The Best and Worst Identities of 2011, Part I: The Best

Last year we did the Worst first, so this year we are giving the Best a shot at capturing some of the merry spirit of the holidays. Also different this year, there will be five total lists: Best and Worst of the main opinion pieces, Best and Worst of the B-Side, and Most Liked Friday Likes. These will be posted in these next two weeks. No other posts will be published. We will be back with our regular programming on January 7, 2013.

No. 12: Why Microsoft Got its Logo Right

Best & Worst of Brand New, 2012 Designed by

In house

--- Original Post

Why Microsoft Got its Logo Right

Best & Worst of Brand New, 2012

Microsoft’s main logo made it to this list not because it’s one of the most inspiring logos of the year but because it’s worth celebrating their gradual approach into it and sticking to their strategy of striving for simplicity. It was also one of the most talked about redesigns of the year with pretty much every major print and online news outlet talking about it.

Poll Results: Great / Fine / Bad

On Logo (3,850)

41% Percent

45% Percent

14% Percent

---

No. 11: Nuts.fun

Best & Worst of Brand New, 2012 Designed by

Pentagram

--- Original Post

Nuts.fun

Best & Worst of Brand New, 2012

Although the logo by itself didn’t win many fans, its application in the packaging and the accompanying, nutty characters drawn by Christoph Niemann had 95% of the audience eating this up by the handful.

Poll Results: Great / Fine / Bad

On Logo (840)

53% Percent

42% Percent

 5% Percent

---

On Typography (834)

71% Percent

27% Percent

 2% Percent

---

On Packaging (849)

95% Percent

 5% Percent

 )% Percent

---

No. 10: Eye Candy, Literally

Best & Worst of Brand New, 2012 Designed by

Struck

--- Original Post

Eye Candy, Literally

Best & Worst of Brand New, 2012

The biggest appeal of this project behind the logo and identity was the store itself — a colorful, vibrant cornucopia of childhood delights served up old school and new school — but the graphic approach certainly helped seal the deal.

Poll Results: Great / Fine / Bad

On Logo (671)

67% Percent

27% Percent

 6% Percent

---

On Graphics (663)

86% Percent

11% Percent

 3% Percent

---

On Store (670)

89% Percent

 8% Percent

 3% Percent

---

No. 9: Best Use of Iceberg in a Logo Award Goes to:

Best & Worst of Brand New, 2012 Designed by

BRR

--- Original Post

Best Use of Iceberg in a Logo Award Goes to:

Best & Worst of Brand New, 2012

Of all the logos shown in 2012 this was likely the most clever. And coolest. Get it? Iceberg. Antarctica. Cold. Cool?

Poll Results: Great / Fine / Bad

On Logo (2,353)

87% Percent

11% Percent

 2% Percent

---

On Application (2,269)

82% Percent

17% Percent

 1% Percent

---

No. 8: Follow-up: Windows 8

Best & Worst of Brand New, 2012 Designed by

Wolff Olins

--- Original Post

Follow-up: Windows 8

Best & Worst of Brand New, 2012

While the logo got a harsh reception — both from yours truly and the voters (59% bad) — Microsoft Windows 8 rebounded with a strong package design and a colorful launch across the world that finally gave some life to the product.

Poll Results: Great / Fine / Bad

On Packaging (1,732)

75% Percent

19% Percent

 6% Percent

---

On Advertising (1,658)

50% Percent

44% Percent

 6% Percent

---

On Brand Feel (1,676)

65% Percent

29% Percent

 6% Percent

---

No. 7: USA TODAY for Tomorrow

Best & Worst of Brand New, 2012 Designed by

Wolff Olins

--- Original Post

USA TODAY for Tomorrow

Best & Worst of Brand New, 2012

Many companies have tried to pull off the circle-as-logo challenge but none have done it as efficiently and convincingly as USA TODAY with its main blue circle logo that mutates and serves as a canvas for all kinds of editorial illustrations across the newspaper’s sections (sometimes to great effect, other times not so much).

Poll Results: Great / Fine / Bad

On Logo (2,957)

51% Percent

33% Percent

16% Percent

---

On Newspaper (2,888)

80% Percent

16% Percent

 4% Percent

---

On Campaign (2,832)

73% Percent

22% Percent

 5% Percent

---

No. 6: Twitter Gives you the Bird

Best & Worst of Brand New, 2012 Designed by

In house

--- Original Post

Twitter Gives you the Bird

Best & Worst of Brand New, 2012

Embracing the bird full on, Twitter got rid of its silly, bubbly wordmark, and confusing “t” (with Tumblr’s “t”). Drawn super nicely and succinctly, the little blue bird has also been well embraced by users who have taken the time to replace their “t” icons with it.

Poll Results: Great / Fine / Bad

On No More Text (3,594)

66% Percent

27% Percent

 7% Percent

---

On New Bird (3,609)

70% Percent

25% Percent

 5% Percent

---

No. 5: It’s a Sports Nation, we are only Living in it

Best & Worst of Brand New, 2012 Designed by

Fraser Davidson

--- Original Post

It’s a Sports Nation, we are only Living in it

Best & Worst of Brand New, 2012

The most awe-inspiring identity of the year had to be this, with a single design firm taking on 300 individual logos for the sprawling SB Nation. Individually, some of them weren’t that great, but collectively they demanded nothing but respect.

Poll Results: Great / Fine / Bad

On Execution (1,201)

89% Percent

10% Percent

 1% Percent

---

No. 4: Wendy’s Wendy: Cutest 43-year-old

Best & Worst of Brand New, 2012 Designed by

Tesser

--- Original Post

Wendy’s Wendy: Cutest 43-year-old

Best & Worst of Brand New, 2012

The illustration of Wendy could have gone so wrong in so many ways but the chain was able to keep the pig-tailed icon playful, approachable, classy, and, more importantly, not creepy. The typography didn’t fare so well, but we’ll let it slide.

Poll Results: Great / Fine / Bad

On Icon (2,985)

54% Percent

34% Percent

12% Percent

---

On Typography (2,939)

25% Percent

42% Percent

33% Percent

---

No. 3: New Theatre on Rotation

Best & Worst of Brand New, 2012 Designed by

Interbrand Sydney

--- Original Post

New Theatre on Rotation

Best & Worst of Brand New, 2012

With a strong, clever logo that blended two “T”s and a diagonal to create a monogram “N”, this identity just built on top of that to create and axis-defined visual language with far too many fun applications.

Poll Results: Great / Fine / Bad

On Logo (1,702)

74% Percent

20% Percent

 6% Percent

---

On Typography (1,687)

71% Percent

27% Percent

 2% Percent

---

On Application (1,704)

90% Percent

 8% Percent

 2% Percent

---

No. 2: Meet Don Belisario

Best & Worst of Brand New, 2012 Designed by

Infinito

--- Original Post

Meet Don Belisario

Best & Worst of Brand New, 2012

Quite possibly the highest scoring project ever on Brand New with 90% or more approval rating across the board, this dapper family of Peruvian roosters, hens, pullets, and cockerels clucked their way into readers’ hearts.

Poll Results: Great / Fine / Bad

On Belasario et al. (1,375)

96% Percent

 4% Percent

 )% Percent

---

On Typography (1,379)

90% Percent

10% Percent

 )% Percent

---

On Application (1,372)

92% Percent

 7% Percent

 1% Percent

---

No 1: From Fiji with Love

Best & Worst of Brand New, 2012 Designed by

Futurebrand

--- Original Post

From Fiji with Love

Best & Worst of Brand New, 2012

In addition to the link above to the original post you must also see the livery reveal that happened a few months after the logo introduction. The full redesign of this airline ranks as number one this year because it represents the best that a large, important, corporate identity can strive to be: it’s genuine, it’s different, it breaks the rules, it’s efficient, it’s flexible, and, well, it simply looks stunning. Additionally, not only is it a great airline identity but it’s tangentially the best destination brand all year.

Poll Results: Great / Fine / Bad

On Icon (1,236)

74% Percent

21% Percent

 5% Percent

---

On Typography (1,215)

57% Percent

33% Percent

10% Percent

---

On Livery (1,884)

92% Percent

 8% Percent

 )% Percent

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December 24, 201212.24.12 by Armin


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