Having written about San Pellegrino’s new packaging design only days ago (read more here), I came across the new logo design of Oxford University Press (OUP). The company hadn’t changed its serif wordmark for 40 years, although it dates back much longer and first printed books in 1586.
I have mixed feelings on the change, which feature’s Oxford’s name and an “O” icon showing (what many interpret as) the turning pages of a book. Although changing from a serif font has advantages in many modern contexts, I can’t but feel that the new logo loses some of the seriousness and heritage that should be associated with Oxford’s long-established colleges and tradition.
The company’s press release explains, “[the] new branding supports our ongoing transformation to become a digital-first business and enhance our aim to make knowledge and learning more accessible through the power of technology”.
Many brands choose to “modernize” their logos, but often lose much of their distinctiveness in the process (for examples read about Burberry here). You can also find articles on changes at Uber here and Facebook here.
In my opinion, the change to sans-serif looks more contemporary but has definitely lost some of the brand’s key associations with tradition. Only time will tell if it achieves the stated aims.