Fake Logo Update: IBM

I’ve been looking around to find the next logo that could sure use an update, and I keep coming across “IBM.”

It’s latest version was designed in 1972 by design grand-master Paul Rand. Paul is responsible for resonating this message to the suits, “The value of the logotype, which is the company’s signature cannot be overestimated.”

So he’s the reason you know a company that goes to fivver for a logo will be a piece of shit.

I can’t find it right now, but I swear I read somewhere that IBM’s logo was said to be able to last through eternity or some other grandiose thing like that. WHo knows who said it. I may have heard it in a dream. Either way, I couldn’t help but disagree.

So here we have the original:

This logo has been around for 46 years. That’s impressive. What else is there? McDonalds?

Anyway, the damn thing works. But I notice it feels a bit empty lately. Now that everything needs to go from print to web to video and work everywhere, I just don’t think it holds up.

My approach was this:

  1. Keep the original integrity. For me the key to a good update is your audience thinking, “Did they update their logo?” I’m not into the PR uproar of online haters – unless the situation really call for it (see Comedy Central).
  2. Make it work on digital and when scaled down. I took one look at IBM’s website and that’s when I noticed that their current logo works because you know it, but you’d never design it today, because it feels empty set against the robust bold text and imagery that is the web.
  3. Tighten and trim. The slabs were a little too pronounced and the point in the “M” was bothering me, so I did something about it.

And here we have the new version:

Here’s a look at it on their website:

And a print ad that weaves in my favorite breakfast food:

If you like it, awesome. If you don’t, tell me why. Always happy to hear feedback.

Thanks for reading.

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