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This is the second installment of "You Could Almost Do Anything," a three-part series on logo design communication. If you've missed the first part of the series, head over here.
Part I concluded with Moving Brands' redesign of the HP logo mark. Undeterred, the agency continued on in their quest for reduction. In their 2014 corporate redesign of DeviantArt, they ennoble the company in the same mission of "boldly facing the future" by making a similar "Progress Mark" to the one they implemented for HP.
In this case, Moving Brands pushed for more than HP's 13º tilt, opting for the essential 62º angle as it is "a literal representation of their [DeviantArt's] desire to turn the art world upside down." The connection between 62º and "upside down," may be tenuous, but stick with them for a bit.
DeviantArt founder Angelo Sotira explained: "we partnered with Moving Brands, who pushed us further than we ever thought possible." Perhaps it was further than DeviantArt thought possible. For Moving Brands, the new DeviantArt logo didn't go nearly far enough.
Moving Brands had initially drawn an elegant monogram made up of a lowercase "d" and an uppercase "A." But this was deemed insufficiently avant garde, and thus it was necessary to shave off what were apparently inconsequential parts of the letterforms.
DeviantArt's new and undeniably iconic "Z" with an extended diagonal stroke was truly the only logical conclusion for the team. After all, the company needed to prove itself through an avant garde brand. According to Sotira:
Our world is a prolific orgy of originality where creatives enjoy freedom of artistic expression. We are the deviation of creativity that shatters the confines of expectation.
This 'orgiastic shattering of expectations' extended further. According to Moving Brands,
"Angles within the system are derived from the 62° angle of the symbol, including brand typography and a fully customized iconography set for the website and the mobile app."
This cut-off type is similar to that of InVision's upcoming design-in-tech advocacy documentary, Design Disruptors.
On the announcement of the new DeviantArt logo, a copywriter wrote the following:
Another great thing about our symbol is that it can tessellate to form a beautiful pattern. It is particularly powerful because, when the symbol tessellates, it allows the two "A"s to become more clear.
Somehow, this expert copywriter was able to turn a fault of the logo, its incomprehensibility, into a feature. Except that even in this pattern, only the "A" becomes legible, while the "d" remains obscure. One also wonders how often the mark will be featured in such a context.
The DeviantArt Z
But the real loser in this story is Moving Brands. They missed a crucial opportunity to implement the pure, unadulterated forward-slash. One hopes that they will succeed in their mission before their 2021 deadline closes. Or maybe they will be beaten to the punch?
In 2015, Google Ventures team joined up with the Material Design team to push the envelope on their internal rebrand. Like Moving Brands, Google Ventures is "comfortable with risk." And risk they did with their refreshed logo.
In the earlier rounds of design, the team came up with an ingenious combination of a circle and triangle, to represent the "G" and "V" in Google Ventures.
At the last minute, they were pushed in a different direction. The resulting logo used negative space in the cut-off 'G' to expose a hidden "V."
As we can see, the final mark looks somewhat plain, especially in comparison with the circle and triangle.
Ultimately, the team opted to make a motif of the forward slash in their logo–and they have been sure to use it in as many places in their brand as possible.
Google Ventures' Braden Kowitz recounted,
After a few weeks of intense work further refining the GV brand, we decided on a quiet launch. No big press announcement, no fanfare, but instead a simple, low-key gathering around my dining room table on a Sunday night. Why? A new brand is not big news to our audience.
Kowitz gets it. A "Progress Mark" might be revolutionary, but sometimes it's best to sit back and let it make its own whig history.