESIGNERS | CHRISTIAN CERVANTES

This is a late post as I was only made aware of this board a few hours ago by Allen (Hori).

I found myself getting a bit fired up reading everyone's comments on Kodak's new logotype but felt relieved by reading comments by those who understood what we were trying to do and who were empathetic to our challenge. It's a good reminder that everyone has an opinion and that very few on this board have any context to what our requirements and restrictions were, the politics we faced in trying to change the identity of such a massive company nor what our vision was. This was the first time I have done a project this big. I admit that I've ripped work apart many a time (who hasn't) and I have to say that having read all these critiques, my perspective has grown and I will not be so quick to rip apart other people's work in the future. So, thank you. I mean that sincerely.

Now, the "a". I love that there is such conversation and debate over it. I LOVE IT. I was so elated when I read Jeff Gill's post:

"Also, on the 'classic' mark the 'a' has a serify thing that makes it stand out from the other letters. That is surely something that would be complained about if it was being introduced today. Perhaps Mr Hori deliberately designed the different 'a' to carry on the spirit of the mark...Hardly the weakness, the 'a' is the life of this wordmark."

Thank you Jeff.

I fought hard for that "a". And if you were to look at the evolution of Kodak's identity through the years you will notice that the "a" is constantly a quirky letter (I nicknamed the "a" in the original logotype the "sledgehammer"). It's significance isn't known but I felt that keeping that quirkiness helped maintain the newer logotype's link to the past and as you have read on this board, sparks conversation and will be remembered. Whether that is a good or bad thing I cannot say. What I can say is that I love that "a". I have always thought it to be endearing and no matter what anyone says I will have an unconditional love for it. (This reminds me of an instance in school when a teacher of mine saw the letter "q" in a logotype I was working on. He liked it so much he told me he wanted to dress it up, take it out on a date and then proceed to make love to it. True story).

The rest of the letterforms are as thought out as the "a". Now, my explanation of them may go over many people's heads but having been immersed in Kodak I stand behind our justification. Kodak is about memories. HP, Sony, Nikon, Canon can all compete in the technology race but noone owns memories like Kodak does. We were raised on Kodak. Look at any photo album from the past and I guarantee the majority of photos were shot on Kodak film and printed on Kodak paper. The K letterforms were not rounded intentionally to visually represent the hardness of technology while the letterforms in between (o,d,a) were rounded to represent the softness of memories. Essentially, the K's are protecting those letters in between. Kodak's technology protects your memories. Simple as that. We weren't trying to be obvious but instead subtle and these decisions were made with thought and were not just arbitrary design. I have a feeling that in time the new logotype will grow on those who are opposed to it.

Now, I can go on and on about what our process was like but I'd be writing forever. I know my words will not convince everyone who reads this that they should vote for the new identity and that is not my goal. I just wanted to give people a tiny insight into what our vision was. I will not apologize for any moves me made as I am proud of what we accomplished. I sincerely thank everyone who took the time to voice they're opinion on our work, good or bad.

Be well.

ps// The Kodak wordmark shown posted on the speak up page is squished or something. It's not that condensed. There is a closer representation on this page.

pss// Those gold bars are not part of the identity nor did we put them there. Represent.

On Jan.25.2006 at 09:28 PM
Christian Cervantes’s comment is:

pssssssssss// Don't think we didn't try any of those variations people made attempts at on this page. There's a reason we didn't go with them.

On Jan.25.2006 at 09:35 PM
BlueStreak’s comment is:

Christian, I'm glad you spoke up. I mentioned transparency in an earlier comment. I find it very telling that you are able to acknowledge and discuss your work. Yet the creator of the AT&T work was apparently sworn to secrecy before the job even started.

On Jan.26.2006 at 10:12 AM
fatknuckle’s comment is:

Christian I think its great that you shed a bit of insight into this too but I am still not buying it.

I'm also not really buying into your letterform explanation either. The k's arent rounded because those particular letterforms are rigid in their composition and rounding them would prove to be quite a challenge, the oda are the opposite in that their basic visual integrity stems from the roundness of the character. So what you are saying is that it was a conscious decision to make angular letterforms angular and round letterforms round? Seems like you are simply stating that the sky is blue.

But on another note, moving a company this big to try anything is a feat in and of itself and it certainly commendable that yourself, Mr. Horii et al didn't completely bastardize that hard won history. So thumbs up for that.

The same cannot be said for AT&T but that is another matter.

On Jan.26.2006 at 02:23 PM
felixxx’s comment is:

give it a rest, knuckler. no ones selling.

streak, don't know what youre inferring there about secrecy. I did the icons not the logo. the log designer has not chimed in - at least to my knowledge.

On Jan.26.2006 at 06:47 PM
Pesky Illustrator’s comment is:

Godzilla smacks down the puny humans...

On Jan.26.2006 at 10:14 PM
Derrick Schultz’s comment is:

Chrsitian,

I liked the typograhy so much more before the explanation. Now I feel like its forcing too much symbolism into letterforms. Is the public going to understand that? Did any of us understand that until you mentioned it?

Sorry, just my opnion.

On Jan.28.2006 at 12:24 PM
R. Lawry’s comment is:

Derrick,

If you paid closer attention you'd have read the part of Christian's post where he explained that they weren't "trying to be obvious but instead subtle and these decisions were made with thought and were not just arbitrary design". It is hard to distil a lot of meaning into a wordmark and I think what he is saying is that they didn't intend for it to be blatant or literal but rather that the decisions they made had thought and meaning behind them. I think it's better that they had a concept behind what they did instead of making something that just looks good but was created with no thought except for that it should look "cool".

I'll vote for it. I don't think the public will get it but I like the thought process and appreciate Christian's candor.

But that's just my opinion.

On Jan.28.2006 at 03:03 PM
BlueStreak’s comment is:

You're right F'swell. I didn't make any sense.

I think I had a case of the blogorrhea that's going around.

On Jan.30.2006 at 09:47 AM
fatknuckle’s comment is:

TripleXXX -

We are always selling...

But Derrick put it far more eloquently than I did, so point taken.

On Jan.31.2006 at 10:12 AM
aaron’s comment is:

I would like to see the logo in the context of the packaging and overall brand for before officially deciding it fails or succeeds.

After reading through everyone's comments and looking at the logo, it seems everyone is just focusing on the forms and balance of the individual letterforms. But how does retro rounded 60s chalet-styled type say "digitally advanced imaging company"?!?! A high-tech appearance is definitely not achieved through the type alone.

And overall, I really miss the "K" mark. And I wonder why something I feel was so important to the identity was completely removed. Updating that would have been the first thing I would have done.

On Feb.05.2006 at 02:10 PM
Mark’s comment is:

Before anyone starts throwing tomatos at me.................

I have this to say about the new logo....

I kind of like it

It's unexpected in it's design yet simple sort of retro looking.

I admit the previous abstract K logo was recognizable and well designed but it's design was kinda predictable I mean you have the yellow abstract K effect on a red background and Kodak in yellow in a good looking font and thats about it.

kind of boring and predictable

but the new one is more simplified and the "a" is not rounded as expected.

If it had a round "a" as usual it would pretty much look like an other logo but it doesn't instead it sort of "breaks the rules" and takes a daring attempt to be different.

but people are saying the "a" "doesn't look right"
fine cling to conformity but me I'm getting kind of tired of "the perfect logo" and "standardization" it's getting old.

Be glad that AT LEAST it looks perfessional

Be glad it they didn't add a "swoosh"

Be glad it's legible

Be glad they avoided the "friendly" and "bubbly" and "trendy" approach

The only thing I regret is they didn't carry on the yellow color that make them stick out.

Oh BTW while people are praising the CBS eye, well the usage of the eye in CBS O&O local stations logos have dulled a majority of the station's logos to predictable,commonplace design of--> "CBS eye next to your number here in one type of font only all in white text within a blue colored rectangle"

On Jul.25.2006 at 10:23 AM