Today I came across some identity work from Beeson + Beeson for Cambrook Nuts:
The logo isn’t the most inspiring piece of graphic design, and sadly Beeson + Beeson’s site didn’t offer much explanation of the development or underlying meaning to the logo to get excited about! That said I do think it works well across the range and makes the nuts appear luxurious:
They’ve also done some nice print work to enhance the brand:
But anyway, what I really wanted to talk about was the resemblance it seemed to have with Cancer Research’s latest logo, designed only a few months ago by Interbrand:
I have to say I’m not the biggest fan of this logo, I can see where it’s coming from – everyone joining together to beat cancer, the idea of cancer disintegrating, carrying forward the dots from the arrow of the previous logo – I get all that but then I also find it a little uninspiring.
It also brings back this idea of ‘the big C’ that cancer is something daunting and to be afraid of, and on top of that it also looks as though it could be catching – in a way – a little bit like a virus escaping, which is less than ideal for a medical logo.
But even this, in turn seems to be inspired by The Brand Union‘s work for Brand USA done last year:
Which has received some criticism from Creative Review commentators for lacking self-assurance. When it’s representing a country with such strong patriotism, views and arguably the world’s biggest superpower it does come across as a little lacking! Although again, I see the idea of different states, people, opinions coming together to create a country.
So where have all these logos stemmed from? It seems as though that responsibility rests with the work of Johnson Banks. Although other logos will have used dots before, Johnson Banks’ work for St. David’s (a shopping centre in Cardiff) back in 2009 seems to be the first one to show the dots gathering or equally dispersing:
These dots were also applied to Hayes Apartments identity, a set of apartments situated just above the centre, tying the two aspects together but allowing them each to have a separate identity as well:
Which leads us back round to the very recent work Wolff Olins have done for EE:
There are a few more examples that could’ve been added to this ‘timeline’ including the logos for Seed Media Group and KC phones but these examples seemed to make most sense to me!
I like seeing that not all work big brands do are entirely original and I’m not criticising them for these similarities. I think as long as there is a valid reason for doing something then the inspiration should be a little irrelevant, but it’s interesting nonetheless to see how the trend has grown, changed or possibly even reduced it’s own value with the repetition.
It’s also interesting that many of these logos have attracted a lot of criticism and negativity so it seems a little odd to me for it to still be being adopted and adapted. I think this shows quite clearly that what works for one brand will not necessarily work for another and context and reasoning really need to be there to ensure the branding is a success.