Pentagram have been getting a lot of stick recently after unveiling a new identity for University of the Arts London. If you want to read some rather harsh criticism of the logo check out the comments section of this Creative Review post.
I wasn’t initially going to talk about the rebrand as I want to keep this blog about inspirational design work and, whilst I wouldn’t go as far as some of the commenters who seem to have reacted as though Pentagram have killed their dog (or done something similarly devastating,) I also wouldn’t class the identity as particularly aspirational either. However I did come across some work that perhaps salvages the design entirely which I’ll come to at the end of this post.
So this is what Pentagram have come up with:
Which is infinitely more workable than UAL’s old logo which takes up a lot of room at large sizes but disappears when small, although I do like idea behind the asterisk location pointer they had:
Whereas helvetica remains readable even at small sizes. It does seem odd to choose a typeface which basically directly translates as Switzerland when trying to represent London.
But could this be the solution? Created by a commentator on Brand New, a changing prefix could be what the identity has been lacking, adding an extra element of creative thinking and bringing the identity and institution together:
What do you think? Does that salvage the creativity seeping helvetica? Is it just too bland? Or are you one of the few prepared to admit you liked it in the first place?