World Trade Center's $3.57 Million Branding Has an Impossible Job

Yesterday, a new logo appeared on fencing around World Trade Center construction site. To design it, developers hired one of the world's top agencies to try to create branding that's never going to be sufficient. The very expensive and almost impossible task of creating a symbol to represent a space that will always… » 8/14/14 4:48pm 8/14/14 4:48pm

The New Branding For Rio 2016 Looks Like a Very Friendly Amoeba

Hundreds of thousands of people attend the Olympics, and millions more watch them. So there's a lot riding on the way a city presents them, from advertising to stadiums. Rio just revealed what its 2016 Games will look like, and they've done a great job—not just because no enterprising internet perv has compared it to… » 8/06/14 12:37pm 8/06/14 12:37pm

RIP Massimo Vignelli: The Iconic Designer Who Shaped a Century

We'd known that legendary designer Massimo Vignelli was sick: His son issued a plea to designers who were influenced by him to send him a letter, which surely flooded his home with well-designed well-wishes over the past few weeks. This morning, Vignelli passed away at the age of 83. Here, we've collected a handful of… » 5/27/14 2:19pm 5/27/14 2:19pm

The US Army Guide That Teaches Soldiers To Recognize Terrorist Logos

Modern warfare is defined by ambiguity—and with it, soldiers (and training) have had to adapt. Posted online this week, a U.S. Army document guides soldiers through the rigors of recognizing terrorist and insurgent groups in the wild. Not through weaponry or language, but through branding. » 9/27/13 4:40pm 9/27/13 4:40pm

6 Cities and States Reinventing Themselves Through Branding

Is it possible to distill the character of a city into a single, striking logo? In some ways it seems crass to (re)brand a place, reducing the complexity of a locale into to what is, essentially, a marketing campaign. Done well, however, the efforts can unite locals and lure leisure travelers, who bring with them a… » 9/17/13 9:00am 9/17/13 9:00am

Are Any of These 29 Decoy Yahoo! Logos Better Than the Original?

Tonight, at midnight Eastern Standard Time, Yahoo! will unveil its new logo. If you're confused—yes, Yahoo! has been "unveiling a new logo" (read: comic sans rendering of Yahoo!) at midnight for the past 29 days. It's all part of an unusual plan to evade the virulent public backlash that has haunted many recent… » 9/04/13 9:20am 9/04/13 9:20am

A Guide to the Fascinating Secret Language of Cattle Branding

The concept of cattle branding may make some people squeamish, but the ancient practice is one of the main factors keeping the world's cattle trade from falling into chaos. Of course, cattle rustlers snatching your steers was more of a problem in the mid-1800's, but there's still no better way of keeping your stock… » 6/26/13 11:43am 6/26/13 11:43am

How One of the World’s Most Recognizable Band Logos Got Its Shape

The Black Flag logo is sort of like the Coca-Cola script: it’s been subverted and remixed so many times, it’s become bigger than its original intended use. Now, thanks to a mini-documentary produced by Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art, we know the fascinating story behind the creation of the iconic mark—which,… » 6/14/13 12:20pm 6/14/13 12:20pm

The Age of the Anti-Logo: Why Museums Are Shedding Their Idenities

Designing a museum logo used to be a simple. Maybe you chose the outline of the building facade. Or a staid serif logotype. Or hell, just the heraldic seal of whatever aristocrat was underwriting the whole operation. But in an era of faltering endowments and fickle audiences, many museums are turning to high-concept… » 6/03/13 2:04pm 6/03/13 2:04pm

What M&M, A&W, and Dozens of Other Acronyms and Initialisms Really Mean

As small businesses grow into large corporations that have to deal with mergers and hostile takeovers, their identities and branding similarly grow, evolve, and often end up being a mish-mash of various names which are then shrunk into acronyms and initialisms to make them easier to remember. A similar thing is done… » 4/24/13 4:20pm 4/24/13 4:20pm

The Logos of Terrorist Organizations Predictably Love Using Guns

In a book called Branding Terror, Francesco Trivini Bellini and former United Nations counter-terrorism analyst Artur Beifuss compiled the logos and brand identities of terrorist organizations "from al-Qaeda to the Real IRA" and analyzed them as they would any logo. It's fascinating to approach the identity of the… » 4/22/13 10:30pm 4/22/13 10:30pm