Fresh off a week that included an announcement of 2,500 layoffs, AOL, the company formerly known as America Online, revealed its new logo, brand identity — and preferred spelling — on Sunday.
On December 9, when AOL is finally spun off from Time Warner – ending one of the media industry’s most troubled corporate marriages – it will officially change its name to “Aol.” and its logo to, well, one (or all) of these:
AOL chief Tim Armstrong also produced a video to mark the occasion, which you can view here.
My “favorite” (if you can call it that) is the one that appears to have been inspired by Balloon Boy.
I asked a few of my design industry friends what they thought about the new look. All of them were confused. Like Alice Cho, Print magazine’s art director:
“To be honest, I don’t get it. I’m confused by the title case and I don’t feel that the mixture of upper and lower case better communicates the ‘Commitment to Stimulating Content, Openness and Inclusion.’ I wonder if the image accompanying the Aol. mark will be constantly changing, depending on the context. Or will these 6 images be applied everywhere? I’m curious to see this applied across the board and see how the changing imagery works in various applications.”
If it confuses an art director, imagine how the consumers with whom Aol. hopes to reconnect will react. My guess: they won’t notice/care, as long as it doesn’t affect their instant messenger program.
And if it does, they’ll simply switch to Gchat.