Responsive Logo Design: Can You Recognize These Brands At All Sizes?

As folks who do a lot of responsive design and logo work – usually separately – we love this project by London-based designer Joe Harrison.

3033446-inline-i-coke

Harrison imagines six major corporate logos within a responsive design framework – so, as the user’s browser window shifts, so does the logo itself. Usually responsive design just means shoving text down to fit the window size, or re-stacking design elements on a webpage, but projects like these demonstrate the innate flexibility (and fun) within the concept.

More coverage from Fast Company here.

The Two-Pizza Rule: Why Small Teams Rock

As a small group, we take pride in our ability to do great work with big clients. It’s no accident. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos called it the “two pizza rule”: if a team can’t be fed by two pizzas, it’s too big. In “The Science Behind Why Small Teams Work More Productively” over at Entrepreneur Magazine, check out some of the reasons why groups of 4-9 people work most effectively. (Full disclosure: we’re at 8.)

Domains

Google Domains Is Coming. Is It Good Or Bad For The Industry?

Google recently announced it’s getting into the domain business. Is this a good idea, or just one step closer to an internet monopoly? Latest information puts the price point at about $12, including free private registration and the ability to forward email to your Gmail account. If this price point holds true, Google will be in direct competition with companies like GoDaddy — its former partners.

If you’re a big Google supporter than this will be great news! For the rest of the web services industry…

More from Mashable.

Logo Redesign Review: Penguin Random House

PenguinRandomHouse2

Things we like:

  1. Less is more. Faced with the daunting challenge of merging these two major brand marks, it would have been easy to overthink this — or overdesign it. Going with a simple wordmark allowed them to retain certain aspects of brand equity — name, colors — without muddling the matter. Just think — it could have ended up like this:Joe-penguinhaus2 Or this.PENGUIN_HOUSE Or this.  Ranguin-House-logo-1024x872

(Credit: Digital Book World)

2. Color. A huge piece of what allows the simple wordmark above to work so well is a bold choice in color: choosing to go all-in on Penguin orange and black. It’s unquestionably the strongest brand asset, as far as colors go, between Penguin and Random House (and all their sub-brands).

PenguinRandomHouse

3. Font. Nice font choice. Subtle, sophisticated, literary, just a little bit quirky.

4. This video introduction.

Penguin Random House from Pentagram on Vimeo.

Overall: Well done, Penguin Random House. It’ll only be slightly awkward to say for the next few years. (Anyone for Random Penguin House? Anyone?)

Rebrand Review: Hootsuite, Penguin Random House, McDonald’s

hootsuitevintage interior with brick wall PenguinRandomHouse

High level rebranding work is some of our bread and butter. We’re immersed in that process daily, with a number of clients — so we like to keep track of what else is going on in the industry. From visual to messaging, market analysis to creative — who’s doing what? And where’s the really great work?

Here are three big companies that just announced some major tweaks to their brands: Hootsuite, which went way simpler on color (to emphasize their growing maturity); Penguin and Random House, who had to solve the difficult question of a brand merger (how to preserve the brand equity of each?); and the iconic Ronald McDonald (did McDonald’s miss an opportunity, here?)

Later in the week, we’ll review these rebranding efforts in a little more detail. Stay tuned!

Everdream Hits This Immigrant Heritage Month Spot Just Right.

We wanted to share this brilliant 90 second spot, from Welcome.us‘s campaign to kick off the inaugural Immigrant Heritage Month. (How did we not have one of these already?)

Awesome, simple concept; great writing; perfect execution. Kudos to the EVERDREAM, the digital studio behind it. Small agencies for the win.

More from Fast Company here.

Tagline Review: “Be Your Way” (Burger King)

After 40 years of “Have It Your Way,” Burger King has changed its slogan.

Be-Your-Way-BK 

At first glance, the move from “Have It” to “Be” seems fairly innocuous: it allows Burger King to go in a new direction, while still holding onto the brand equity from its old slogan. But it’s actually a substantial shift: away from the world of literal cheeseburgers (hold the pickles!) and into the more hazy realms of modern identity.

Affirm your unique individuality! Through our burger!

We’re holding out judgment on this one.

Tagline Review: “It Is What It Isn’t” (Maker’s Mark)

As far as taglines go, there’s a deserved premium on clever. The best taglines express the ethos of their company sideways — sparking that flicker of recognition that comes in the gap between perception and understanding.

But what about when a tagline goes too clever?

We think this campaign by Maker’s Mark may be guilty of the latter.

To see if any tagline is effective, we need to examine: what’s the messaging it’s embodying?

Let’s assume Maker’s Mark was going for something like: Maker’s Mark is a no-frills whiskey that sets itself apart from its peers. It doesn’t need to try. It’s just its own unique thing.

Is this what these ads deliver? Or does it end up feeling more like: Maker’s Mark is a whiskey that has bland pretensions to uniqueness, and is actually just another big market whiskey trying to sell to you.

While these ads must have been fun for their agency — getting to toss around a bunch of rebrands of the famous Maker’s Mark red wax drip, without actually committing to any — the tagline ends up feeling too much in service to the gimmick & glib from which Maker’s is supposedly trying to distinguish themselves. And in another campaign — where the tone is more serious and earnest — the tagline ends up just feeling pretentious.

But hey, we like Maker’s. Maybe they’re just getting the intonation wrong. (It’s your fault, Jimmy Fallon!)