I'd like to first express how much I dislike the new logo, color pallet, and font. Second, I would like to demonstrate why the previous logo is superior and how it could have been improved.
Why was the logo changed in the first place?
According to their blog post, these are the main reasons:
- Undefinable (Mickey Mouse pants? A game controller?)
- Icon was too contained "in" something, "stuck in a bubble"
- Asymmetry in the original design
- "Antenna's didn't translate well when printed"
- Was "old" and need a fresh look
My response to these arguments is as follows:
Not every corporate logo has to be definable. What is the Google Chrome logo, for example? It's not definable either. What makes an icon a brand is uniqueness and repeated familiarity with what it represents. Changing it upsets that brand recognition. But here's the other thing: An icon doesn't necessarily have to represent a known thing. It can be suggestive or even fanciful. And I would argue that the discord icon was probably originally designed to be suggestive of a few things.
First, yes it does suggest the shape of a modern controller, with the main horizontal body and two side lobes familiar to any gamer. But what it's also suggestive of is one of the old enemies from Space Invaders during the classic arcade era of gaming. Also, Clyde is an interesting name for the icon, but did you know that one of the ghosts from Pac-Man was also named Clyde? All of this suggests a knowledge of gaming and intention in the original design. If it wasn't intended it's a happy accident because it fits really well. So why change that?
That's a matter of opinion and taste. I would say the original icon has appeal. It has a square feel to it but also a rounded feel to it. It's got some depth to it due to the antennae. The large eyes and forehead evoke cuteness while the lobes and corners give it a robotic quality. It's not too far off from the appeal of Wall-e. The main unappealing part of the logo is it feels a little thin in places, not quite balanced. But I wouldn't call it ugly; far from it.
Icon needs to be "free"
Why? I liked the speech bubble, it had unity with the font originally used. The Clyde icon itself could live in just about anything. And if a standard containing shape wasn't provided for whatever reason, the speech bubble works great. I see no reason for an icon to "be free."
I bet if you had subtly fixed the asymmetry problem, no one would even notice. Most of the time people aren't looking at your logo at a large enough size to notice the difference. But I can understand OCD kicks in for designers so there's no problem there. But the new logo is overkill to address such a minor issue.
Antennas don't print well
Well, yes and no. If a logo has a lot of thin lines, it can get lost in things like screen printing at small sizes. But that can also be fixed by slightly thickening the thinnest lines. I can't imagine wanting to print that logo so small that it looks bad on a screen print. It really seems like a non-issue in my professional experience. I've seen overly complicated logos that did need to be reworked (look at Apple's first logo as an example). But this is oversimplifying something that was already quite simple.
It was Old
Ah, now we come to the real reason for the redesign. "It just looks old." I'm sorry, but this is a tired excuse for redesigning tried and true products. Just because something is old does not mean it's useless and needs to be replaced. Iconic things stick around because they have staying power. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Constantly reinventing something to stay "fresh" and "with the times" is a sure fire way of making your brand look like it's not relevant anymore and desperate to reach a new audience. Remaking something like your logo is a slap in the face of your current audience because they like the product and the brand.
Let's fix the logo...
I'm going to show you how I would have "updated" the logo per the reasonable "issues" lined out in the blog. Specifically, the asymmetry is the only issue that bothers me in the slightest.
I've kept the general same shape and layout to evoke the original ideas of gaming, but I also made the antennae a little thicker at the top to help with readability at small sizes. Other than that it's nearly identical. It has a little more of a rounded feel to it but still maintains that blocky feeling as well.
I would also say, stick with the old color pallet and the old font. The new color pallet has a lot of issues with readability, as does the new font. I would also argue the new font/colors are ugly but that's my personal taste. Some people like clown barf; I don't.
Thanks for coming to my TED Talk.
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