Apple MobileMe Logo - What do you think about it?

cviviani's picture

I think it's horrible, one of the worst Apple designs ever. What do you think?

http://www.apple.com/mobileme/

Carlo

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blank's picture

I think it’s a sign Apple has really changed the people it targets. The old apple rules—everything simple, set in Myriad—were really targeting people who had a taste for clean modernist aesthetics. Breaking out of that box is a sign that Jobs is reaching out to the wider customer base that Apple has picked up in recent years.

nvhladek's picture

Hmm ... well, it certainly has that shiny Web 2.0 thing going on. But it does kind of feel thrown together.

The type treatment isn't bad:
http://images.apple.com/mobileme/images/productnav_title20080609.gif

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Nick Hladek

cviviani's picture

to James: I agree with you, but is it really necessary to break elegance and taste to reach a wider audience?

Miss Tiffany's picture

Not everything has to be elegant to have taste. And thing with taste don't have to have elegance. No?

I agree with James. Apple is spreading a wider net with this one. Mobile Me strikes me as something much more personal and they had to do something to link to that. It would've seemed (non)branded if they'd left it just Myriad.

nvhladek's picture

As I thought more about it, the concept that Apple is dealing with is "saving to the cloud." I doubt that the average person has any idea what cloud storage means, nor would they necessarily care. This logo definitely makes this concept seem more approachable and everyday.

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Nick Hladek

AndrewSipe's picture

I'm curious Carlo, what specifically makes you hate this logo so much?

Personally, I don't see much wrong with it. I think it's a very approachable logo, that's still clean with a strong concept. As Nick pointed out "Saving to the Cloud" and for years, the Internet was always visualized as a cloud, especially in data flow diagrams. It's interesting that Apple took that visual idea and made it more "congruent" and "tangible", instead of this implied empty space that things just "happen" in. It's now a destination, that seems very welcoming and more importantly, safe. Since you'd be relying on it to keep all your important data (contact info, calendars schedules, files...) there, secure.

Si_Daniels's picture

Interesting - we've been using Mark’s Felt Tip Roman for 'consumer' marketing for a few years. I wonder if the 'me' is a contextual handwriting font or purely handwritten.

blank's picture

I agree with you, but is it really necessary to break elegance and taste to reach a wider audience?

Taste is subjective. Apple is changing, not breaking, the tastes is uses to advertise.

cviviani's picture

I think it’s a very approachable logo, that’s still clean with a strong concept.

honestly it seems to me very unclear. Although I agree with your ideas about the cloud as a destination or a "safe harbor", its insertion in the logo sounds a bit artificial in my opinion.

Taste is subjective. Apple is changing, not breaking, the tastes is uses to advertise.

sure it is subjective. all value judgements are - and Apple this time changed its taste in a way I don't like, and seems bad to me.

AndrewSipe's picture

sure it is subjective. all value judgements are - and Apple this time changed its taste in a way I don’t like, and seems bad to me.

You still haven't expressed WHY you don't like it. Other than saying the cloud seems artificial and not very elegant. You're being critical without supporting your criticism.

Si_Daniels's picture

James, I think you need to close your EM

Ehague's picture

Yeah. So the lighting on this...

canderson's picture

meh.

DrDoc's picture

I'm not sure how I feel about the iPhone icons being used in the cloud to represent the various services. I suppose that those are the clearest, most minimal visual representations of those various things within the Appleverse. As for the Web 2.0 comments/complaints, that's really no different than what Apple's been doing for the past decade. My major complaint is that the cloud looks like a collection of bubbles and aqua buttons instead of a cloud. It feels kind of amateurish.

SuperUltraFabulous's picture

I want to take a bubble bath with it...

picard102's picture


It does feel a bit cluttered and thrown together. I prefer the type only treatment.

DanaDoesDesign's picture

Agree with DrDoc- I don't mind the type treatment, per se, but I do prefer it on one line, as opposed to with the line break, which makes things clunky- and the cloud motif skews too young, methinks. It looks like something I'd see advertising Polly Pocket, if anyone knows what that is. Or...My Little Pony. Doesn't make me want to shell out any hard earned recession money, that's for sure.

"It's easier to tone down a wild idea than think up a new one." -Alex Osborne

Chris Rugen's picture

I don't mind this at all. As others have said, it's distinguishing itself for a new audience. That audience is those under this category: "Exchange for the rest of us." (taken from Apple's own mouth) The "rest of us" means people who want centralized syncing of their devices but aren't IT professionals and just want that convenience at home.

Personally, I think it's a bit fluffy, but it does hit a lot of the right notes, given their goals.

By the way, the cloud image refers to the centralized server that manages all of this cross-device syncing. Apple refers to this as "the cloud":

"MobileMe stores all your email, contacts, and calendars on an online server — or “cloud” — and pushes them down to your iPhone, iPod touch, Mac, and PC. When you make a change on one device, the cloud updates the others. Push happens automatically, instantly, and continuously. You don’t have to wait for it or remember to do anything — such as docking your iPhone and syncing manually — to stay up to date."

wendigil's picture

I like the Mobil reference, sii. That's the first thing I thought of when I looked at the logo. I would have used a tad more distinctive san serif. But otherwise, it's a lovely little logo that looks like it's derived from the Mac brand (as it should be).

HaleyFiege's picture

ZOMG!

SuperUltraFabulous's picture

From the demo Quicktime movie on the Apple website... much better.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

"Let's pander to the lowest common denominator... Let's use a kitschy, gaudy design that looks like it's from Microsoft, and let's force our current .mac subscribers to migrate to new .me accounts, the way Hotmail did! Yeah... Let's embrace the dark side. Let's be the new Microsoft!"

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

*Sigh...*

Chris Rugen's picture

Yeah, one of my friends told me that he refused the me.com email address and kept his mac.com. Apparently they had the good sense to allow that at least.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

Thanks for the info, Chris. I guess there is still some hope for us Mac snobs after all. ;-)

James Arboghast's picture

baloney
bland
boring
cheap
design, what design?
I could eat alphabet soup
it grabs Biff
meh,
no thanks
not even in a parallel taste-free universe
old skool
palid
pedestrian
unhip
unpreposessing
visual pollution
what Jim Puckett said

j a m e s

An Accident's picture

There is no question about .Mac users being forced to change email addresses (if that's what Ricardo meant), nor do users need to 'refuse' to use the me.com address; all existing users get to use both (or either one).

All the .Mac users I know received an email stating:
As a MobileMe subscriber, you can continue to use your mac.com address for email. You will also be issued a me.com address with the same user name that you can use if you prefer. The choice is yours

overeasy's picture

Isn't the "me" script just a tip o' the hat to the original "hello" script, used
when the Mac was introduced? That's the first thing I thought of.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

There is no question about .Mac users being forced to change email addresses (if that’s what Ricardo meant), nor do users need to ’refuse’ to use the me.com address; all existing users get to use both (or either one).

Yup, I was wrong about that one. The info also appears at the bottom of the webpage that I snapped a screenshot of (above).

Mark Simonson's picture

Isn’t the “me” script just a tip o’ the hat to the original “hello” script, used
when the Mac was introduced? That’s the first thing I thought of.

It made me think of that, too. Nice touch, if it was intentional, but kind of obscure. Although they are still using the phrase "for the rest of us" with this, which goes back to the original Mac debut.

Si_Daniels's picture

Well at least they didn't use Marker Felt.

jtkirk's picture

let's not over-rationalize this. simplicity, elegance, approachability and tastefulness are not mutually exclusive.
everything apple pumps out is not great. just look at the first release of virtually any piece of hardware they've ever made.
to state it simply: this logo is crap.

dzobel's picture

What I have a problem with is the kind of type they used for "me". It look to computerized and not personal. Why couldn't they get someone to hand write it. It look thrown together and not finished. What I don't have a problem with is the idea of mixing a more structured typeface with a more relaxed "handwritten" one. It just does not look professional at all. I think any high school kid with Photoshop could do a better job. But just my opinion.

Design and good concepts should never have to suffer!

nmerriam's picture

They used the same script font for a "hello" on the iPhone (which of course was a nod to the original Mac), so this is a pretty logical progression, as the concept is mostly being pushed in the context of the iPhone.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

It look thrown together and not finished. What I don’t have a problem with is the idea of mixing a more structured typeface with a more relaxed “handwritten” one. It just does not look professional at all.

I think James Puckett said it best... This is no mistake... They're doing this on purpose, not because they are naïve, but because they are going after a certain look for a certain "audience" or "target" (as they say in advertising).

I have problems with design that deliberately dumbs things down, because I think that involves a negative value judgement of others (I feel that it is akin to "talking down" to someone), but maybe other people have problems with design that tries to educate or elevate, or that simply tries to be well-made or appropriate (maybe "good taste" is not always "right"). And I know I'm opening a huge can of worms here, because how do you define "well-made" or "appropriate"? No matter how much theory and objectivity you can come up with, there is always a human being making decisions, be it at the design-decision level or at the money-making level.

Maybe I should give a concrete example. I once designed a book about a professional soccer team, and I wanted to print the cover with a matte finish. When the printer found out, he said, "Oh, just make a glossy cover; that's what soccer fans (the audience for the book) are going to go for." (I should mention that this all took place in Argentina, not the U.S., but maybe it is still a valid story.) I ended up having my way with the matte finish, and the book sold well -- I don't think the cover's finish would make it or break it. But that doesn't prove or disprove anything -- it's just one little example, and it bears no comparison to something as massive as the iPhone or .mac accounts.

jayyy's picture

I think there is little use in being cynical about this. Mobile ME is supposed to be for the lowest common denominator - from users who have no clue how to sync and organize such apps let alone use them effectively to users who want a simple, out-of-the-box solution to perform these functions.

I think that it could be a little short-sighted of Apple to sell everything the one way as they are selling to many more groups of people now with the iPhone, MacBook Air etc.

I won't be using it but I imagine none of you who commented here will be either.

Si_Daniels's picture

Ah, so the Mac Mini would have been hit if 'mini' had been set in the scripty font and all lc?

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

Mobile ME is supposed to be for the lowest common denominator

Well, I am not trying to be cynical, but a lot of really bad television shows are done that way, too! :-D

James Arboghast's picture

>I think there is little use in being cynical about this

I don't think anyone is consciously trying to be cynical about it. The cynical view is a product of the 20th century, which made mainstream culture cynical.

I was aiming to go beyond cynicism. I was sarcastic and satirical with my list of descriptive words. At the same time I was 90% neutral—the words I chose describe the logo's qualities, but that doesn't mean I hate it. It just isn't for me.

The point: Apple are catering to the lowest common demoninator, and that philosophy produces awful design. The same kind of philosophy produces awful industrial design like the Ford Crown Victoria. It's a bad logo, and anyone who defends it as having aesthetic merit is defending bad design and the philosophy of pandering to the lowest common demoninator.

It could also be said that this badly-designed logo reflects Apple's willingness to pollute the world with such banality in pursuit of the almighty dollar, which is not so mighty these days. When I called it "visual pollution", I meant it. It looks like rubbish and it stinks. That last bit really is cynical.

I still think they could have captured their target market sector with a more tasteful design. We could be living in a more tasteful world if only marketing people stuck to their job and let designers do theirs properly.

j a m e s

dan_reynolds's picture

I won’t be using it but I imagine none of you who commented here will be either.

Well, I am a dot.mac subscriber, so when my account is upgraded to MobileMe, I am not going to cancel my subscription or anything.

I think that the service sounds great, and am not perturbed by the icon, which is just the logo/symbol/whatever.

As for the iPhone, I love its design—and the design of almost everything associated with it. I think that I'll get one sometime around November, finally.

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