06 April 2007

[logo_design] The New Look of OPB

754 I missed the announcment of this, but like a good campaign, eventually it'll get your attention. And it got mine, particularly that cool billboard...

The OPB identity has been through three changes over the past ten years. The first, was the simple "O"; then next, the letters OPB emanating from what looked like a sliver-crescent moon. This new one is a real standout from the restrained presentation of the past two incarnations.

A truism of rebranding, from my impressions anyway, seems to be that if a company or organization feels they aren't communicating their outlook well or that it just feels dated to someone, it's time to rebrand. As the Quark, Inc fiasco of 2006 and and the NBC embarrassment of the 1978-79 teaches us, sometimes going full-tilt boogie into an identity rethink isn't the best thing to do...and sometimes, you can't be ablsolutely sure.

I imagine that rebranding is a bit like standing on the edge of a swimming pool, blindfolded, wondering if there's any water in it.

The new OPB logo splashes blocks of color and knocks the letterforms out. Compared to the earlier logos, it's not just a freshening up, it's Mardi Gras. Let's take a left turn into the world of logo-talk and find out what it is they're trying to say with it:
The LKP campaign also firmly identifies OPB with Oregon’s unique state of mind, its activism, community involvement and thoughtful opinions,” explained OPB President and CEO Steve Bass.” We are thrilled with the quality and creativity of LKP’s work and look forward to seeing it and hearing about it throughout the region (source: this news item on the Portland Advertising Federation's website)
Of course, what I see are the letters OPB reversed out of three pastellish color blocks, which, if you're taking notes are C77M4Y3K0, C17M4Y64K0, and C55M38Y85K18.

And perforce the need for logo-talk. But I come here not to bury the work, but to praise it; as a lifelong Oregonian, I'm still not sure what the logo's supposed to say about my experience thereupon, but it is a freshening up on the brand, and when viewed in relation to OPB's restrained graphic identity previously, must be viewed as a success; my internalized reaction is one of interest and of admiration. They brought this one up, and it pretty much hits the target.

The agency that did the work, Leopold Ketel & Partners, is responsible for more than one local brand: they count ODS and Kettle Foods amongst thier satisfied clients. Judging by that work, it's not surprising that OPB went with them. Looks like money well spent.

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