UPS has a new logo. I’d swear this was an April Fools joke if it hadn’t been announced earlier. Have they gone completely insane? The old UPS logo, one of the most recognized brands in the world, was a distinctive design by Paul Rand created in 1961. The new one, well, it has a semi-swoosh. Boring! I can’t imagine wasting an estimated $20 million on rebranding to that. And in a slow economy, too. The courier-journal has a story which notes the problematic timing of the rebranding.
What this logo lacks, and what Rand’s logo had in spades, is wit. Rand said that he knew when he’d hit upon the right design when his young daughter saw immediately that the top of the shield was a gift box. Its message was clear and simple: UPS delivers good things — the effect was to inspire a smile. In spite of the fact that UPS forbade the use of string to tie up packages, the company recognized the emotional resonance that Rand’s work communicated, and they allowed it to become one of the most well-respected design landmarks of the modern world.