If you designed logos in the days before the term “animated GIF” was not even a twinkle in anyone’s eye, you might have developed a style guide with instructions something like this: The logo shall be printed in Black or Pantone 186 Blue only, and reproduced in sizes not less than one-half-inch high. It must placed on a white or light-colored background one inch from the bottom of the page and not less than ¾ inch from the right-hand margin.
Maybe I’ve exaggerated a bit, but that’s how the world of corporate identity operated. Woe be to anyone who broke the rules.
Now, thankfully, rules are meant to be broken, and logos are meant to expand and contract, wink, blink, dance and burst forth in animated glory. Here are four of the most lively, interesting examples created in the past year.
4 Lively Logo Animations from the Past Year
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Meatpacking District Business Improvement District
New York, USA
New York’s Meatpacking District used to be the place where, in the wee hours, animal carcasses hung in the open air, after-hours clubs attracted an unsavory crowd, and flophouses rented rooms by the hour. Over the last decade or so—although a few meatpacking companies remain—the neighborhood has become a high-end nexus of art (The Whitney Museum), fashion (Diane VonFurstenberg, Rag & Bone, Theory), technology (Google, Betaworks, Cisco Systems), food (too many restaurants to mention), and architecture, gardens and culture (The High Line).
According to Geoff Cook, a partner in Base Design, which has offices in New York, Brussels and Geneva, Base New York was challenged to rebrand the neighborhood. “The goal was not just to rebrand, but to change perceptions,” he says. “We reconciled and celebrated the clash of old and new, gritty and chic, with a logo that literally has two sides. The motion reflects the vibrant, dynamic nature of the district. That dichotomy was embraced and expressed in signage, banners, window displays, the website and more.”
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Anagrama is one of the leading firms redefining branding in Mexico. Now with an office in Mexico City and virtual offices in New York and Tokyo, in addition to its Monterrey HQ, Anagrama has brought a clean, sharp, international sensibility to its much-awarded work and has changed how Mexican business leaders and entrepreneurs communicate with their audiences.
This sporty design program for JimJams, a retail store that specializes in clothing with images of sports personalities and events, is based on strategic-play diagrams used by coaches of American football. The store interior features lockers and stadium seats; JimJams’ garments are displayed in glass cases as if they are collectible memorabilia.
According to Anagrama press liason Marissa Gutierrez, the website was intended to be a dynamic, surprising shopping experience where fans can buy new graphic interpretations of their favorite teams and stars (note: $370 in Mexican pesos is approximately $20 USD.)
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The Click Design
Rainbird, a technology startup with offices in London and Norwich, helps clients use artificial intelligence (AI) to automate complex tasks. The firm chose The Click Design to position them as a serious contender in the field and help them gain new clients and additional venture capital funding.
According to The Click’s creative director Bobby Burrage, “The name ‘Rainbird,’ which had no particular rationale behind it, was to be kept. Everything else was up for grabs. We gave the client an abstract bird that draws the eye to the letters ‘AI’ in the company name.”
The identity was applied to the website, software, print collateral and digital channels. The designers developed a series of visual wordplays that use the bird device to point out strengths of Rainbird’s service, and which are used for online banners, print ads and digital marketing.
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Plus Plus Plus
Boy Creative, which calls itself “a freshly minted studio,” has received nearly 42,000 project views on Behance, including more than 1,000 appreciations for its naming and branding project for Plus Plus Plus, a Vilnius gastropub that, according to TripAdvisor, is a big hit with budget-minded locals and travelers.
Designer Migle Rudaityte says he was “more than excited when the client chose the name he proposed, already imagining the possibilities around those plus signs,” which stand for + eat + drink + chat.
The studio also produced colorfully patterned signage, menus, takeout boxes and cups, T-shirts, tote bags and tape for identifying yourself, or anything you’d like to wrap it around.