The Curve on the Letter M Has Also Been Changed Slightly
March 31, 2021 11:56 AM   Subscribe

“The designer told me it’s not just about a square becoming a circle. It’s about the brand having a massive change in its inner spirits and personality.” from Xiaomi Replaces Its Logo With A New One in Vice.

Kenya HARA used the “superellipse” mathematical formula when designing the logo of Xiaomi. While there are infinite options between a square and a perfect circle, the designer achieved a visually optimal dynamic balance by adjusting the variables in the formula. Using n=3 struck the perfect balance between a square and a circle, epitomizing the core aspect of “Alive”, resulting in the brand new Xiaomi logo we see now. Compared with a right-angled object, a circle is a shape that is more agile, which is the perfect representation of Xiaomi’s flexibility, relentlessness and its will to move forward. From Xiaomi Unveils New “Alive” Branding Identity
posted by chavenet (35 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
Branding design is organizational therapy. Sometimes ending up where you began after a process of soul-searching is a legitimate outcome.
posted by migurski at 12:12 PM on March 31 [19 favorites]


Hold on, didn't Apple already do the superellipse thing?
posted by BungaDunga at 12:29 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]


Like, switching out a rounded square for a squircle was a whole Thing when Apple did it back in like iOS7.
posted by BungaDunga at 12:31 PM on March 31 [3 favorites]


Perhaps not coincidentally, Xiaomi is gunning as hard as possible to be the aspirational product manufacturer in China.
posted by seanmpuckett at 12:36 PM on March 31 [2 favorites]


He said his team studied “circles and squares” extensively

Triangles will be in next semester's class, and will NOT be on the upcoming exam.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 12:40 PM on March 31 [15 favorites]


Should've just cranked up the blob generator and called it a day.
posted by jedicus at 12:50 PM on March 31 [5 favorites]


The problem with studying circles and squares is that you'll end up satisfying neither the circleites or the squareites and you'll have shut out the trangleites completely.
It's just a bad marketing decision.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 12:51 PM on March 31 [4 favorites]


Victors
The official font for the university is Victors. Victors is a proprietary font developed by Michigan Creative and can only be used in the university logo.
posted by clavdivs at 1:02 PM on March 31 [4 favorites]


...Does it look different from the original logo? It looks the same to me...
posted by yueliang at 1:25 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]


AT&T did the same thing. The old logo looks pretty much like the new one.

The "globe" logo first got the stripes reduced from 12 to 8

Then "new AT&T" (because SBC got merged back in) went with lower case at&t and a logo that looks a bit more rounded.

Then in 2015 they decided to inverse the graphics portion and changed letters back to capitals AT&T
posted by kschang at 1:42 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]


I like the new logo.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:52 PM on March 31 [4 favorites]


I'm sure it wasn't cheap to come up with the same logo again.
posted by Liquidwolf at 1:53 PM on March 31 [7 favorites]


I worked at a company when they redesigned the logo and had a big roll out with a party and a dramatic reveal and none of us could tell the difference. They'd changed the font a little and made the lines on the symbol a little thinner.
posted by octothorpe at 1:53 PM on March 31 [2 favorites]


The logos aren't for us any more. They are the clothes the Brands wear as they dance their slow and graceful dance. We are only a mute audience now as the Brands engage in forms of subtlety invisible to us, ever becoming more distant from us.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 2:10 PM on March 31 [20 favorites]


I like the new logo.

How do you feel about the old one?
posted by Liquidwolf at 2:13 PM on March 31 [3 favorites]


Hold on, didn't Apple already do the superellipse thing?

"Hold on, didn't Apple already do" has been Xiaomi's MO for years, why stop now?
posted by star gentle uterus at 2:17 PM on March 31 [7 favorites]


How does the new logo smell compared to the old one? I'll withhold judgment until someone can answer this.
posted by The Potate at 2:42 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]


Executives: "We'd like a new design, something fresh, hip, exotic! Also, don't change anything."

Designers: < getting out the top hat and cane > "We think you're going to love this..."
posted by SunSnork at 3:05 PM on March 31 [7 favorites]


migurski: "Branding design is organizational therapy. Sometimes ending up where you began after a process of soul-searching is a legitimate outcome."

This. A lot of brand work with a company, especially a large company, is talking to the company itself about their values, goals, etc., helping them define their internal narrative, (basically therapy, see above) and only at the end giving shape to this as a visible brand identity.
A logo is part of this, and the one that the general audience finds easiest to rip on, ('they spent 2 million dollars on a squirqle????!!!') but an actual brand is much more than a logo and most of work done and charged for is not visible in the P.R. materials they release.
posted by signal at 3:51 PM on March 31 [6 favorites]


It's a sort of Heroes Journey but, you know, for brands.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 4:35 PM on March 31 [8 favorites]


I like the new logo.

How do you feel about the old one?

I don’t like it as much. Too square.
posted by Going To Maine at 4:51 PM on March 31 [3 favorites]


Executives: "We'd like a new design, something fresh, hip, exotic! Also, don't change anything."
Designers: < getting out the top hat and cane > "We think you're going to love this..."


Not that it goes better when the execs get hands on.
posted by jamaro at 5:46 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]


ctrl-f n9

phrase not found
posted by mhoye at 5:50 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]


TBH, the new logo is better.

But it’s kinda like a real designer took a first draft from a random and fixed it. Which, OK, but it’s still fixed. Much better.
posted by sjswitzer at 6:10 PM on March 31 [4 favorites]


Branding design is organizational therapy.

I actually laughed really hard at this, because just yesterday I was looking back at the "breathtaking" Pepsi rebrand effort from 2008 - just an astonishing pile of magnificently hyperbolic nonsense - and your comment pur that whole exercise into a frame that makes so much sense in retrospect. You sell sugar water! You've dedicated your lives to being better at selling sugar water. Of course you want to tell a story about how your sugar water brand matters, in some cosmic metaphysical transcendent way? How could you not be desperate for that story, given all the alternatives?
posted by mhoye at 6:11 PM on March 31 [9 favorites]


I was just about to dip in and say this is so different from the Pepsi fiasco. The old Pepsi logo was fine, but they wanted to refresh it. And that’s not crazy in itself, but the result and the justification was preposterous.

In this case they had a bad logo, which nevertheless had some brand recognition, and needed to bring it up to professional quality. And on that basis it succeeds.
posted by sjswitzer at 6:17 PM on March 31 [2 favorites]


We are only a mute audience now as the Brands engage in forms of subtlety invisible to us, ever becoming more distant from us.

I see what you’re saying but I think it’s kinda backwards. Brands are the carefully curated masks of corporations who don’t want us to see or think about the smokestacks in their factories or their working conditions and just want us to engage on a pure consumer basis, whether on value for money or lifestyle pitches. Brands want to engage us viscerally and often succeed in doing so. Marketing is probably the most advanced of the social sciences today.
posted by sjswitzer at 6:29 PM on March 31 [5 favorites]


mhoye, the Pepsi “breathtaking” deck is one of my favorite design documents ever. It’s such transcendent bullshit, from the same person whose package design for Tropicana tanked their sales overnight.
posted by migurski at 9:42 PM on March 31 [2 favorites]


Imagine the corporate ineptitude of not only wasting cash, time and oxygen like this - but on then releasing the results the day before April Fools!
posted by rongorongo at 2:57 AM on April 1 [3 favorites]


Imagine the corporate ineptitude of not only wasting cash, time and oxygen like this - but on then releasing the results the day before April Fools!

Or you could release your April Fools press release two days early, resulting in confusion and hilarity.
posted by TedW at 4:52 AM on April 1 [4 favorites]


meanwhile, William Gibson crumples up another book draft as the future has once again caught up with him
posted by kokaku at 5:22 AM on April 1 [3 favorites]


Many brands ruin their logo when they redesign it.. especially "food" brands like Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, etc. They think updating it will appeal to people but they're too clueless to know that keeping a logo for a long item makes it become classic.

The only improvement on a logo I can think of right now is when Google changed their original lame serif font lettering to sans serif.
posted by Liquidwolf at 7:46 AM on April 1 [2 favorites]


Paul Rand, considered by some to be the prime mover behind contemporary corporate logos, covers a lot of related ideas in his essay "Logos, Flags, & Escutcheons." I have my brand design students read it every semester.

I do my best to help my students understand the political and psychological aspects of developing a brand identity. I think it's pretty difficult, though, to understand when your life experience has mostly been high school, retail job, and college. I often liken us as designers to used car salespeople. We've got to understand what would be appealing to our client and then reflect those desires back to them. It's even more successful if you can do it using the client's own words.

That being said, I find this logo redesign to be pretty uninspired. For all that I might function as a used car salesperson, secretly I am trying to get as many electric cars on the road as I can, to stretch the metaphor to its breaking point.
posted by Tchozz at 10:43 AM on April 1 [4 favorites]


Well at least they found a way to square that circle.
posted by biogeo at 10:56 AM on April 1 [3 favorites]


Liquidwolf: "The only improvement on a logo I can think of right now is when Google changed their original lame serif font lettering to sans serif.
"

Oh, I agree, I don't know what IBM and Apple where thinking!
posted by signal at 11:02 AM on April 1 [1 favorite]


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