Magazine article Marketing

Familiarity with Design Kills off Shock of the New

Magazine article Marketing

Familiarity with Design Kills off Shock of the New

Article excerpt

It's always a good idea to try to avoid rushing into judgement about new television programmes, newspaper redesigns or logos.

After all, it was Michael Grade, in the old days when he knew something about television, who declared BBC soap Eldorado an obvious hit. With television programmes and horses, there is always room for an honest mistake. But with logos and redesigns there is no such room for ambiguity. First judgements are usually negative and usually wrong. The unsought change to the small visual furniture of everyday life is deeply disturbing to all those over the age of 23. Some of us can still remember the shock of The Guardian redesign which put all those funny little content boxes at the top of the front page. It was difficult to get used to, until everyone copied them and they became seriously passe. The Observer redesign, though which one I can't remember, was so threatening that the only solution for a time was to give the paper a wide berth. Now it just looks like a rather boring newspaper again.

It was quite disgraceful that Channel 4 should have got rid of that nice, exploding, colourful, traditional logo. But to replace something so clever with four minimalistic Olympic rings which didn't even connect was nothing short of an outrage, and almost certainly an expensive one. Now, admit it. They don't look so bad. Cool even.

What Andrew Marr and assorted amateur designers at The Independent have done is more problematical. It goes beyond design and looks and addresses difficult issues, such as what is the function of a broadsheet newspaper in the days of multi-channel choice? …

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