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The Best and Worst Identities of 2016, Part 2: The Best Reviewed

This installment covers the very best projects from the full-fledged Review section of Brand New. A reminder that votes from the polls have no sway in the selections.

See also:
Part 1: The Most Notable Reviewed
Part 3: The Worst Reviewed
Part 4: The Best Noted
Part 5: The Worst Noted
Part 6: The Best Friday Likes

I tend to limit my end-of-year selections to a maximum of 12 entries per category but I included this crazy one as un/lucky number 13. I understand why people don’t like it and I share some of those reasons but I am also happy to celebrate something that’s a little unhinged from the norm.

You will usually find me at the end of the line — or not in the line at all — when it comes to praising something executed solely in Helvetica but the hipper-than-thou vibe of Vice is perfectly represented through the font and Gretel has done a great job in executing with energetic deadpan perfection in print and motion.

Wordmarks arranged in a downward staircase fashion are extremely uncommon and that’s probably what draws me to this, along with how neatly the logo tucks into any corner of any layout. The identity maybe starts to go in too many directions but the stationery alone is a crisp representation of its flexibility and potential.

Sometimes a little eye candy goes a long way and the dimensional letters in this identity provided a bucketful of it. Not shown in the composite above, the motion work shown in the original post is to die for.

A playful typographic palette allows Target’s private label brand to explore different approaches while maintaining crisp uniformity. The red and white color palette also helps in keeping it visibly bold.

Of all the recent logo revivals, this one for Co-op stands out for the timelessness of the original and the restrained new applications that make the best use of the sturdy logo.

Don’t let the main logo before/after fool you… there is a ton of visual firepower in application, especially with the “yes” script device.

The original Tate logos were great, with all their dotted mutations, but there is also something satisfying about how North reined it in to focus on one iteration and let that single version drive the identity still in energetic and unexpected ways.

I first barely acknowledged the logo in a Noted post and was far from impressed but after Work-Order shared how the logo lives online and all the tricks it can do — based on it being nothing more than type in a rectangle — you won’t believe what happened next. I was a fan.

Another identity that started off as a Noted post with a well-received logo, this follow-up brought the house down with a sweet color palette, energetic applications, and the best variable logo this side of 1980s MTV.

This identity struck just the right chord of designy-ness and functionality with superb typography, a strong grid structure, and true flexibility that tied all the applications together without any sameness. It left the majority of us floored.

Of all the Eiffel Tower-driven logos, and there are a lot of them, this one stands out for its subtlety and perfect execution. The identity around it added a colorful liveliness that made it an even more enjoyable project.

It pleases me greatly to give the number one spot to one of the most mainstream products we covered all year. Everything about this redesign is perfectly executed and there is no detail that didn’t receive all the attention it deserved. As the old can shows, everything about this project could have turned “fine” or acceptable but both designer and giant-client made the conscious choice to put craft above anything else. The design of the can and the elements in it also expanded expertly to other bottles, cases, pints, and more. With all its typographic regalia, Budweiser’s look finally matched its claim as the King of Beers… taste notwithstanding.

See what else happened on Brand New each year since publication began in 2006


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