New USA Today Logo

flooce's picture

Another Prominent Logo Redesign

An article about it:

An interview with the designers:

The new USA Today website in BETA phase:

A concept video how the logo works with animation (lack of better term):

And comedians are talking about it:

hrant's picture

The first one was designed by people stuck in the 70s. The new one was designed by people stuck in the 60s.


JamesM's picture

I like minimalism, but maybe that's taking it too far.

cuttlefish's picture

I don't like the gannett. They wet their nests.

Si_Daniels's picture

>The first one was designed by people stuck in the 70s. The new one was designed by people stuck in the 60s.

This is USA Yesterday and certainly not USA Today.

I want USA Tomorrow.

aluminum's picture

In college I worked at the school paper and we had weekly arguments with our printer due to their inability to consistently print the masthead in the proper specified color.

We finally threw up our hands and decided "Fine, the masthead will now be 100% cyan and nothing else".

So, this reminds me of that. ;)

Good or bad, though, I did stare at this for a good 5 minutes the other day when buying coffee. I can't say I ever looked at the front page of USA Today for that long ever before in my life, so in terms of getting my eyeballs to look at their paper, I guess it's a success. Not sure that's a good measure of success, though.

John Hudson's picture

It makes a certain sense if one watches the video, and in that context it clearly is anything but old fashioned, simplified or stuck in the 1960s. It's not a big blue dot after all: its a big dot that can be any colour and can also represent anything from a financial graph to a building lot to a baseball to a golf green. In the context of what I presume will be new colour coding of the physical newpaper sections and the possibilities of animation in the various electronic delivery formats, its a fairly clever solution and a means to tie the identity of the different media together while making the most of the different capabilities of each.

What it isn't is a logo in the traditional sense: it isn't a symbol of the brand, but an active and adaptive component within the brand. I don't think much of it visually, but it does seem to be truly contemporary design firmly situated in digital media.

Or rather, that is clearly what it was designed to be: it remains to be seen whether USA Today will use it as creatively as the designers intended and illustrated in the video. The beta website does nothing clever with it yet, just sticks it in the upper left corner as a static element in a single colour regardless of the colour of the subsection.

Nick Shinn's picture

…it isn't a symbol of the brand…

It is, despite its dubious quality as a copyrightable trademark.

New media rules are different.
For instance, many of the patented features of digital device OS interfaces would be nothing special if they were part of a web site design.

It’s funny that a specially configured shape in static media is copyrightable, yet a specially configured animation sequence is not. And yet that is the migration of typographic interest, from subtleties of static form to the use of default static forms (classic typefaces, primary geometric shapes) that are manipulated in time-based media, or across multiple media.

This kind of new media design occurs in the space between old media, which leaves its iteration in any particular previous media instance high, dry, and underwhelming.

Nick Shinn's picture

Speaking of type, at least it’s not that other well known face with a circular O…

hrant's picture

John, I was looking at the type. Strangely enough.


Nick Shinn's picture

So, tight-but-not-touching = ’60s, overlapping = ’70s.

However, the first USA Today logo, using Futura, was designed in 1982.
Futura was big then, I recall many ads with huge all-cap headlines set in Futura Bold, often italic, Barbara Kruger style. So the choice of Futura all caps was very contemporary, and they’ve stuck with that.

On closer inspecting the type of the revised logo:
1. The Y has been changed from the typeface, with a deeper apex.
2. It looks like a slightly bolder version than the standard font.

It isn’t a tight-but-not-touching setting; critical is the space between A and Y.
A TBNT setting would have been much closer.
Wolf Olins has decided to deal with the problematic space between A and Y by adjusting the shape of the Y, and keeping its spacing quite open there, and really, it has to be, to balance the space between T and O.

In the 1920s, the instigators of the graphic disc were Lissitzky, Moholy-Nagy and Tschichold:

They did stacked all bold caps too.

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