End of Year List

The Best and Worst Identities of 2013, Part 5: Most Liked Friday Likes

Here are the 12 most liked individual projects from Friday Likes based solely on the percentage achieved through the polls. No commentary provided on this one.

Also:
Part 1, The Best Reviewed
Part 2, The Worst Reviewed
Part 3, The Best Noted
Part 4, The Worst Noted

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Likeability (509)

75%

20%

15%

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Likeability (274)

76%

23%

1%

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Likeability (484)

76%

20%

4%

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Likeability (765)

79%

18%

3%

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Likeability (548)

81%

15%

4%

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Likeability (354)

82%

16%

2%

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Likeability (440)

83%

14%

3%

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Likeability (438)

83%

15%

2%

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Likeability (713)

85%

14%

1%

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Likeability (737)

85%

14%

1%

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Likeability (1,047)

86%

11%

3%

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Likeability (323)

87%

11%

2%

Many thanks to our ADVx3 Partners



Brand New

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End of Year List

The Best and Worst Identities of 2013, Part 4: The Worst Noted

Here are the 12 worst identities of 2013 from the Noted section of Brand New. Minimal commentary added to each selection.

Also:
Part 1, The Best Reviewed
Part 2, The Worst Reviewed
Part 3, The Best Noted

An originally uninspired icon poorly redesigned accompanied by some equally bad customized Helvetica.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Execution (484)

3%

20%

77%

Very weird letterforms that could be for anything, like Cat Management Alliance or Computers Made in America or Corrupt Maudlin Albanians or, you know, Country Music Association.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Execution (359)

2%

17%

81%

The beginning of the end for the NBC peacock logo and the typography ain’t nothing to rave about.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Execution (217)

10%

33%

57%

For some reason this got some support from voters and commenters but the clip-art-looking collection of icons and middling typography are nothing to be fine about.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Execution (345)

30%

44%

26%

From the lowercase sans serif typography to the exploding volcano squares, there is nothing harmonic about this one.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Execution (426)

10%

29%

61%

Smooshed-up typography is rarely a good idea and this is no exception. I called it “abonimable” in the original review and some people thought I was being too harsh. Upon further reflection I can confirm this is certified abonimable typography.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Execution (342)

9%

33%

58%

This logo just doesn’t make any sense, it’s not pleasant to look at, and the last thing I would think it would be for it would be a bookstore.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Execution (318)

4%

19%

77%

High-level concept this is not. But at least we know what they sell: really tight glasses that will crush the bridge of your nose.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Execution (477)

21%

41%

38%

By now, we know not to expect much from government-realated logo design but this one reaches a new low not just in execution but in process where a bunch of different designers and firms worked on it like a game of hot potato.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Execution (425)

4%

13%

83%

In terms of straight-up evolutions, this is the worst of the year no doubt. The Before was a solid logo with good typography. The new icon’s chrome-itization and the faux small caps typography are too crass.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Execution (820)

1%

5%

94%

The only thing I don’t understand is why they didn’t put a gradient in the star. Clearly they had no reservations in putting one in every single character. So terrible.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Execution (638)

2%

2%

96%

For the better part of seven years, since we launched Brand New, me and a handful of watchful and concerned readers have encouraged constructive criticism in the comments and a modestly developed and well-formed opinion of why something works or doesn’t work but sometimes there is no need as is the case here so, yes: this logo sucks.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Execution (608)

2%

5%

93%

Many thanks to our ADVx3 Partners



Brand New

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End of Year List

The Best and Worst Identities of 2013, Part 3: The Best Noted

Here are the 12 best identities of 2013 from the Noted section of Brand New. Minimal commentary added to each selection.

Also:
Part 1, The Best Reviewed
Part 2, The Worst Reviewed

An unexpected and enjoyable use of clean laundry.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Execution (557)

72%

20%

8%

Fun, custom script paired with flame-decorated bus illustration makes for good, strong coffee (brand).

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Execution (350)

68%

26%

6%

I love a good facelift and every move on this wordmark is perfectly calibrated. The simplified horse also provides solid traction.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Execution (516)

51%

41%

8%

This one had some detractors in the comments but pound-for-pound it was one of the best improvements of the year when compared to the Before and within the context of mass-market retail software.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Execution (336)

30%

48%

22%

A very friendly and pop-y logo redesign with an energetic system around it.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Execution (571)

61%

31%

8%

An interesting take on the flexible identity trope.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Execution (380)

43%

35%

22%

Great, relevant monogram and all-around solid typography.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Execution (347)

66%

26%

8%

Bone-swinging, mean-growling Chihuahua? A homerun.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Execution (273)

53%

30%

17%

One of the nicest textural and shaded identities in a while.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Execution (321)

70%

25%

5%

Best placement of ™ ever.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Execution (787)

74%

20%

6%

A great icon symbolizing the two thirds of the world’s population without internet and lovely, simple typography that literally spells out what the organization is about.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Execution (252)

50%

39%

11%

Clever idea, perfectly executed. As good as it gets.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Execution (433)

72%

21%

7%

Many thanks to our ADVx3 Partners



Brand New

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End of Year List

The Best and Worst Identities of 2013, Part 2: The Worst Reviewed

An interesting thing happened this year as I was parsing our archives to find the worst identities of the year: there weren’t as many as in years past. Usually I have a first selection of 20 to 30 identities to bring down to 12 — this year I only had about 14 to choose from in my first pass. Which doesn’t mean all the work was great but that the amount of large-scale work has, perhaps, gotten better as of recently. Still, some identities did manage to underperform and herewith are the 12 worst identities of 2013 from the Reviewed section of Brand New.

It’s not necessarily fair to put Emily Oberman’s work as one of the worst identities of the year since she was, in fact, simply following (on purpose) the trends and tropes of big pharma and brand name prescription drugs to create the identity for Ablixa, a fictional drug that plays a pivotal role in Steven Soderbergh’s Side Effects. Evil typography, a faceless abstract human figure, and a burst of faux health make for a very convincing vacuous identity.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Logo (1,087)

22%

31%

47%

On Packaging (1,044)

18%

29%

53%

On TV Spot (757)

21%

31%

47%

In a rare misstep for Wolff Olins — because even when their work is not warmly embraced they are still always trying to attempt something different and unique — theis generic globe icon and cheap-looking rotary telephone coil device in the identity are too underdeveloped and trite.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Icon (2,083)

6%

26%

66%

On Typography (2,052)

10%

40%

50%

On Application (2,046)

7%

23%

70%

Inflated wordmark notwithstanding, the Iberia redesign wasn’t of the offensive kind; it just didn’t offer anything relevant or imaginative. A rendition of an airplane’s tail in the colors of the Spanish flag is as exciting as having the seat at the rear of an airplane next to the lavatories. Also: weird, inflated wordmark.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Icon (716)

18%

48%

34%

On Sub-icons (738)

15%

35%

50%

On Typography (654)

20%

56%

24%

The Commonwealth Games have never been known as beacons of great identity design but this last attempt strives for far too much energy and dynamism in a single overwrought graphic. The early merchandise options serve as examples of what a bad color palette is and what colors don’t work well together.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Icon (803)

19%

34%

47%

On Typography (791)

16%

42%

42%

Coming back to see the logo after five months I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not that bad. There is still a strange lack of proportion between the “R” and its encasing circle but it’s nothing harmful. However, Radioshack made it to the list mostly because of its use of a shit brown color. No one — designer or client — should look at that color and go “Yes, that’s the one!”.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Logo (1,121)

8%

42%

50%

On Colors (1,165)

4%

21%

75%

On Store (1,010)

14%

56%

30%

Luckily this redesign is contained in Germany, where they have smoked away a truly iconic logo in exchange for a fussy, overdesigned seal that attempts to revive a vintage logo from Lucky Strike’s history only to fall remarkably short.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Logo (2,354)

10%

21%

69%

On Packaging (2,296)

16%

36%

48%

A solid concept — you’ll have to read the original post — foiled by a weak execution in the livery and an astonishingly bad and irrelevantly extended wordmark.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Concept (913)

53%

34%

13%

On Logo (945)

7%

26%

67%

On Livery (923)

33%

37%

30%

Most voters were more forgiving than I was, giving this logo and identity a majority of “Fine” votes but there is nothing redeeming about it. From the clunky attempt at a door to the default-looking typography to the been-there-done-that use of logo-as-window it doesn’t amount to a very tempting destination or even Cato Partners’ usual quality of work.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Icon (1,405)

29%

31%

40%

On Typography (1,365)

12%

44%

44%

On Application (1,385)

34%

36%

30%

A completely unnecessary redesign of a brand that could produce journals made out of toilet paper and people would still buy them. The old Copperplate Gothic wordmark — although far from interesting — didn’t attempt to carry its own voice. Now, the new wordmark tries to call more attention to itself and the addition of the 9-block icon is distracting and poorly managed.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Icon (2,082)

6%

27%

67%

On Typography (2,051)

10%

40%

50%

On Application (2,045)

7%

23%

70%

In my original review and while writing this I don’t feel the logo is as bad as most people made it out to be. As far as wordmarks go it’s readable, it’s bouncy, and it’s not screwed up. The main problem, and why Yahoo lands so high in the Worst list, was the built-up anticipation and 30-day stunt that culminated in an exceptionally disappointing change that didn’t move the brand forward or backward or even sideways, it was just a change of costume for no evident reason.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Thirty Days of Change Stunt (3,082)

18%

44%

38%

On Logo (3,303)

2%

19%

79%

It’s sometimes hard to distinguish between good minimalism and bad minimalism in logo design. This, rest assured, is the bad kind with a poorly resolved “EY” monogram that is unclear whether it should be read as “E, period. Y, period.” or as a rhyme of “Hey” and a yellow beam that just shoots out with barely any relation to the monogram. It’s just plain boring.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Monogram (1,099)

7%

29%

64%

On Beam (1,157)

8%

35%

57%

On EY Name (1,116)

6%

25%

69%

JCPenney lands the top spot this year not because the new-slash-old logo is bad — it’s not and neither is it any good — but because in a span of two years, JCPenney has mismanaged its logo and brand to the point of having to issue 30-second televised apologies while confusing consumers and spending money on poorly concocted schemes of signaling positive change through logo changes, starting with the idiotic and offensive 200-logo bake-off of 2011. Time to get your shit together JCPenney, because even this return to the old logo isn’t the right move to stay relevant.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Return to 2011 Logo (1,314)

22%

38%

40%

Many thanks to our ADVx3 Partners



Brand New

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End of Year List

The Best and Worst Identities of 2013, Part 1: The Best Reviewed

Let’s kick of this holiday week with some positive vibes by celebrating the best 12 identities of 2013 from the Reviewed section of Brand New. The worst will come on Thursday, followed by the best and worst from the Noted section next week, finishing off with Friday Likes’ most liked. No regular posts will be published until January 6.

I realize I am starting off swimming against the current with a logo and identity that were not the most popular when first published but I still think this is a clever logo and idea executed perfectly for the mobile game industry and the legions of addicts who see the logo every time they load Candy Crush. It’s playful, it’s spritely, it’s regal.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Logo (1,036)

51%

30%

19%

On Application (1,012)

34%

45%

21%

Particularly when compared to the old logo, the new one hits a high note from the opening “O” to the closing “A”. What appears to be an unassuming wordmark serves as a practical and good-looking framing device for the materials.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Logo (913)

51%

35%

14%

On Application (921)

83%

14%

3%

Making a pork company look sexy isn’t easy (or maybe it actually is?) and lg2 has given F. Menard a typographically sexy identity that is still all business and swine.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Logos (1,251)

75%

23%

2%

On Application (1,241)

93%

6%

1%

Gorgeous illustrations deployed against good-looking slabs of meat, chunks of chicken, and filets of fish, all in a moody dark blue color palette made Blue Goose one of the best received packaging projects on Brand New with a 92% “Great” vote.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Logo (669)

52%

37%

11%

On Typography (675)

72%

26%

2%

On Packaging (661)

92%

7%

1%

As nice and classic as the Absolut bottle has been over the years, this break from tradition added a burst of visual flavor to an otherwise repetitive formula.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Execution (877)

85%

12%

3%

In the name, logo, typography, and mascot, Indygen was able to capture a genuine rawness perfect for SIM-card-loving young Southeastern Europeans.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Name (386)

46%

41%

13%

On Identity (399)

62%

31%

7%

On Toy (381)

58%

31%

11%

It was remarkable to find such class and reigned-in festiveness in what could have otherwise been a gaudily opulent identity for the largest shrine to consumerism in the good ol’ US of A.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Logo (1,915)

69%

27%

4%

On System (1,874)

82%

16%

2%

By numbers alone, this one should have been in the Worst projects of the year — also given my distaste for Helvetica-based identities — but the stark simplicity and broad flexibility of Whitney’s “W” was the best-in-class for the growing trend of minimalist, black-and-white, museum identities.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Logo (1,778)

24%

25%

51%

On Typography (1,742)

18%

39%

43%

On Application (1,756)

41%

25%

34%

One of the best color palettes of the year helped this deceivingly straightforward logo and typography stand out in a year where many tried to go flat and colorful and mainly just fell flat.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Logo (617)

71%

26%

3%

On Application (618)

89%

10%

1%

For non-profits with tight marketing budgets every brand opportunity and impression counts and with this verbose identity, Cystic Fibrosis Trust is always communicating its message through a flexible and striking system.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Concept (1,024)

79%

17%

4%

On Logo (1,014)

51%

38%

11%

On Application (1,011)

81%

16%

3%

The collage aesthetic had its revival heyday in the late 1990s and we haven’t seen much of it in the last five or seven years with more vintage-retro stylings to be found, particularly in craft brewery identities so it was a refreshing slap in the face to see the aptly named Feral Brewing Company embrace an energetic zine/punk rock vibe.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Logo (545)

50%

43%

7%

On Packaging (554)

87%

10%

3%

On Tone of Voice (489)

84%

13%

3%

This identity was simply too much fun. Something a lot of designers and companies forget to have or choose not to have. RE and Optus also managed to elevate some common identity and brand tropes, from the trend of bold, chunky typography to casual tone of voice to the always perilous introduction of a mascot. Here, the custom wobbly typography, cheeky headlines, and the yellow blob thing all contributed to a fantastically vibrant identity.

Poll Results (Total Votes Cast)

Great

Fine

Bad

On Character (1,314)

76%

19%

5%

On Typography (1,325)

67%

22%

11%

On Application (1,305)

79%

15%

5%

Many thanks to our ADVx3 Partners



Brand New

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