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Extreme Standardization: Finnish Edition

Reviewed Mar. 16, 2012 by Armin

Industry / Entertainment Tags /

YLE Logo, Before and After

Established in 1926 (radio) and 1958 (television), YLE is the public broadcast company of Finland, owned by the Finnish state. YLE runs four television channels, six radio stations, and has a strong online presence. Last year it announced it would be adopting a new logo and this past week the changes took effect in the on-air graphics. The identity was designed in-house with lettering of the logo provided by Saku Heinänen.

YLE’s branding will receive a turquoise tinge, an amalgamation of the company’s two current colours: blue and green. At the same time, the new colour is brighter and fresher.

The new look is intended to reflect YLE’s values of Finnishness, dependability, versatility and independence. Most of the work on the redesign was done by YLE’s own graphics department.
News item



If you’ve scrolled this far you can see exactly what the problem was with the previous 14 logos and their respective identities: it was a big, confused mess where each entity went whichever way it wanted and, amazingly, they all went to where they got beaten with the ugly stick. If you’ve scrolled this far you can also see what the problem is with the new 14 logos: they are all now consistently boring and devoid of any personality of their own. I am all for consistency and unification of identities but this is far too clinical. Judging from the brief look at the on-air package available here there isn’t much visual distinction made there either. In defense of the new main logo, though, it’s a nice piece of typography with interesting shapes and counterspaces but the life is sucked out of it trapped in that square. I may obviously be missing some cultural references or context and perhaps this is the way the Finnish like their public broadcast to look, but it just seems like a missed opportunity after all the effort it will take to phase out all the old stuff for the new.

Thanks to Timo Toivonen for first tip.



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UnderConsideration is a graphic design firm generating its own projects, initiatives, and content while taking on limited client work. Run by Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit in Bloomington, IN.

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