An Ordinary World

The new Barclaycard identity by Brand Union
You’re a big brand. Huge. Global in fact, as we say these days. And you need to stand out more. You need a new visual device, something that can stand alone and represent your business and its values, even without the company name underneath. You want a logo that will say a few things about you, what you do – hey – maybe even where you’re going in these crazy times. So, what does the cyan and white sphere above say? Unequivocally, it says: I am another company with a hollowed-out spherical logo…

Barclayacrd logo/text
The new Barclaycard identity by Brand Union

You’re a big brand. Huge. Global in fact, as we say these days. And you need to stand out more. You need a new visual device, something that can stand alone and represent your business and its values, even without the company name underneath. You want a logo that will say a few things about you, what you do – hey – maybe even where you’re going in these crazy times. So, what does the cyan and white sphere above say? Unequivocally, it says: I am another company with a hollowed-out spherical logo…

The latest in a long line of rebranded financial corporations is Barclaycard which, as of yesterday, officially sports a new identity courtesy of Brand Union. In the last decade or so, countless large corporations have smoothed off their edges and sanded down their corners via a rebrand. “Look how soft and round and approachable we are,” seems to run the thinking.

Barclayacrd logo

Indeed, according to the designers, the new Barclaycard identity aims to convey a calm, confident exterior while being warm and vibrant on the inside… and that the globe motif represents a “chip” being released from the constraints of the plastic card and welcomed in by new, exciting methods of payment.

The logo cost £600k (part of a £1.5m identity makeover) and while we don’t need to go down the path of bemoaning the fee, what does the new identity actually say apart from what we already know: that many companies are now global businesses (hence the globe shape) and that they’re highly networked organisations (hence the curly bits that wrap the sphere).

Perhaps more worryingly, it says far less about what differentiates the company from its competitors (it happens to be Barclaycard, it could be any number of brands) and more about how achingly similar corporate logos have become. In trying to say they’re about the new, the modern, the global, they’re in fact revealing a willingness to simply blend in with everyone else.

Here are some other familiar spherical jobs. It really is one world out there isn’t it?

SonyEricsson logo
BT logo
ATT logo

Top to bottom: Sony Ericsson, BT, AT&T

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