Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Refreshing a classic logo – Mastercard gets it right

I stumbled across the new Mastercard logo recently and have given it a bit of thought. Well, to be honest, I kept looking at it trying to figure out what was different – I knew something was, but couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Can you spot the difference?

Mastercard's old logoMC newLogo

I even pulled out my card to look at the logo before the penny dropped. A couple of subtle changes have refreshed the old logo. The words across the logo, with all the stripes created a bit of visual noise. By removing them, MC has created a clean, simple and leaner logo. Shifting the words off the logo and underneath, squares it up, creating a nice sense of symmetry.

I’m pleased they kept the classic design and didn’t make huge changes. If a logo doesn’t translate well over time, ok, make that radical shift, but this is a case of “don’t fix what isn’t broken” - the two circles are instantly recognisable around the world. These small changes create a clearer visual when shrunk down on a smaller screen or on a credit card itself. Even if the word is cut from the logo, it’s immediately understood.

I have to say, changing the lettering to black and moving it off the colours, makes the wording easier to read as well. Nice touch of clarity. However, I really like the change in typography the most. The new font ditches the hard edges and now flows with the circles. The combo of lower case, rounded edges and complete vertical alignment has fresh feeling. Don’t know if their intention was to create a slightly friendlier logo, but that’s the end result. Keeping the old, but giving it a bit of a facelift has worked well.

Small changes sometimes create the boldest impact.

 

Add a comment

Where's our roof, dude? Bad photoshopping & questionable marketing

Where to start with this one? I have an example of dodgy marketing techniques and truely ridiculous photoshopping that I stumbled across on the weekend.

A new condo build is going up on the site of the old Chum radio building in Toronto around St. Clair and Yonge. The Chum building is an ugly, squat little site, so anything will be an improvement. The new owners are marketing it as upscale, exclusive living in a hip, urban neigbourhood... which makes me snort with laughter. Great neighbourhood, don't get me wrong. Wonderful as a matter of fact. Good places to eat, grocery stores, clean, parks, two subway stops within walking distance etc, but the people who live around here tend to be pretty down to earth and quite honestly, hip we ain't.  I've been watching people come out of the sales office and stroll down the street to check out the neigbourhood. Some have looked at the apartment building south east of the Chum building with a bit of consternation and confusion. That's been happening off and on for months now so on the weekend I began to wonder why.

Add a comment

Read more: Where's our roof, dude? Bad photoshopping & questionable marketing

Web Designer Rings of Hell – hopscotching to #8

Logo - 8th Ring of Design HellI’m going to hopscotch across a couple rings of Designer Hell and pop into ring #8 – click bait websites or as Dante would label them – fraudsters.  You’ve likely landed on one of these dreaded sites and thought “WTF” and tried to zoom away at top speed.  These are pages that are so loaded down with ads and wonky scripts that your browser grinds to a halt or crashes,  leaving you whimpering in some corner screaming "make it stop ... make it stop". Nothing says good web design like leaving your reader in a fetal position.  

And all too often the promised content just doesn’t exist. The web designer created a teaser ad loaded with fake images to draw you in.  That’s pretty much a good description of bait and switch. Fraud by any other name is still fraud.

Add a comment

Read more: Web Designer Rings of Hell – hopscotching to #8

Oh the horror, the horror – typography battles for your affection

Remember this:

Sample of Comic Sans

If you didn't slam your laptop's lid down and run screaming from the room, read on. For those who remain uninitiated, it’s the much reviled Comic Sans font. I don’t think there is another font that evokes such an extreme reaction.

Comic was designed by Vincent Connere when he worked for Microsoft way back in 1993. His name may not be familiar to you, but his other fonts (far more respected) Trebuchet and (fun) Webdings might be. Even if you aren't a designer, you'll be familiar with those cute little Webding icons like _ and !.  Ah, but will he be forgiven for Comic Sans?

Add a comment

Read more: Oh the horror, the horror – typography battles for your affection

Something new – A forum to explore design, art and typography

Okay, I give – I sat down during the weekend and admitted I really do need to create new categories. This is the first one – Exploring Art & Typography.  Under this umbrella will also be mutterings about web design issues.  Web design is one of those quirky beasts that cross over into Computer Tech, meander into typography and design so I plunked it here.  

So why this category? Well, it obviously didn’t really fit into the photo log and it wasn’t exactly Computer Tech and Support. I’ve been spending time looking at what makes a design “good”… subjective, hell yes. But there are some common elements of good design and I think this is the perfect forum to flesh out those ideas.

I’d like to encourage readers to contribute their thoughts. I’d love to hear from people about their design ideas and basic annoyances they run into or maybe a bit of (be still my beating heart) nerd talk about typography.  If you’d like to contribute a guest column, drop me a line in the comments section. I’ll be setting up a new email address specifically for this section to make it easier to contact me, but that won’t be a for a few days – I still have to work to earn a living.   

I'll gradually migrate the material from other categories here. I need to create links to redirect people first. 

Add a comment
Text Size

"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


 

Support BITTER GROUNDS 
Your financial help = more content.

You can support Bitter Grounds either through Paypal or Patreon.

One time donation via PAYPAL:

Hit the big orange button to subscribe via PATREON  

 

 

Follow Us