Friday, July 5, 2013

Facelift Friday: 'Ernst & Young' now just 'EY'

My, it’s been awhile since we’ve reviewed a logo transformation!

What can we say? It’s been a slow summer.  A slight curve here, a flip-flop/color swap there; only modest brand revisions.

Everyone’s been playing it safe.

…Until now.

EY. Pronounced ‘EH’?! (read: huh?)

Big 4 Beaming?

Just before we broke for the 4th, Ernst & Young unveiled a radical new brand design. Aimed at sophisticated, bold simplicity, the first impression just fails to connect. What do you think?
Building a better working world?! How about you build a better working logo first?

While we agree with the firm’s “out with the old” intentions, we’re not sold on the “in with the new” results.

Sure, the previous look felt a bit cluttered and a lot stodgy. It was where dad put in thirty-five years, not where daughter/son got a career started. The interlocking EY mark, albeit clever, felt outdated, like some retro-modern, mega-60s trip.

But the new is a clear attempt to maintain harmony between the “E” and “Y” executed in the most unimaginable and unbelievably dull ways possible.  Referred to “in the biz” as both “E and Y” and “E-Y” interchangeably, dropping the ampersand makes a clear distinction of the brand’s preference moving forward. The new mark follows form in the latest trend of “less is more” design.
We’re sure they have some deeply poetic rationale behind “the beam.”

What and why?

A beam of light – everyone wants shown through the dark! EY’s beam is focus and guidance; it’s your tool to navigate the choppy, unknown seas of (whatever) business (you’re in). It’s bright and energetic. It’s sloping up, just like EY clients’ margins and profits! Won’t you join them?! 

Suffice to say, it’s a simple addition introduced to simulate uniqueness. Partnered with the right copy, it will deliver just the right amount of “warm fuzzies” you’ve come to expect from a global professional services firm (read: very little).  

3 down, 4 to go.

An industry changed! With Enron’s collapse, the rise of Sarbanes–Oxley, and fall of Arthur Anderson in 2001, the Big 5 became the Big 4 and a critical line was drawn in the sand.

Looking to abandon any image associated with life before industry meltdown, three have now undergone major brand overhauls.
With simple, sans-serif typeface and the introduction of otherwise generic shape and color, each hopes to better relate in the new, global marketplace and digital age.

It’s your move, KPMG!

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