If you believe the advertising hype, with Verizon, you’re never searching for a signal. But with their logo, I’m still searching for a meaning.
Verizon came into being in the summer of 2000 and that’s when this logo was born. Chuck and I have been hating on it ever since.
According to the corporate history on the Verizon website, “The symbol was selected because it uses the two letters of the Verizon logo that graphically portray speed, while also echoing the genesis of the company name: veritas, the Latin word connoting certainty and reliability, and horizon, signifying forward-looking and visionary.” Wow! That sure sounds good. Too bad the actual execution is just plain awful.
Every time you see the Verizon logo it looks different. This is a cardinal sin of branding. In order to gain mindshare you need to be consistent. It’s the reason companies have logos in the first place; they need a recognizable visual to gain the attention of their target audience(s). So when a logo is used inconsistently, it dilutes the mindshare businesses work so hard to build. (Of course, spend enough marketing and advertising dollars and anything can be recognizable.)
Sometimes the Verizon logo has faded ends to the red lines on the “symbol” and on the “Z”, but sometimes, they just end abruptly. This is probably because some applications of the logo have production limitations — something that should have been considered in the early design phases of the logo creation. Sometimes the end of the “Z” gets narrower at the ends, sometimes it stays thick. Sometimes the logo is used on black, but sometimes someone forgets to use the “black version” because the ends of the lines still fade to white. The red color is reproduced differently every time you see it. Someone might want to tell Verizon about Pantone. Other times, the “speed symbol” is used in front of the word, rather than on top of it. And sometimes the word “wireless” is added after the word (at least that appears to be used consistently). I’ve seen the symbol and the word used in a variety of proportions as well. I wonder if the designers created a logo style guide when they handed the logo files over to Verizon.
It’s not just the misuse, of course. With the number of retailers and agents and other authorized Verizon partners, there are hundreds of opportunities to reproduce the logo incorrectly. And while comprehensive style guidelines could assist with this, nothing but a redesign could really help the logo. It’s just plain ugly. I realize that is a subjective statement. But designers out there… are you with me? This is simply just one of the most horrifying executions of what sounded like decent conceptual direction. The logo has no flexibility with regards to reproduction options, the weight of the symbol is out of balance with the word, and the orientation often requires a rearrangement of the symbol and word (which is sometimes acceptable in certain situations and applications, but not as a general rule).
To the designers of the Verizon logo I say, back to the drawing board! (Unless the pressure and direction from the shareholders and VPs and other assorted executives pushed and pulled and shaped an otherwise solid idea in to this mess. Then of course I say, I totally understand — you have my sympathies.)