This is a very old entry — images are small, formatting is off.
Founded in 1984 by a small group of surfers in Malibu, California, Surfrider Foundation (SF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to “the protection and enjoyment of the world’s oceans, waves and beaches for all people, through conservation, activism, research and education.” Through more than sixty local chapters, SF counts with over 50,000 members across the United States. Earlier this month, SF introduced a new logo designed by Los Angeles-based 72andSunny.
“We wanted to build from Surfrider’s heritage and infuse it with the idea of growth through activism. Both the wordmark and icon swell, becoming bolder over time,” said John Boiler, co-founder, 72andSunny.
Surfrider Foundation’s new logo maintains many familiar elements from the original mark, including the organization’s famous stripped wave, albeit in a more streamlined and contemporary design.
— Press Release
This change is like going from surfing in Hawaii to your grandma’s tub: All the energy and dynamism the previous icon had has gone awash in the new one. By being confined in a square, the old wave conveyed a sense of the grandiosity a good wave can reach, completely engulfing you. I am sure someone, somewhere had a hard time reproducing the logo on a t-shirt or wetsuit and said they needed to change to something more simple and Nike-like. The new icon is weak not just in its sloppy execution but also in its depiction of a wave. It has no energy or power. The typography is a bit of a cliché but it could have been saved by better execution and a more interesting choice than all the weights of Helvetica Neue — just as one alternative, take different weights and widths of Titling Gothic and go to town or, to ocean, with it. There was no need to change the old logo so drastically; drawing one or two versions of it with less and more spaced lines for small reproduction and replacing that funky italic would have been sufficient.
Update, March 27, 2014: The very first logo comparison image in this post has been updated with the newest version of Surfrider Foundation’s logo, making the text directly above not make total sense. The original image as it appeared in the review is posted below. The switch was made due to the outdated logo appearing in Google’s image search results causing confusion to the Foundation’s partners, sponsors, etc..