The Controversial New Equity Bank Logo

Equity Bank. It should be the most popular bank in the country. It is a bank of many firsts in the world earning it so many accolades and awards.

A few weeks ago, Equity bank celebrated its 35th year in business by rebranding. This entailed among many things, a redesign of their logo.

The Old logo

The general description of the old logo is that of the silhouette of the roof of a house.

You know what equity means, but let’s just go through it again.
Here are a few definitions;
The quality of being fair and impartial.
The value of the shares issued by a company.
In accounting, equity is the difference between the value of the assets and the value of the liabilities of something owned.

As young as I was back then ( like most of you), the logo gave me the general impression that it is a financial firm that is leaning towards real estate and mortgages. That it is a bank that is taking the niche of the real estate vibes, home furnishing, and home buying loans.

I got to be 18 and had my first bank account with, you guessed it, Equity and then discreetly learned that it is just an ordinary and general bank in terms of the services that it offers.

In general, I think the logo design was a missed opportunity. We can attribute it to the humble beginnings in the slopes of Mount Kenya back in 1984. It could be excusable to assume that informed and professional graphic design may have been out of reach back then.

The Rebranded Logo
To celebrate their 35 year anniversary, Equity Bank rebranded, and with that came a new logo. Here is what it looks like.

New Equity Logo

The attribute of the new logo vis à vis the old one is just the simplification.

So many people immediately felt like the creatives behind the logo were not given the creative leash to re-do the logo. In general, the logo missed on the relevance to the mandate of the firm. This is shamefully consistent in the existence of the logo of the bank from inception to date, and unfortunately, for the next 15 years; assuming they are going to rebrand again during their 50th anniversary.

They may have been given a brief that simply and mainly stated that they simplify the old logo. Nothing more or less.

Assumptions of what may have transpired.

By a grander scale, many creatives assume that the Equity Bank rebranding result is a true depiction of what happens in the industry. That the client who is the money wielder doesn’t care about your professional input but just points the gun at your head and shouts instructions. And since you got bills to pay, you oblige and cringe as you bring to life what they said.

That the logo lacks aspiration, abstractness, and cleverness doesn’t even begin to list the misses on the logo.

IAAF rebrands to “World Athletics”

You may have noticed a change in the brand of the athletics body in the just-concluded world championships in Doha. The former IAAF rebranded to World Athletics in May and it was to be applied officially in the World Championships, which they did.

The former logo featured the image of Maurice Greene with his hands raised in celebration after crossing the finish line in victory.

Maurice Greene is a former American sprinter and record holder in the 100-meter dash that exited just when Usain Bolt walked in. His record stood at 9.79s.

Maurice Green raises his hands after winning a race. It is the blueprint of the silhouette on the former IAAF logo.

The New Logo

The new brand of the former IAAF.

The New World Athletics Logo Design Breakdown

The logo design is comprised of three main elements:

1.The “W”

2.The “A”

3. The Arc

The ‘W’ of World, and also a symbol of an athlete’s arms raised in victory.

The ‘A’ of Athletics, which also represents an athlete’s focus as they prepare for the road ahead.

An arc over both to represent the entire athletics community coming together.

The logo also includes the sweep of a running track which appears in an upward trajectory, symbolizing the desire to continually push beyond limits. The patterns capture the energy present in all four of athletics’ group disciplines: running, jumping, throwing and walking.

“The hope is that our new brand will help attract and engage a new generation of young people to athletics,” said IAAF President Sebastian Coe. “We have now created a brand that can come to life in the digital world while reflecting the changing nature of the sport. And at the same time bring into focus the athletes, the heroes of our sport.”

“The IAAF name has been in existence for over 100 years, but it has little understanding or relevance to those outside of athletics,” said IAAF CEO Jon Ridgeon. “The new identity creates a symbol that can stand alone and work with partners and events.”

The World Athletics Logo Critique

The logo seems to have achieved just one thing on the checklist. Change.

The fading gradient on the logo makes it unsightly and doesn’t add any value to the design of the logo.

The logo rebrand has great story and in what it encapsulates but the representation and interpretation could have been better. It could have been more iconic and memorable and a tad simple than it is.

It should have been an abstraction of fitness and the human element in the graphics shouldn’t have been taken off.

What are your thoughts on the new IAAF rebranding and logo?

The Women World Cup Logos

The curtains just came down on the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France. The USA emerged the winners after beating the Dutch team.
Unlike the men’s version that has been around since the 1950s, the first women World cup was staged in 1991 in China.

Since then it has been hosted in Sweden- (1995), USA-(1999 and 2003), China again (2007), Canada-(2015) and France (2019)

The different tournaments have also had the practice of having an accompanying logo/emblem. It is important to be aware of the appearance of the trophy before you proceed as it will go a long way into helping you have a better understanding of the logo reviews

 You can read more about the Women World Cup trophy here.

Here is a break down of the logos, together with the slogans, to the different editions from the latest to the earliest.

France 2019 – Dare to Shine

France has always stood out on many fronts. The 2019 Women World Cup logo was in celebration of France’s taste in fashion and style. A depiction of the traditional mariniere stripes is what you see wrapped around the trophy. The stripes are an iconic symbol of French fashion for centuries. The early French soldiers also put on the striped uniforms.

The top of the trophy depicts a stylized football that almost hints at the logo used for the Men’s World Cup held in Russia in 2018. The ball is surrounded by eight slivers or light to represent the eight editions of the FIFA World Women’s Cup.

2015 CanadaCoast to Coast

You just can’t fail notice the shape of the maple that is red on the Canadian national flag. The shape was also the outline of the canvas to showcase Canada’s fauna, flora, mountains, and cityscapes as the elements that the country is known for.

Adjoining, the goal of the logo was to present the country as ambitious, modern, and passionate.

Germany 2011Arena Deutschland

What jumps at you with this logo is the simple depiction of the aerial view of a stadium enclosed with the German national colours of black, red and gold.

At the right is the icon of the world cup trophy..

China 2007Beautiful Game, Beautiful Goals

The logo doesn’t have direct idea jumping at you but is so full of symbolism. The logo is inspired by the Chinese calligraphy to represent the spirit of global unity and harmony of the women’s competition. The logo shows the FIFA brand colours of dark and light blue. The graphic curvy features showing a fluid movement go upwards to bring out the expressive spirit of the trophy.

USA 2003

The logo depicts the US’s national colours of white, red and blue. If the logo looks generic or rushed then that is excusable. The games were to be hosted by China but then there was a SARS virus outbreak. The US stepped in to to rescue the situation.

It is the reason why China hosted the subsequent edition in 2007.

USA 1999 This Is My Game. This Is My Future. Watch Me Play

Even the two versions couldn’t salvage the situation. This logo just doesn’t get in my opinion. The long tagline did nothing to help too.

The design elements of the logo all look so African; The colour palette of yellow, green and red.The style of the typographical forms points to Africa too.

Sweden 1995

The depiction of the profile of woman with long hair is perfectly complemented with the circling typography. The symbolic upward pose of the head aimed to capture the athleticism, dynamism and elegance of international women’s football that was to be showcased in the country between the dates shown at the lower side of the logo.

The football icon emphasizes the game in question.

 The color palette of blue and yellow is very inspired by the emblematic Swedish flag.

China 1991Raising the Game, Blazing the Way

China was the country that had the privilege of hosting the first edition of the women world cup, and the evidence of humble beginnings is square in the seeming mediocrity of the logo.
Apart from the background of circles enclosing the world map and human figure running after something with a Chinese character, most of everything about it is so deep for my understanding.

But let’s give it to them for the tagline: Raising the Game, Blazing the Way. So cool and relevant as we look at the games eight editions later.

The Women World Cup Trophy Design

The journey from the qualifiers to the group stages all the way to the finals of the Women’s world cup always culminates with that joyous moment of lifting the trophy by the captain of the eventual Champion’s team.

The women’s trophy generally features the shape of a golden spiral band that juts from a part of a cone then stretches skywards before eventually enclosing a football at the top.

Here is how the women’s world cup trophy looks like.

The Trophy Design Details

The Women World Cup Trophy hasn’t been the same since the first tournament happened in 1991. The trophy, as we know it, was designed in 1998 by William Sawaya and then hand-crafted by Milanese specialists Sawaya & Moroni for the 1999 edition of the World Cup.

But it begs a big question, Did it have to be designed by a man?

The magnificent design aims to perfectly capture the athleticism, dynamism, and elegance of international women’s football.

In the 2010s, it was fitted with a modern cone-shaped base and the names of the tournament’s previous winners are engraved underneath. The addition reinforces the uplifting spirit of the design.

The trophy is made of sterling silver clad in 23-karat yellow and white gold and weighs 4.6 kilograms.

It had an estimated value in 2015 of approximately $30,000. The men’s World Cup trophy is worth five times more; a whopping $150,000. But here is the caveat, the women’s trophy is constructed for each women’s champion to take home while that is never the case for the men’s trophy who only have one original copy.

Designer: William Sawaya, Sawaya & Moroni, Milan, Italy
Year of original design: 1998
Height: 47cm
Weight: 4.6kg
Material: bronze, gold-plated; polished aluminium; Verde Candeias Granite

The Formula One Logo

For the average Kenyan, formula one racing is surely in the back burner of his cares. Yes, he can recognize the image of the racing car. He can also drop or two names of characters like; Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso, Kimmi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel, and Lewis Hamilton. But they may not put faces to the names. Hell, he doesn’t even know who is retired and who is not. Most of the details beyond those are misty and hazy.

Those who are a bit curious are familiar with the loved and iconic logo that the formula one have always had. I learned a bit recently that the logo was changed to a new one. It appears that I was not the only one with that didn’t welcome the news. The old logo seemed perfect. Change is like rest, they say. But this one appeared to be “change for change’s sake”. Or maybe I am just being human, struggling to adapt to it (change).

The Old formula One Logo Details

The former F1 logo.

The old logo was designed by Carter Wong in 1994. It was what a teacher could use as an example of all the qualities that makes a great logo. Describable, simple, Impactful, scalable, it had them all.

The F1 logo had red and black colors mostly seen on a white background.
It was blunt about showing everyone that it was the sport about the fastest thing on four wheels ever made by man. It perfectly embodied the core forces of F1 racing – speed, attack, and control. The initials F and 1 slanted and serrated showed great speed.

The red on the speed trail serrations represents passion and energy. The black color represents power and determination.

The Need for Change

The commercial demands of the sport is what necessitated the conversation for change in the design of the formula one logo. Apparently, the logo would struggle for attention when thrown in the sea of the other brands in the track.

“Reposition the Formula One as a forward facing entertainment brand, which works across a multitude of channels.”

The formula re-design brief

The New Formula One Logo Design Details

The new formula one logo design was done by Wieden+ Kennedy. It was launched in November 2017.

Here is the finished logo design.

The present F1 logo.

It is also a slanted “F” and “1” symbol constructed out of three panels. It can also be interpreted to be some red form with a white line between the panels to try and depict the initial F and 1 to something like what has been done to the CNN or ESPN logos.

It is a depiction of the profile of the form of a race car. It also a depiction of the view of a formula one track with a corner in the distance.

Reactions to the Logo

With the logo reveal, there were different responses for and against it.

“Shame to see our F1 logo go. But it’ll always be part of our history of which we are proud. We are positive and hopeful for its future.”

Carter Wong, the designers to the former logo shared this on twitter,

“Thank you for giving us such a hard act to follow”.This was after the launch of the new logo. Such a classy act from them.

Wieden + Kennedy sent a package to Carter and Wong with the words

“The new logo is much more flexible in terms of its use, especially when it comes to application on merchandising, and in the digital world. It has an impact. The old logo was neither iconic or memorable.”

Ross Brown F1’s Managing Director

I don’t agree with him on the last part though.

” That identity is also built out of this idea that Formula One is full of logos. It’s a sport of logos. And we wanted to celebrate or lean into that as opposed to trying to resist it.”

Turley, who’s the Global Executive Creative Director for the design for F1.

So there friends, from face value, the logo seems inferior to its predecessor. But the stories behind it justify the change and the direction that the sports management is headed.

Here is a link to the logo reveal