For the world’s biggest businesses, logos serve as the emotional link between the consumer and the brand. What do you think of when you see the infamous Google logo? What do you think about when you see their new future forward logo? To summarize, Google changed their logo to remain relevant in a volatile market that is seeing a shift deeper into mobile browsing. Google’s new logo is substantially smaller (in terms of file size) and scales more appropriately on a variety of screens. What is truly impressive with the creation of the new Google logo is that it was completely created in-house, with Google engineers creating the typeface. However, we are not here to discuss Google’s new logo (which you can read about in a great article by my colleague Megan Connell), but rather, we are going to discuss the much more hotly debating Verizon logo.

There will never be consensus on what exactly makes a great logo. There are too many schools of thought, too many differing opinions, and too many alternatives that always seem just that much better. Verizon is a giant in the telecommunications industry. They are the largest U.S. wireless carrier by subscribers, and offer a number of other solutions. Verizon also demonstrated their desire to move into mass media with their $4.4 billion purchase of AOL, Inc. While Verizon typically ranks highly as a wireless provider, many consumers have a negative opinion of the wireless industry, and find some pricing and practices to be deceptive. So how does a logo communicate that Verizon recognizes their shortcomings and wants to make a change?
According to Inc., a designer should consider four qualities when creating an excellent logo. While this is not an exhaustive list, it provides a summary of considerations for use in design. The first quality is “make it unique,” followed by “make it adaptable,” then “make it timeless,” and finally, “make it appropriate.” As mentioned prior, a variety of design opinions make it near impossible to judge just how good (or bad) a logo is. However, sometimes, logos do such a poor job representing their customers and the business in general, that they are acknowledged as lacking. The launches of logos from Yahoo!, Gap, and Penn State are contemporary examples where the shift did not embody the brand. With that in mind, enter the new Verizon logo.

Left: Logo 2000-2015 Right:2015-
What do you think? Diego Scotti is the Chief Marketing Officer for Verizon, and commented that the logo’s intended purpose is to communicate simplicity, reliability, and customer focus. Michael Beirut, a partner and designer at Pentgram (the shop responsible for the logo) said that the new logo was easily replicable, and will accompany a new initiative by Verizon to adjust their tone. A video featuring Scotti accompanied the launch of the new logo, where he discusses how this logo will embody the Verizon spirit. While this video may not impress engineers and designers, it does an excellent job at appealing to the average customer, the individual that Verizon interacts with most frequently.

In the rapidly changing telecommunication market, Verizon is the first of the big four North American carriers to make such a drastic change to their logo. Brand strategists and designers may hotly debate the updated logo, but the common consensus is that it represents a step forward for Verizon. The prior logo saw nine variations while in use, representing inconsistency in Verizon’s messaging, and their inability to adapt rapidly to the evolving needs of the market. The new logo is minimal, but maintains what distinguishes Verizon from their competitors. The red checkmark at the end of their logo is the international sign of “all good,” and represents Verizon’s recognition that they are the market leader, which enables them to stray away from graphics to communicate their value. As long as Verizon is able to consolidate their messaging and create a more customer-focused business, the new logo will have served its purpose. While debated now for being “boring,” the new logo will likely have staying power, and act as a recognizable symbol for Verizon’s services.

Considering the volatility in the market and the need to remain competitive, many brands (big and small) should be looking to improve and enhance their branding efforts. The process can be overwhelming, but with the right partners, it can quickly become manageable. Source One is able to assist you with a variety of market needs, from the creative process, to any public relations efforts associated with the design of your new logo. 
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Peter Portanova

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