Speak UpA Former Division of UnderConsideration
The Archives, August 2002 – April 2009
advertise @ underconsideration
---Click here for full archive list or browse below
Recent Rebrandings 11: Landor Landor Landor
Maintained through our ADV @ UnderConsideration Program
ARCHIVE ID 2721 FILED UNDER Branding and Identity
PUBLISHED ON Jun.16.2006 BY David Weinberger
marc’s comment is:

Baltimore. Now sponsored by Unilever. Get in on it.

at least the Unilever logo has some sense of personality in the rendering of its little illustrations. ironic, considering a City should have more personality represented in its logo than a conglomerate.

On Jun.16.2006 at 02:16 AM
Jeff Croft’s comment is:

Damn, Dolly is getting popular.

I hate the Reliance one. Baltimore is okay, and Pheonix is pretty nice, IMHO.

On Jun.16.2006 at 02:47 AM
Bao Thien Ngo’s comment is:

I hate the bevels on Reliance. I think the Baltimore logo is certainly corporate friendly and looks clean but it wouldn't appeal to me as a tourist. I would be more inclined to think it was "Santa Monica" rather than "Baltimore." Phoenix is definitely improved.

On Jun.16.2006 at 04:26 AM
Anton Huber’s comment is:

Baltimore: Have a look at the HUGE spaces between the words "Get in on it". You could put a dinosaur in there (maybe that red one from above).

Reliance: Ugly.

On Jun.16.2006 at 04:38 AM
Pesky Illustrator’s comment is:

I love this game: It's like mugging babies...

When a logo flips, sometimes it's an improvement but oftentimes it's just different depending on the new popular colors, fonts du jour, going 3D, etc. Nevertheless, all of these look like average formulas out of candybox.

Tough crowd to please here...

On Jun.16.2006 at 08:22 AM
felixxx’s comment is:

the bottom 2 are frighteningly terrible.

baltimore is OK, however i question the need for a coaster over the beer mug. i believe you can still smoke in maryland.

On Jun.16.2006 at 08:38 AM
tkd’s comment is:

Baltimore: I like it. I've recently been reading about case studies for identities created which were not logos in the traditional sense, but flexible identities that have the same visual look but elements could be moved, changed or swapped depending on where they were used. I see the same possibilities here - the individual icons and colors can be used separately or in various ways together. For example, signs at tourist attractions can use them to identify what can be found at that location (dinosaur for museums, etc.) and the color for those icons be the palette for the printed material there (signs, etc.) So I see a lot of possibilities in it. The only change I would possibly make is the font for "Get in on it". I think something more hand written would be more interesting and give the tagline more energy.

Phoneix: A definite improvement. Not too sure the bird feels like a phoenix, but the font is an absolute step up.

Reliance: Bloody awful. The bevel is unecessary and adds nothing - possibly even makes it worse. Not sure what the A in the center is to represent. The mix of upper and lower case letters feels far too informal for this type of company. Of coruse, it's for a company in India, created for use in India, and I understand the design there is very different than I am used to. So for all I know this will work very well there and I'm just biased by the design I'm used to.

On Jun.16.2006 at 09:02 AM
R Berger’s comment is:

Baltimore: It is definitely an improvement (a blank page would have been too), but back to Design 101 class for a minute–
What differentiates it from saying any other state? or amusement park? or shopping mall? The type is certainly better than before (see above), but not logo-worthy in this usage. The Unilever is a much better solution using the same idea.

PHX: As previously stated– better type, but it feels more like the olympic dove, not a bird rising from the flames.

ReLiANCe: nice bevel filter. on top of all the uppercase/lowercase shiftyness, the 'A' is too tall or not tall enough– looks like a mistake.

On Jun.16.2006 at 09:35 AM
Mr. Frankie L’s comment is:

Reliance wins the award for reliance on too much of the computer.

On Jun.16.2006 at 10:06 AM
Patrick Broderick’s comment is:

Baltimore -- Okay, I guess, looks a little like a clip art sampler. Would've liked seeing a beehive hairdo or some other nod to the city's Pink Flamingos notoriety. Is there some significance to the cube shape the sihouettes have been squeezed into? And I keep wanting to finish their tag line as "...or get out of it."

Phoenix -- Nice, though Gotham is getting to be ubiquitous.

Reliance -- Photoshop WOW Book effects don't do the awkward lettering on this one any favors.

On Jun.16.2006 at 10:09 AM
Darrell Stephenson’s comment is:

Baltimore: I'm there. I actually think this has a ton of potential in a very large integrated campaign but I'm wondering if there is any reason for the color coding of certain icons within the main graphic. I think that they could've probably ditch the star and the music note but maybe this they will be used for other big tourist events. I'm interested in seeing how these colors age.

Pheonix: A type improvement at large sizes but I doubt it reduces that well. Problems with the pigeon but anything is better than the cufflink from before.

Reliance: I'd be interested in seeing if they have print and web versions in their style guide. Alot of companies use a "3D" version of their logo in digital environments. I understand the sheltered A as showing that all these seperate groups have come under one organization - and i dont mind it as a solution. Regardless, this logo is still a victim of a big company trying to pretend they have personality.

On Jun.16.2006 at 10:47 AM
Glen Villegas’s comment is:

As a Baltimore native, I think the rebranding falls short. Patrick, I too wish the icons had something special that really speaks to the quirks and charm of the city. What about the Baltimore hons and the beehive? What about the Edgar Allan Poe? What about Fort McHenry and the Star Spangled banner (there is a star, but it's so bland)?

The slogan is so generic. And it's so egnimatic. What is IT? Because of the mystery of IT, understanding the essence of Baltimore is relied heavily on the icons. Sadly, they lack pazzaz and excitement. Honestly, does this branding campaign compel you to come to Baltimore?

On Jun.16.2006 at 11:39 AM
oo’s comment is:

Manitoba (Canada) launched a rebrand a couple of days ago. It used to be "Friendly Manitoba," now it's:


On Jun.16.2006 at 12:22 PM
Dani Nordin’s comment is:

Reliance looks more like a helpdesk somewhere in India than an insurance company. What exactly is wrong with the top left Reliance logo? It's not great, but it says "insurance and finance" a lot more than the new one. Of course, it also says "United Way," but hey - what're you going to do?

Phoenix is beautiful, but I've seen it before. Cool Gray 4 and 1805 is SO overdone, as is the all-caps thin sans.

Baltimore I actually like, with the exception of the typography. The tagline is just... well, I can't think of a way to describe it.

On Jun.16.2006 at 01:31 PM
Jess’s comment is:

Baltimore: Well, it isn't bad, but it isn't good either. It seems fairly juvenile and perhaps that was their aim. The tagline also strikes me as somewhat childish in nature, since children are more concerned with being 'in' on things. I don't feel compelled to visit Baltimore based on this, but the discussion here has me interested. I don't know, this does nothing for me. The icons are generic and don't seem to pertain to one specific city. I also don't know how those colors are going to hold up.

Phoenix: I agree on the bird. It looks like a dove or somesuch. The red doesn't suggest fire as much as wine. Sure, it looks modern, but it looks pretty typical too.

Reliance: Ugh! I can't stand the mixture of upper and lower case. It's a bit like Nintendo's Wii; if you have to explain the reasoning behind your branding philosophy, it probably isn't good. I look at this and think: Wow, they didn't pay attention.

I don't know, did someone's graphically "adept" grandchild design this one?

On Jun.16.2006 at 02:36 PM
Ryan Peterson’s comment is:

ReLIANCe: this is "uGlY" with a capital G and Y

Phoenix: I like this, although it does look a little like a pigeon on fire then the mythical phoenix, its tons better then before.

Baltimore: Kudos on getting the city to agree on this a-typical branding approach... and for getting rid of that crazy-assed blue gradation. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm hungry for dinosaur.

On Jun.16.2006 at 02:45 PM
Bone’s comment is:

Baltimore: Weak. Could easily be Seattle. Let's see.. seafood, seagulls, boating, Mariners (baseball cap), Jimi Hendrix Experience (guitar), Burke Museum of Natural History (dinosaur), coffee, beer... shopping... seriously?

The tag typography is a terrible choice for contrast. And that broadcast spot on the site is embarrassing - and I'm not from Baltimore.

>Was it a smart investment to spend $500,000 on Baltimore's brand positioning?

They got their math wrong in the FAQ - $500K is 0.0167% of $3.0B not .00167% as stated. That would equal $50K. Gross misrepresentation of numbers or typo? I hope for the latter.

Phoenix: No comment.

Reliance: Example of 90% of in-house work out there.

On Jun.16.2006 at 03:05 PM
Rob’s comment is:

The price tag for the Baltimore campaign is 500,000.00 (US). I don't believe any of it was from our extremely high property taxes but revenue generated by our those of you visiting our hard-to-find-a-room hotels.

As for the campaign, as a designer living in Baltimore, I'm dumbfounded. I just don't get it. The icons don't really speak about Baltimore specifically and the tag line lacks a certain level of sophistication that I think the city should push.

Even more bizarre have been the "Teletubby" like characters whose costumes are supposed to represent the logo/campaign yet other than color have nothing in common. Also, they aren't allowed to speak so asking them what they were only got me a finger pointing to the logo.

As it goes, if tourism goes up they'll be considered successful and if it goes down, then what's next is anyone's best guess.

Phoenix works for me. Seems less 'tense' than their old mark. Not sure how I feel about the positioning of the bird. Kind of feel like it could be a bit closer.

Reliance makes sense. One name/company makes more sense then five. Not a fan of the 3-D thing though. And before now, had never heard of Anil Ambani.

On Jun.16.2006 at 03:53 PM
Jason L.’s comment is:

Fair Enough

Fair Enough

What in the?...

Landor hasn't delivered the wow on anything in a while. YWCA at least shows a real idea, but otherwise...

Post Script
Perhaps my group is an exception to the rule but don't knock in-house until you try it.

On Jun.16.2006 at 04:26 PM
Keith McCord’s comment is:

As a graphic designer who studied said art form in the aforementioned city I am blown away by the lack of "Charm" (to use a local term) this logo emits. As previously noted, the logo could be any city. Even the colors don't relate to Baltimore! Granted the old logo was...well, terrible, at least it had character. And that is the type of city "B-more"(a term I think they might have considered instead of "Get in on it"???) is, one with character. This logo just has no personality.

I think the most disturbing thing is the quote that goes with it: people don't buy logos. Just another example of how people view what we do.

Too reliant (bad pun?) on that A for visual draw. It also is a huge exercise in self-love (think Anil Ambani) I'm not really phased by the 3-D nature, it could be much worse...

Hi Glen!

On Jun.16.2006 at 04:36 PM
cweese’s comment is:

I've neve been to Baltimore, so I'm not sure I can comment on the re-design... but the old logo seems to have more character, and the new tagline doesn't interest me as a tourist. 'Get in on it' seems to be trying to take over 'Baltimore'.

I love the new Phoenix logo. I think it's fresh (compared to the old one) and elegant... pigeon is a workable compromise between corporate and fairy-tale.

Reliance... uh... no comment.

On Jun.16.2006 at 06:09 PM
Andrew’s comment is:

Baltimore - At first liked this, it wasn't that bad but then I studied it. You could really drop in any city and it could work, so that doesn't say much for what makes Baltimore special, going off of the logo's direction alone. Where's the John Waters icon? If there was a flamingo in there, at least we would know that it really WAS Baltimore.

Phoenix - This is quite nice, I just keep focusing on the gap between the icon and the logotype.

I am not even going to comment on Reliance... that's just insulting our intelligence.

On Jun.16.2006 at 08:09 PM
Neha Mehta’s comment is:

This is really interesting...I'm a graphic designer living in Bombay…and was repulsed by the reliance logo since I first looked at it. Than I found out Landor had a part to play in it. Having read all the other comments about the logo it made me wonder if a company sitting in America would know the intricacies about the culture and design aesthetics of a company in India?

On Jun.17.2006 at 03:53 AM
Unnikrishna Menon Damodaran’s comment is:

Before making any sort of comments i would say i would like to see the brief. Well that is not possible unless, David could provide it.

So that we have a measuring device. but for now this is my opinion.

Baltimore: Colour Clipart

Phoenix: yes it is a Flying bird

Reliance: Shining metallic tooth paste.
In-house creatives and Landor tried their best to please Mr.Anil Ambani -by giving double "A". Well done!! Design to please or Please to Design!!!

I do not remember how many times i have seen this double layer style.

Having read all the other comments about the logo it made me wonder if a company sitting in America would know the intricacies about the culture and design aesthetics of a company in India?
Hi Neha, I am not in US. I am an Indian currently making a living in Saudi Arabia.
Reliance's new logo neither showing any Indian culture nor any design aesthetics apart from using a Photoshop filter.

On Jun.17.2006 at 05:14 AM
jw’s comment is:

the Baltimore logo is pretty boring and as mentioned by others, resembles clip art and could represent almost any other city in the US.

I would love to have seen how many round of revisions this went through before it got here, I am sure it wasn't Landor but city officials who made this look like mall/zoo/amusement park signage...

On Jun.17.2006 at 06:03 AM
Lucian Marin’s comment is:

Anybody saw the new brand for Altex made by Landor?
It's the first logo on this page, the second is the old one.

On Jun.17.2006 at 07:34 PM
Chris Dixon’s comment is:

Having read all the other comments about the logo it made me wonder if a company sitting in America would know the intricacies about the culture and design aesthetics of a company in India?

Reminds me of the “Got Milk” advertising campaign that was such a hit in the US that they (the client) decided to recreate it, lock, stock and barrel in Mexico... where more than half the population is lactose intolerant.

Just goes to show that, despite McDonalds, Coca-Cola et al, we aren’t totally (pardon the pun) homogenised yet.

On Jun.18.2006 at 08:03 PM
cookie’s comment is:

Does anyone know which particular Landor office did Reliance?
Some of their offices are better than others.

Reliance looks like the kind of work that packaging-specific people do on IDs

On Jun.19.2006 at 08:21 AM
tkd’s comment is:

In response to Rob's comment: I wondered the same thing when I saw the photos of the teletubby people. Very bizarre and no idea how this is supposed to connect with the rest of the campaign. I'd love to know the reasoning behind that part of it.

On Jun.19.2006 at 10:48 AM
TF’s comment is:

Ok...hear is my $.02...or maybe less.

1. The Baltimore logo: would it not have been wise to utilize the design skills of some of local Baltimore design firms? They should have a better grasp on the history/feel of the town. Or, maybe they could have pooled some of the skills from MICA. I guess they thought they would be able to utilize the icon separatedly to get more mileage out of their $500K.

2. I agree it looks better than the original logo. Phoenix needed a face lift, but there is something weird about the spacing, and the bird really looks like a dove. I agree with the majority of the comments posted previously....this logo is nothing new.

3. wow. This is the type of stuff that hurts my heart. I would volunteer to re-deign their logo for free.

On Jun.19.2006 at 12:40 PM
Keith McCord’s comment is:

The city of Baltimore barely even knows that MICA exists...

On Jun.19.2006 at 03:54 PM
lst’s comment is:

being a baltimoron myself, i can say this...

what the hell does the dinosaur have to do with charm city?

could the spaces between the words be any larger?

and does anyone else read "get it on" instead of "get in on it?" i can't help it. somehow, that seems more appropriate, too, considering Baltimore has the oldest continuously running red light district in the US.

On Jun.19.2006 at 07:41 PM
Keith McCord’s comment is:

lst - couldn't agree with you more...

(btw - the dinosaur is in reference to the Science Center)

On Jun.20.2006 at 12:42 PM
Von Glitschka’s comment is:

I just realized reading through this post that the tagline for the Baltimore mark is NOT "Get it on." it's "Get in on it." That is too funny. I like the design the 'Mug', 'Crab', 'Ice Cream' and the 'Sailboat' are kind of weak illustrative wise though.

Phoenix looks like a Seal on fire. The bird looks more like a dove skidding on the ground as if his landing gear didn't come down and flames are sparking up around him.

Reliance is a nice example of Photoshop layer effects.

Did Landor really do all of these?

On Jun.21.2006 at 04:51 AM
Pesky Illustrator’s comment is:

Hate to disillusion you, but I think NEW ORLEANS had the oldest infamous red light district in the US. (Storyville was just the government-santioned district and that was kind of late in it's history.) Not that it's something to be proud of.

This has nothing to do with logos, of course. Though at one time, I heard that branding with the Fleur de Lis for runaway slaves and prostitution was common early on.

Baltimore ought to try that logo again.....it's a good city. Maybe rather than let Landor do it, have some local designer do it.

On Jun.21.2006 at 09:00 PM
trs’s comment is:

baltimore = "well, i didn't finish the logo because adobe illustrator 8.0 just crashed again and my Dover clip-art cd is scratched"

phoenix = burning bird flu & sickly, withering word ... post-apocalypticism

reliance = lou's tri-state air conditioner repair

On Jun.22.2006 at 12:06 AM
Mark’s comment is:

Baltimore: text is good but the rest is um.... clip art-y

Phoenix: not bad but the white negative space between the feathers is messing the whole bird up

Reliance: um last time I checked the year wasn't 1995 so why is this company going back using mid 90's graphic techniques???

On Jul.23.2006 at 01:47 PM
Doug B’s comment is:

Getting in a little late on this, but just came across this and felt compelled to respond to the Baltimore logo. Seems like another case of a "logo factory" pushing their BS on an awestruck client. I mean, you're paying top dollar for this agency. To admit you're getting crap would be a reflection on your own gullibility.
Anyway, about the logo. I'm not sure about this trend to throw the kitchen sink into a logo. It could have it's place in the right circumstances, but generally this smacks of laziness. Why waste time with thoughtful analysis and exploration when you can throw a mess of clip art in there and hope something in there sticks. That said, if you're going to take this approach, at least infuse it with some originality and life. The images in the jumble are cold and lifeless. Why not give them some personality and create a more fun carnival feel. All of the images are upright and have very little visual linkage. Also, why limit yourself to 3 colors?

Oh, and we can't figure out how to relate the graphic to the type. Let's just plunk it down on top. That usually works for us.

This logo is more like a campaign, It is already dated and does nothing to reflect the character of the city. As a previous post noted, it is better suited to a mall.

On Apr.15.2007 at 01:06 PM
Ryan’s comment is:

Baltimore: House Industries clip art from Chalet. I guess they are royalty free, but would have been nice if they were more custom.
oh well.

On Aug.19.2007 at 05:44 PM