Tuesday, August 20, 2013


VERIZON LOGO (not exactly) Redesign

Update September 2015

After much analysis and speculation as to the meaning/intent of the CHECK/V mark in my original post from approximately 2 years ago, Verizon has launched a new brand. It is basically "the same as the old brand." This amounts to an incredible amount of money spent with expensive firms: Pentagram/design, Siegel+Gale/implementation, and others, to basically generate a typographic "tweak," and for the company to finally commit to the check mark being a check mark.

In the end amounting to a not very convincing, weak "re-brand." 

The Check element, which was broadly "overplayed" in it's original and confusing application, now feels an afterthought, or carry-over. It is at its very least indicative of a "choice." So that much was accomplished. But in a juxtaposition that reeks of "design by committee," it is not an active player in the design whole, so much as a superscript notation in an invisible box. 

Visibility and readability have improved as the revised and finessed font steps away from italic, and thankfully eliminates the inconsequential Z object. With nothing much else to work on/with I daresay the lowercase text was tweaked well and with precision. But as the implementation begins to take place. Usage on colored backgrounds makes the red Check often disappear.

The brand footprint is no longer a sprawling mess, with multiple production and layout versions needed, so I suppose Michael Bierut can console himself on that front, and S+G will have an easier job. But the "check" remains an abysmal failure as it feels like a vague afterthought in weight,application and placement.



In a follow-up to my last telephony post, let us now visit one of the weakest and convoluted telecom brands in the U.S.— Verizon. Could someone please tell me the origins of this wonky mash up? Or what the hell it means?

                                                            VERIEST      ZONE
                                                            VERACITY   HORIZON
Do they even know? Did they simply drink the Kool-Aid that some agency sold them? Since the Z is red in the tag, the implication is that it indicates a break or division. So is it simply: VERI-ON, which could be read as one (black) slogan and the Z means nothing? Or is the Z just a decorative zig zag, or a reference to napping? 

Then there is the confusing top element also in red: a decorative/redundant V for Verizon and/or a stylized check mark? 

There has always been just too much going on here. What is the point of having two different focal points?


The other trouble these two fighting components created was to make the whole lock-up not very compact. To exacerbate the issue they created a alt. horizontal layout with the check mark hanging off the left side creating a cumbersome layout in both renditions.

From a production standpoint, the fades/gradations at the two ends of the Check and the one end of the Z tail created problems from the start. First, they were not effectively rendered to fade the graphic to a white background. The end edges can still clearly be seen. Second, the reverse rendition and screen printing conceits were never considered. Despite the seen edges, the effect is fairly convincing against a white background. But the designers did not effectively fade the red ends to transparent, they faded them to white!

So that when the same art was applied to a dark background it did not fade (to black), 
and the gradation effect was lost.

When there was an attempt to remedy this, instead of recreating art for this application, it was just dodged and botched, merely making the ends appear dirty, thereby ruining the effect.

This in turn created challenges for third party vendors, who often hadn't the space to accommodate all the who-ha and (in this sample) eliminated the Check entirely and didn't attempt to recreate the gradation either. Consistencies of brand cannot be realized.

There are indications of a thinning of the V checkmark, or perhaps there was just more than one version.

Eventually someone cried uncle and a half-assed solution was applied to more recent versions of the brand whereby the fade was eliminated and the ends merely come to a narrowing point. Which simply means that on a national scale ALL of these versions (esp. on signage) will continue to co-exist.

They dumped the 'wireless' tag in 2010 and have been running as just Verizon ever since.

The 2010 adopted slogan: Rule The Air! finally killed the "Can you hear me now" guy.

In an interesting bit of irony, a broadcast/web ad I saw just last week, which has customers talking about their need to switch to Verizon, includes dialog, "I had my reality check when..." along with a footer tag on the bottom left of the screen. Finally at long last making an actual reference/exploiting the V/checkmark. I guess THEY have now officially said: yes, it's a checkmark. Who knew?


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