16 March 2006

[logo_design] Quark Redesigns Again, Again

For all those who thought the first redesign of the Quark, Inc. logo was something "we knew they should have turned right at Albuquerque", we give you the New New Quark.

I think they should have bothered, and I think they've got a genuine article here. I call it evolution in action, and it was done the way they should have done it the first time; in-house. They recognized that Quark knows what's best for itself, and actually, given its past as the acme of creative applications, it's a mystery why they didn't do that to begin with. As my friend Pariah Burke said in his post on Quark VS InDesign:
The 2005 logo is still featured in SicolaMartin’s online portfolio as a warning to other prospective clients of the Austin, Texas firm seeking unique branding.

It'll probably take SicolaMartin a while to recover from this bruise, I wot...well, at least amongst creatives, anyway.

There have already been some negative reviews of the new new logo, but I don't agree with them. Maybe it has to do with stacking this new new look against the old new look and recognizing that it's a distinct improvment (it has character and style, the change to the tail of the Q make the typography look more polished, the dynamic tension caused by the concentric asymmetry, and the Q that actually looks like a Q rather than an "a"). But then Quark has been so insensitive and arrogant toward paying customers in the past it will always have some animus from people against it.

What's actually surprising is that it's so strong. Check out this post at a place calling itself "Things That Suck" . This is perhaps a little ├╝bercranky but the root is typical of the sort of anti-Quark sentiment I keep seeing as a writer at D: and QVI. Sour grapes? Maybe. But I've found when there's enough complaining about something then it's not always on the complainers–in other words, there's good reasons why there's so much moaning. They don't even care that Quark 7 is about to happen–and that's even after trying the public beta.

As one wise person I knew a while ago (who has since executed the function shuffle (mortal_coil, off) once said, "It takes ten "attaboys" to make up for one "aw, hell". I don't think Quark has worked its way past five yet.

But, over everything else, I think the re-rebranding is, at last, a success.

I guess the real question is: too little, too late?

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