The recent unveiling of the at&t (sort of) new logo created quite a buzz online and not only. And it doesn’t look to be a very good one as the opininons are spreading from whatever to it sucks. I have to admit I tend to agree with the last. I don’t like it.
It’s just a basic example of what I talked about in my previous post: re-branding with no particular reason. Challanging customers, just to see if they can follow your periodic rebranding efforts.
Short history: last year Cingular snapped up AT&T Wireless, which had been spun off from AT&T in 2001. They then spent the better part of the past year spending tons of time and money trying to eliminate the AT&T Wireless brand and integrate its network, subscribers, and services into Cingular. The integration is pretty much done, but now they’re going to go through all that again, except in reverse, which means that some of you out there will go from being AT&T Wireless subcribers, to Cingular subscribers, only to become AT&T Wireless subscribers all over again.
I bet they needed a pricy branding agency advicing them into this strategy (rumors say Interbrand).
Well as this wasn’t enough, while the AT&T old name was (and I agree) a valuable one, the old logo wasn’t “trendy” anymore. So the agency put up a memo convincing the AT&T guys that the old logo needs a re-work, “aimed at freshening up the brand”. The globe is getting a third transparent dimension. Capitals are turned to lowercases, having it’s more trendy and modern as an argument:
Lowercase type is now used for the “AT&T” characters because it projects a more welcoming and accessible image.
Well I tend to agree more with Russel on this one:
Lowercase is a horrible choice, though I’m sure some branding company out there sold the choice as adding a “new, youthful” appearance or something (a perfect choice for the name’s 110 year history). Secondly, the fact it’s not bold makes the letters themselves less of a logomark, so now you *need* to have the globe-thing next to the letters or you lose the whole branding.
at&t brand center
Evolutionary chart of logo (PDF)
New logo formats
Tag: logo, rebranding, re-branding