After more than a century of all capitals, Xerox has introduced a new lower-case logo--or, as the company prefers to put it, "unveiled the most sweeping transformation of its corporate identity in the company's history."
Gone are the elegant, austere, sharply angled sans-serif capitals. In their place are "engaging and approachable" round letters, according to Xerox CEO Anne Mulcahy, quoted in the New York Times. The chubby new logo, created by multinational branding agency Interbrand from a proprietary new font called Xerox Sans, comes with its own toy: a red ball marked with a white X. The ball will bounce around in multimedia presentations and, presumably, advertisements; it's supposed to suggest "forward movement and 'a holistic company,'" according to Interbrand strategist Maryann J. Stump. According to Xerox's Mulcahy, the ball "represents the connection to customers, partners, industry and innovation."
Also to stoopball, paddleball, jacks, and other childhood games.
Xerox may be a bubbling font of innovative goodness, but the press release announcing the new look is an insipid stew of corpspeak studded with clichés:
- digital marketplace
- bold statement [is there ever any other kind?]
- sweeping statement [ah, yes--that kind]
- leveraging new technologies
- cutting-edge products
- unprecedented speeds
In other words, a Xerox copy of all the other Fortune 500 press releases you've ever received.
The Times story is accompanied by an interesting timeline of Xerox's brand evolution. I hadn't known, or remembered, that the company was officially "Haloid Xerox" until 1961.
(Hat tip to Brandflakes for Breakfast.)
Update: Mark Landkamer, a friend and colleague, notes that the Times timeline omitted the "digital X" logo that was created in the 1980s by branding giant Landor--"and which is still better and fresher than what Xerox just came up with":