Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Friday, August 18, 2017

I have an excellent redesign for you. The instantly recognisable Guinness logo was refreshed in the spring and the designers have done a fine job. I often look at logo changes and that little intransigent part of my brain instantly rejects the alterations. It usually takes 3 or 4 examinations before I make up my mind and quell the boring part of my thinking. The Guinness logo is different – love at first site. It retains all the best features of the original – tradition, Ireland, culture and pride.  

As expected, the company kept their classic harp design. I suspect if Guinness had a fit of madness and did away with it, there would be a rebellion in Ireland.  

Guinness Logo 2005 Revised Guinness logo 2016


Guinness has done a number interesting things: they moved the date onto the harp, where original tradmark was back in 1862 and gave the harp a rich engraved look.  While everyone else has been moving towards minimalized logos, Guinness swam against the tide with this nod to their past.

The second big change that is the font.  Something in the back of the brain says “that’s new” – it is and it isn’t. They are using the same crisp serif font, it simply isn’t elongated any longer.  It’s wider, plumper, adding to that sense of depth. The focus is squarely on the harp. The eye is immediately drawn to it – and why not. It’s the very definition of iconic.  It has that instant brand recognition most companies would sell their souls for.

The logo is far less fussy, doing away with the superfluous lines. The eye moves in a nice fluid line from the harp to the name. Perfect. Clean. Simple... and yet the engraved harp is still complex enough to be intriguing.  As a bonus, that jarring red signature is gone. Guinness opted for a consistent gold colour throughout, adding a sense of continuity to the entire design.  

I like the change. Let’s be brutally honest, the previous logo was bland to the point of lifelessness. It was simplified it to such an extent, it risked becoming clip art. In the same space, Guinness now evokes tradition, craftsmanship and quality.  Rather well done, n’est pas?




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"To make my meal in a box taste better, I decided to tweak the logo, rather than the ingredients."

- Jarod Kintz, This Book is Not for Sale

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I've left some content in their old categories. Instead of having readers hit the dreaded 404 Not Found error, I'd rather leave the pages where they lay. Here are the pages:
- Poster Design 2 - breaking out of a rut
- Something a little different - a poster for the site
- Slide show confusion - another candidate for Ring of Hell
- First Ring of Web Hell - the never ending slide show

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