HP’s new logo is stupid

Short story shorter: Hewlett-Packard introduces new logo which will start being on display with HP’s Spectre laptop series.

Here’s the thing, once you know that it’s by HP, it’s easier to visually identify the H and the P, because your brain is basically filling in the gaps for you.  But if you didn’t know that this was HP for Hewlett-Packard, then who’s to say that it’s an H and a P?  It could be a lower-case B, followed by a P, or even a lower-case B, followed by a lower-case R?

Or who says they’re even letters at all?  It’s almost like a hand-symbol like the shocker.  Or maybe it’s claw marks or something, for a company that takes its namesake from a ferocious animal?

The point is, it looks stupid.  Overly minimalistic, to a point where if you didn’t know who it was before seeing it, you just might not be able to figure it out.

And whenever I find a logo that looks stupid, I like to find out the creative process behind it, because it’s kind of relevant to what I do for a living.  Thankfully, CNN Money is very quick to point me in the right direction, because we’re quickly able to find out in the agency’s own words just how this shitty logo came to fruition:

The defining signature of the system is the 13° angle. 13° represents HP’s spirit as a company, driven forward by ingenuity and optimism about the future and a belief in human progress. It also refers to the world of computing by recalling the forward slash used in programming. 13° exists within the brand identity, in the graphic language, product design and UI.

— Moving Brands

“spirit as a company, driven forward by ingenuity and optimism about the future and a belief in human progress?”

“13° exists within the brand identity, in the graphic language, product design and UI?”

How about HP’s logo was italicized because Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard thought a plain old HP looked lame, and asked the designer to italicize it?  I would be willing to wager legitimate money that 13° angle happened purely as circumstance to hitting CTRL+I, instead of some sort of deliberate shearing of two letters.

The thing is, I love reading the fluffy convoluted heaps of bullshit creative agencies spout to justify their so-called designs.  I’m sure HP’s spirit is captured by a 13° angle in their logo, and not their pursuit to drop their computers into as many households as they possibly can, to pad their wallets and satiate investors.

But seriously, I’d love to see a creative agency just tell it how it is, when it comes to presenting their work: “Our intern, uh, thought it just looked kind of minimalistic and cool.”  “The assistant VP was on the shitter reading X-Men comics, and saw a scratch pattern that Wolverine left on Sauron, and thought it looked like something cool.”

Either way, HP’s new logo looks stupid.  And at a quick glance, it’s way too easy to interpret the series of 13° lines as almost BP, which would be the oil company, the one that dumped shitloads of crude into the Gulf of Mexico.  Not quite sure I’d want that mistake to remotely even be close to the table.

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