This is a very old entry — images are small, formatting is off.
Founded in 1923 by Frank Gannett, Virginia-based Gannett is a holding company that has one of the largest volumes of daily newspaper circulation in the U.S. with USA Today and over 80 local newspapers. Its broadcast division owns over 20 local television stations and its digital division owns websites like CareerBuilder.com, MetroMix.com, and MomsLikeMe.com. Earlier this week, Gannett announced a new identity designed by The Farm to replace the 30-year-old logo they had been using. The redesign has attracted some media attention because, besides being a media company itself, people are dumbfounded that the new identity comes with a 100-page guideline document. The horror! Oddly enough the whole document is available publicly on Google Docs. And for some reason, someone started a Gannett logo Twitter account @gannettlogo. Yawn. This page has a couple of brand videos and additional information.
Today, Gannett introduces the first new Gannett logo in more than 30 years. The blue logo is simple and straight-forward yet fresh and modern, elevating the Gannett corporate brand and representing who Gannett is today. It has roots in mid-century newspaper typefaces, and expresses a contemporary eloquence. By choosing an all-type logo, our properties can continue to make their own mark with each of their distinct logos, while at the same time allowing for a more seamless pairing with the parent company.
— The History of the Gannett Logo
As some of you know, 100 pages worth of guidelines for a company this size is barely an appetizer but I can see how others might react to it, especially when the logo is just a wordmark. Set in Hoefler & Frere-Jones’ Verlag, the new logo is bland. Very bland. But it doesn’t need to be anything more, really. Besides being a business-to-business logo it has to act as a basic endorser of all of its publications, so it can’t be too much of a visual powerhouse to avoid competing against each publication’s logo. However, that doesn’t excuse the overall sloppiness and boringness of its application, at least as seen in some of the examples above. Many people hated the NBC “It’s just a Font” Universal identity, but compare it to Gannett, which is arguably apples-to-apples, and you see how much more successful that one is based on the same premise of a wordmark whose main job is to endorse and establish a continuous strain of visual DNA. There is nothing truly wrong with the Gannett identity, but there isn’t anything memorable about it either.