New AIWA logo

lars's picture

i prefered the old one ...

antiuser's picture

Idem. The old one was much more recognisable, imho.

mike gastin's picture

The application of the logo to the faces on the home page is weak. The people look angry or irritated or even zobie like. Prob not a good way to align your identity with a good consumer experience.

emp's picture

Terrible move. It doesn't even look close to reading AIWA. If you ask me, AIWA set in Beesknees (HA!) would be better. You could at least read it.

Sony will never change their logo. Ask them why.

antiuser's picture

Interesting that you should mention them. Sony owns Aiwa...

hrant's picture

Those chicks look pissed. "My Xmas gift is an AIWA?!"


Grant Hutchinson's picture

>The people look angry or irritated or even zombie like.

Zombie is right. Actually, it looks as if they've had their lips stitched shut, if you ask me. Perhaps that's to stop them from complaining about the new logo.

jay's picture

Wow. I'd love to meet the person who sold that one to the board:

"... and not only that, but misspelling the name actually enhances brand recognition."

emp's picture

Sony owns everyone. That doesn't mean Sony runs AIWA.

AIWA has a reputation that, as far as I know, is not bad. Maybe their real reputation is crap. I personally have never owned an AIWA product. Either way, they just killed it by launching this mystery brand. Maybe that's what they wanted. Maybe it's not even supposed to be AIWA anymore.

emp's picture

Just found this:

"The logo will reflect the innovation and quality of the Aiwa brand," said Takahashi. "It will stand for everything that young electronics consumers are looking for."

jay's picture

Hmmm. I'm thinkin' there's a trend here:

andyclymer's picture

If you've ever owned an Aiwa product you'd be angry and irritated too. I've had no success with them. Jay's right, looks like it fits with Sony's other brands

Hildebrant's picture

Maybe I'm off herem But I think its a good move.
I really think it 'caters' to the demographic they are trying to market to, right?
I don't think legibility is the key concern here.
I think the overall impression is something that these 'kids' or 'young teen agers' will indentify with. Well all know the stuff sucks, but these kids want the two thousand backlit lcd readouts. With 'super cool sound settings'. granted it would not be a smart marketing choice for a true audiophile, but consider the demographic.

Am I off base here? Overall I enjoy it. :-)


Dan Weaver's picture

My problem with the mark is its forgetable. It will be a thing of the past sooner than later. Its more of an Illustration than a type rendition of a logo, I say yuck and thats my opinion. Dan

simon's picture

What is this, reactionary watch? Does anyone genuinely mourn the passing of the old aiwa logotype, I mean, apart from its legibility (a quality which has value only in hindsight) did anyone actively like it?

OK, the "stroke mouth" implementation is a bit (...) of a mistake but I quite like the new mark.

>Doomed to stasis

You think so? I think the text/image ambiguity give the logo a vibrancy as the "i" cedes to the "w" then pops out again in the reading, rereading and making sense process.

beejay's picture

based on the image above, it seems as if the third
'piece' of the logo looks way too heavy to go
with the first two.

I thought maybe it was just a bad web version,
but no...

the new logo has been posted at
and it looks pretty much like that.

I nominate it for the Hall of Shame.


nathan's picture

I didn't feel actively engaged by the old logo; the new is a mark more than an actual logotype.

As I look at it, I like the attempt at a more universal, all-encompassing I-dare-you-to-try-and-read-this-if-you're-cool kind of design.

Depending on their target audience, I am guessing it is perfect, right?

Why are there Daria-esque angry young teens on their homepage?

Oh, well. A historian will document this transition and it will be coined as a movement, or maybe it will wind up in the Hall of Shame (near a restroom) like BJ Harvey was mentioning...


Hildebrant's picture

> I nominate it for the Hall of Shame.

Now I think that

beejay's picture

Kyle - the hall o shame because it is poorly drawn, specifically the weight.

Take a look at the illustrator file ...

i dig the concept, but the execution is poor, imo.

:-) :-) :-)

simon's picture

Smashing Pumpkins, I like the analogy. (Ofcourse, it's even worse in the UK because it doesn't conjure an image of teenage Halloween vandalism but one of a genteel village fete gardening competition: "Those pumpkins are smashing Mr. Williams..."). Maybe someone should post an image of a pumpkin lantern with the aiwa mouth, just to fold everything together again.

Seriously though...

BJ. How can you assess whether the logo is poorly drawn if you don't know the intention behind the drawing? Are you implying that the designer didn't realise that the second "a" was heavier than the first one? The supposedly problematic features of the logo to my mind lend intrigue and, I'll say it again, vibrancy to the design.

beejay's picture

Still awake here on the left coast.

I think we have a DOO, a difference of opinion...

on one side, we have doomed statis, yuck, poorly drawn, and silly.

on the other side, we have vibrancy, intrigue, etc.

there is no right answer, nothing that can be proven,
just opinions that differ.

that's good, makes us all think and I find myself
learning more.

I'll acknowledge that a logo doesn't need to be well-drawn to
be effective...but after noodling around in Illustrator, the
logo looks much better with a third piece that better matches
the first two pieces in weight.

I think the weight of the third piece is a mistake, but I can accept the possibility
that someone thought it was a good idea.

as far as intriguing/problematic logos, I am
reminded of this US chain...

>> How can you assess whether the logo is poorly drawn
if you don't know the intention behind the drawing?

If we were to adhere to this notion, then we couldn't
judge anything without knowing *what were they thinking*?

Is the UPS logo an abomination? Let's ask the firm that did it what its
intentions were before we give our critique.

Is Mrs. Eaves an effective text face or a loose bicycle?
Let's ask Zuzana what her intentions were.

Does that make sense to anybody?


Is the Bed, Bath and Beyond logo poorly done?

Did the designer purposely enlarge the OND?

I do like the Smashing Pumpkins and admire
Billy Corgan's gifts//


simon's picture

That's brilliant. The "Bed, Bath & Beyond" thing is amazingly bad. Is this a well-known chain in the US? And where did they get their stupid name? Is there some kind of natural progression from bed to bath to beyond (whatever that means)?

Yes you're right it's horrible. But do you know this one:

Cleanaway logo

Again it's not the greatest logo in the world but neither is it as risible as your example. In other words the implementation is (relatively) poised and subtle.

The new aiwa logo is at least another level removed in that it has moved into abstraction and is allowed to generate its own logic. Would we be justified in saying the logo becomes louder or more intense? The effect reminds me of Picasso's late drawings where you follow the line of a figure and suddenly a shoulder pops or a muscle flexes as you try to make sense of the whole. I don't want to flog a patch of ground where there was once a dead horse so I won't go on...

Do I think the designer's intention matters here? Yes because it 's easy to rush to judgements based on our preconceptions but it isn't at all desirable. A useful critique will always attempt to meet the object on open (or deterritorialized) ground.

Do I love the new aiwa logo? No, but I think it's a lot more interesting than most people here are prepared to admit. If this forum is meant to present a new logo every now and again so that everyone can take the piss then fair enough. Let me know and I won't bother anyone with further posts.

Dan Weaver's picture

I think if they wanted a good version of the aiwa logo they should have gone up to Harlem and asked one of the Grafitti artist to create it. It would be young hip and I bet better. How do you know if something is good or bad? Try eating dry Turkey or burnt peas, no one has to tell you its bad. The problem with the new logo is its forgetable. Dan

andrew_baker's picture

Munch.. Munch, sorry eating dry turkey.

On the topic of bad drawing.

Hildebrant's picture

I enjoyed the 'Brit' smashing pun. ;)

Grant Hutchinson's picture

>I do hope I get an ALVA stereo for Christmas.

Tony Alva is making stereos now? Dude!


aquatoad's picture

Bed Bath & Beyond would have done better with something like this done by Pentagram. Although, neither is truely inspired, at least one is typographically decent. BB&B is not *aweful* though, it get so very very much worse.


cchs's picture

When creating a logotype for an international audience, there is a benefit to be considered in using an abstracted wordmark. It becomes more about graphic legibility than literal readability.

timfm's picture

"AIVA" What's that?

In order for a logotype to be recognizable and memorable, it must first be legible.


Hildebrant's picture

Tim --

Even as a supporter of legibility, I could not disagree more. I remeber a lot of sh*t I don't understand.

jay's picture

I'm pathetic. I've never noticed the distortion in the "Beyond" of "Bed, Bath & Beyond". Sad, but true. I think I must have put it in my "Huh? Whatever..." file the first time I saw it, then never really looked at it again. Simon, the BB&B stores are pretty ubiquitous here in the United States of Generica. Every strip-mall has one, and I'm sure some of the larger malls have 2 or 3.

As a mark, I think the alva logo is ok. The problem is, with it being almost-but-not-quite-legible, what do you do with it? The Walkman "W" wouldn't say "Walkman" unless it had the word "Walkman" next to it most of the time; are you going to put the word "AIWA" (in helvetica light) next to the alva mark each time? Won't that look repetitively redundant? And will it highlight the fact that the mark is missing a couple strokes?

hrant's picture

> I'm pathetic. I've never noticed the distortion

Same here.
What does that mean?


jay's picture

Ah. I'm not the only one; I feel better.

Maybe, by the time we get to the end of the name, we're rushing so fast we don't notice the distortion? Or is is something to do w/ the time-warp that dwells in each of those stores: you know, the one that causes you to spend 45 minutes looking at tooth-brush holders?

hrant's picture


> we're rushing so fast

You could say that, but it's not a physical/conscious rush - it's more our reading "firmware" doing its job efficiently. It seems to me that our subconscious learns the types of things our consciousness wants brought to its direct attention: for somebody who designes logos (not me) the distortion is classed as "interesting information", but for most people it's not treated specially, in terms of being brought to the attention of the consciousness. The question remains however whether things the subsonscious notices but does not "send up" have some effect somehow or not.


giam's picture

We have here a range from unintelligible to boring. The ultimate goal is immediate recognition and good taste. Obfuscation is shooting yourself in the foot, clumsy type treatments -- bed, bath, and beyond (the WC?) -- causes a viewer to move on without pausing to register a positive thought. That's pi$$ing into the wind.

bryska's picture

it does fit the newer "sony logos" but I still prefer the old one.

Joe Pemberton's picture

The logos before and after.

Joe Pemberton's picture

Re: AIWA's positioning.
I think AIWA is to Sony what Saturn is to GM (in other words, a lower-end brand that's still decent).

Re: the new mark.
As a mark I neither like it nor hate it. It just is and it's dull. Doomed to stasis, just like their old one.

Re: the ambiguity of letterforms
With added ambiguity they're exacerbating their other brand problem... AIWA has one of those names where you're never sure if you're saying it right until you hear them say it. (Hmm, just like Sony Vaio and Sony Cli

Joe Pemberton's picture

No, nobody will miss the old logo, the w was particularly unfortunate. I predict the same fate for this one. (Yeah, it's a refresh, but it has no net gain or loss.)

This visual ambiguity, combined with a made-up word, reminds me of growing up, thinking that there was a shoe called Fils. I thought that rounded triangle at the end was a cursive s, and not a stylized a.

Joe Pemberton's picture

Simon, the difference of opinion is refreshing. I'm glad someone else sees it differently. I would hate for this place to become static itself, where everybody agrees out of fear or with the hopes of fitting in.

I think it's easy for designers to get that "not created here syndrome" where nothing they didn't design themselves is cool. I'm always trying to question myself that way; to look at something with fresh eyes.

That said, bad design ought to be pointed out and learned from. The opposite of "not created here syndrom" is the "emperor's new clothes syndrom," where the thing must be good since so-and-so did it or since it uses such-and-such technique.

Joe Pemberton's picture

I do hope I get an ALVA stereo for Christmas.

Joe Pemberton's picture

[ Alexander and Christopher's posts have been moved to a new NWA thread. ]

anonymous's picture

this is like the 3rd time they changed their's the one used in the late 70's and 80's

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