Opinions on corporate and brand identity work.

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This is a very old entry — images are small, formatting is off.


Shiny Happy Logos

Reviewed May. 30, 2008 by Armin

Industry / Entertainment Tags /

DirecTV Logo, Before and After

With title apologies to R.E.M..

Yes, you are correct, there is not much new to this logo, and it’s quite likely that you didn’t even notice the change if you happen to be a DIRECTV subscriber. But I find this to be an excellent example of how much identity design has changed and how ubiquitous 3Dimensionalization has become that, now, 3D logos are being revisited and getting redrawn to be more shiny, voluptuous and realistic. One of my favorite designers, typographers and letterers is Jim Parkinson, who, among other talents, has made an art form of redrawing logos that needed more cohesiveness or kick-assedness — i.e. 01, 02, 03, 04 — through a detailed exercise of typographic perfection and nuance. The work of Joe Fino also comes to mind, as someone that can refine letterforms to reveal uniqueness. These, and other designers, are the masters of the nip and tuck. This new iteration of DIRECTV represents the new form of identity nip and tuck: Less about typographic or icon refinement, and more about highlight and shadow enhancement. While it’s easy and expected to cringe at this as a gut reaction, it may be time to accept that this is the new standard, and someone might as well do it right. The old DIRECTV logo was crudely Photoshop’d, and is more reminiscent of early, beveled web graphics. The new one is much more intentional, purposeful and rationalized in the effect, plus it’s probably done with the more powerful and scalable mesh and gradient tools in Illustrator. So I may not find conceptual beauty in these glossy logos, but I can acknowledge when something is better crafted and judge it within the context of current day identity work. The new logo has been redrawn by Capacity.

DirecTV Logo, Detail

Thanks to Ed Hall for the tip.



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