(Est. 1995) “Fast Company is the world’s leading progressive business media brand, with a unique editorial focus on innovation in technology, ethonomics (ethical economics), leadership, and design. Written for, by, and about the most progressive business leaders, Fast Company and FastCompany.com inspire readers and users to think beyond traditional boundaries, lead conversations and create the future of business.”
When Alan Webber and Bill Taylor launched Fast Company in 1995, their goal was to marry Harvard Business Review‘s insights with Rolling Stone‘s energy. They tapped magazine logo legend Jim Parkinson–whose resume includes Esquire, the Wall Street Journal, and, yes, Rolling Stone–to design the brand. Jim crafted a classic serif logo for Fast Company, but gave it some personality through a quirky small cap “A” and “O.”
More than two decades later, those little letters have become a welcoming signature of the Fast Company brand, and I wanted to lean into that legacy. Working with Portuguese type designer Rui Abreu, we set out to create a new logo that felt more mature than the previous iteration, but maintained its playfulness. Think of it as wearing a blazer with a T-shirt, a staple of many creative directors (including myself). I wanted a wordmark that was still rock ‘n’ roll–heavy metal, even.
The wisdom of the Fast Company brand is achieved visually through the extreme vertical contrast of our new letterforms, a strong characteristic of neoclassical typefaces. The new logo is modernized through the sharp triangular terminals on the letters, a technological achievement not possible in the earlier days of old-style serif type, which is what the original Fast Company logo was modeled after.
Images (opinion after)
Maybe it’s heresy, and as a Jim Parkinson fan perhaps contradictory, but I have never been a fan of Fast Company’s logo. The little “O” I get but the little “A” has always bothered me for its unnatural fit between the “F” and the “A”. Nonetheless, it’s a recognizable logo that has served the magazine and digital publication well. The new logo is cleaner and crisper, giving more breathing room to the little letters and removing the old-school serifs that can be so troublesome in digital applications. I think both versions of the logo are equally viable but the new one does feel, well, newer. I was also just staring at the new “FAS” combo and it’s quite nice how they aligned the angles of the top of the “F” with the top of the “A” and the bottom curl of the “S” to the right stem of the “A”. Golf clap for sure. The “FC” monogram is okay but the “C” being so condensed in contrast to how extended it is in the logo makes it feel like it's another brand altogether. The cover isn’t any better or any worse, it’s yet another rendition of a ton of headlines over a picture. Overall, a decent cosmetic upgrade.
Thanks to Elchanan Heller for the tip.