With roots as far back as 1897 (as in nineteenth century) and the result of a merger between Nixon, Hargrave, Devans & Doyle LLP and Peabody & Brown in 1999, Nixon Peabody is a “Global 100” law firm — meaning it’s one of the world’s largest law firms by revenue — with more than 600 attorneys across sixteen locations worldwide that specializes in everything from corporate and finance to intellectual property to litigation. Last month, Nixon Peabody introduced a new identity designed by Wolff Olins.
Our new logo signals our intent—a dynamic “spark” that symbolizes both our innovative ideas and actions and the collective intelligence of the whole firm thinking ahead for our clients.
It goes without saying that the old logo was as boring as we think most law firms and their logos are — “Optima FTW” is something lawyers must say every time they think of logo design but has rarely been uttered by a graphic designer. The new logo is anything but Optima and breaks with almost every traditional aspect of designing identities for law firms: it’s bright and colorful, it uses a condensed and contemporary sans serif, and its icon is abstract. Abstract. For lawyers, “abstract” is like daylight to vampires. With room for interpretation, the new icon is described as a “spark”, which is as good an explanation as any. It’s not terribly attractive but it certainly is different and attention-grabbing for the law industry so more than being a significantly significant logo I feel it’s meant to be a bold way to stand out from the competition and establish NP as being the one law firm willing to break with tradition and move forward.
In application, the identity maintains the attitude of the logo with big and bright visual statements starting with their website, which looks like no other law firm website I’ve seen recently. It’s remarkably refreshing but at the same time you do have to wonder how many old-school CEO clients wouldn’t be turned off by the equivalent of kids playing on a lawn? Nonetheless, in young-people-speak, “mad props” to Nixon Peabody for breaking out of the ordinary with a compellingly different identity.