What The Font!

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Google changed the iconic font on its company logo back in September 2015 and it only took the public a day or so to get over the shock. Sure, there was some outrage and a general demanding of ‘why?’ but overall we’d say everyone adapted pretty quickly.

Now, that’s a darn good typography move. Choosing the right font is crucial for any company, and the likes of Google, KFC and Starbucks simply get it right. They’re successful giants in a world of font fails. Talking of which, here are five typo-flops we simply can’t ignore…

GAP

GAP-1GAP-2

The year? 2010. The sin? GAP rebranding to a logo[1] that looked like it could have been completed in Microsoft Paint. The clothes giant switched from its iconic navy and white logo to a baffling simple design. Don’t get us wrong, simple can be good – but not when it looks like it was put together in minutes. Worryingly, it wasn’t – the rebranding cost GAP $100 million – ouch! Thankfully, the design only showed its face for six days before the company promptly reverted back to the logo we know and love. Perhaps they should have shown it to a focus group first.

Holiday Inn[2]

HolidayInn-1HolidayInn-2

Okay, so this isn’t the biggest fail we’ve seen but it’s not a logo to be proud of. The Holiday Inn motif was given a typography refresh by an in-house team, costing the company an estimated $1 billion. Needless to say, the font is seemingly dull and uninspiring. In fact, it looks almost as dated as the original set-up. The lesson to be learned here? Have a bit of fun at least.

KRAFT

Kraft-1Kraft-2

KRAFT[3], like GAP, realised the error of its ways pretty quickly with this one. After just a few months of having an entirely new, complete mish-mash of a logo, the company changed back to its iconic, bold design that is so synonymous with the brand in the US. Did we mention it looks a little bit like Comic Sans? It’s a no from us.

AOL

AOL-1AOL-2

When a brand changes its logo[4] to not only that not only looks different, but completely confuses its pronunciation, you know you’re in for a rough ride. When AOL changed to Aol., it had to be questioned – how on earth do we pronounce this reincarnation? Spoken word aside, the logo uses Helvetica, which is always a winner but pretty overdone. What do you think of the transformation?

Animal Planet

AnimalPlanet-1AnimalPlanet-2

Every letter is a different size, the colour green enjoys various shades, there’s a giant M lying on its side for no apparent reason… these are just a few things that baffle us about the latest Animal Planet logo[5]. This rebrand lost its entire identity – and an identity that was actually pretty successful beforehand.

 

So what can we learn from this world of sad, sad fonts? Basically, typography mistakes are dangerous for brands. Learn a lesson or two from these errors and understand what makes a good font. And, sometimes, things are better left alone. It’s better than throwing millions of pounds down the drain, right?

Do you know your fonts? Why not test your skills with our quiz and get the chance to win a fantastic £50 typography book bundle.

References:

[1]  http://www.canny-creative.com/2013/10/10-rebranding-failures-how-much-they-cost/

[2]  http://www.canny-creative.com/2013/10/10-rebranding-failures-how-much-they-cost/

[3] http://www.fastprint.co.uk/blog/15-of-the-worst-corporate-rebrands-ever.html

[4] http://betanews.com/2009/11/23/aol-s-decision-to-rebrand-as-aol-takes-a-bad-brand-and-makes-it-worse/

[5] http://www.fastprint.co.uk/blog/15-of-the-worst-corporate-rebrands-ever.html

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