How to tell if your logo design is Lazy

Dario Vaccaro
Sep 3, 2015 · 5 min read
Verizon Logo Compasison New v. Old

Don’t mistake the title as just another rant post. I’m not here to gather the attention of people looking to oppose me. I do want your attention. But this is different.

I want to talk about the events that transpired in the design world this past week; mainly from Verizon and Google. As most of you know, both companies unveiled logos that have been widly panned by critics in the design space.

My sentiment exactly

However, they’re not the same in terms of critisizm. I was an opponent of both marks and have been very vocal on Twitter in the past few days as a result. But with the showing of Verizon’s redesign and their press release, I’ve begun to respect the Google attempt far more. Not because it’s a good design; Because I’m still not entirly sold. But because of the message that was being sent accross in both scenarios.

Now I want to talk about lazy design.

Is Google’s new logo “Lazy?”

To find the answer to this question, let’s see what Google’s official press release on the new identity says.

They say that the mark embodies the qualities that Google is known for.

“simple, uncluttered, colorful, friendly”

I’m not going to debate whether this is truly what Google does best, but if that’s what they wanted to show in their logo, then I think they did a good job.

It’s definitely uncluttered.

It’s simple without-a-doubt

Colorful for sure

And that whole idea of being too childish…well what can be considered friendlier than a typeface that looks like it came straight out of a toystore.

The four qualities that Google wanted to show off in their logo were perfectly recreated, in my opinion, for the final product. That doesn’t mean that it couldn’t be better, or implemented in a different way. It simply means that the whole reason for redesigning this classic logo was accomplished just as it was envisoned.

If you read the Google blog post about it, and ignore any preconceived notions, the logo really is a good fit for their goals. Take a read:

Google Design

So to answer the original question; NO

This isn’t a lazy design. It may not be a great design. Or even a GOOD design. But the purpose behind it’s existence holds up.

Is Verizon’s new logo“Lazy?”

Case number two, Verizon.

We can answer this question again by reading the official press release and identifying a purpose for the logo change.

“Simply put, we deliver the promise of the digital world and we need a logo that expresses our purpose in a way that is truly ours.”

Unfortunately, this statement comes off as corporate jargon. What are they actually saying? So their logo expresses their purpose of a digital world. That’s understandable…

…or it would be if it wasn’t just an over used typeface and a crudely drawn checkmark.

But leaving my personal thoughts aside, we have to use what they said to understand if their design is an act of corporate laziness.

The new brand identity takes the best elements of Verizon’s heritage, represented by its colors and the Verizon “checkmark,” and transforms them for a new era.

The idea here is to use the past representation of the “Verizon Checkmark” and upgrade the design to a more modern, simple look.

However, all they did was slap the red check to the end of a word typed out in Helvetica. There could’ve been so many other ways the checkmark could’ve been incorporated into the typeface of the logo…but it almost looks like it doesn’t belong there.

Why was a checkmark used in the first place?

What happened to the “Z” in the name that had lines attached to indicate “super fast network speeds?”

Now, let’s try to answer the question. Was this design lazy?

By my metrics, YES.

The purpose was to look to the old logo for inspiration. How come the whole “checkmark” design was stuck on the end of the brand name and made to look like it doesn’t belong .

And how was this transformed for the new era? The Helvetica typeface embodies the PAST when all you needed to impress a CEO was to design the logo in Helvetica and say it was “contemporary.”

In my eyes, this is a fatal example of when a company tries to muck up the design process with corporate speak and misunderstanding what design is really about, fulfilling a purpose.

Conclusion

I’m not a huge fan of both of these logos. But just because somebody is not a fan, doesn’t mean they can’t respect something for what it is.

Being lazy is the biggest sin that can be committed when designing something. If the entire purpose for what you are making is just a PR statement and has no reflection on the final work, go back to the drawing board. The good designers of the world will pass you by in a heartbeat.

Bonus

It was retracted because the Gap people got a clue.

I really wanted to point to this image in the writing, but I couldn’t find a way to fit it in. This is one of the greatest examples of laziness. It also follows the same failures of the Verizon mark.

Published in Startups, Wanderlust, and Life Hacking

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Dario Vaccaro

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UI Design | Website Design | Branding

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