Design Team Behind New Verizon Logo Says It’s Meant to Be Flexible, Not ‘Clever or Flashy’

More of a refresh than a rebrand

Headshot of Kristina Monllos

Google isn't the only brand to revamp its visual identity this week. Verizon just threw its hat into the redesign ring with its first new look in 15 years. 

The updated logo, from design firm Pentagram, is a "visual statement that honors our history and reflects an identity that stands for simplicity, honesty and joy," according to the telecom giant's announcement

Here's a GIF comparing the earlier logo with the new version:

"We wanted to stay true to who we are and kind of connect our present to our future," Verizon spokeswoman Kim Ancin told Adweek. "It more of an evolution and a refresh than a completely new logo." 

Giving its identity a refresh makes sense, considering Verizon shifted its agency business to Wieden + Kennedy earlier this year after the shop had been working on brand and strategy work. 

"It isn't intended to be clever or flashy," said Michael Bierut, partner at Pentagram's New York office. "It's really supposed to acknowledge its role as being ubiquitous as a kind of brand with a big footprint and one that isn't trying to add to the visual noise around us."

He said Verizon wasn't interested in pursuing a completely new logo and felt a modernization of the current look would be best.

And, like Google, the new logo allows Verizon to scale easily.  

"There definitely is some inherent flexibility with it," Ancin said. "It's not as difficult to reproduce, so that makes it an affordable option for us. It's cleaner and neater and kind of the direction that we're going. It's about being simple." 

Plenty of critics have already arisen on Twitter, but that's something Pentagram staffers expected. 

"Before the week is over, someone will say 'my 4-year-old could have done that,'" Bierut said. "Having done this for four decades, I've come to actually appreciate that as a positive thing. Four-year-olds can draw hearts and smileys and peace signs too. Those are great, universally understood symbols. They can't draw most complicated telecom logos because, why would they want to? And what they mean is too obscure. There's something about that universal understandability that was too tempting to pass up."  

A few selected criticisms and reactions:

@KristinaMonllos Kristina Monllos is a senior editor for Adweek.
Publish date: September 2, 2015 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT