Branding agencies make me sad inside

Pentagram have designed the Windows 8 logo. I like the logo itself, reflecting as it does the fantastic-looking Metro UI.

What I dislike, and what makes me sad, is the obviously hindsight reasoning exemplified in this empty, soulless, self-justifying quote:

The perspective analogy is apt because the whole point of Microsoft products is that they are tools for someone to achieve their goals from their own perspective. The window here is a neutral tool for a user to achieve whatever they can, based on their own initiative.

I get the feeling all this bumph is an effort to “science-ise” what is essentially an aesthetic choice with conflated semantics. Logos have a job to be recognisable and to represent the brand to a certain extent, but in the end a logo cannot and should not be forced to carry all this baggage.

They also tie themselves in knots trying to come up with this stuff, resulting in blatant contradictions:

One guideline of Metro is that the graphic or interface must appear “authentically digital” — that is, it should not appear to be material or three-dimensional using gradients or effects. The new identity suggests dimensionality using the classic principle of perspective: lines receding into space.

The perspective drawing is based on classical perspective drawing, not computerized perspective.

An authentically digital non-computerized perspective? Come on, this makes no sense.

All this puffery is surely ego-stroking by the branding companies who, while quite obviously capable of producing pleasing logos, still feel they need to justify their work in these inflationary terms. I wish they’d be stronger in their self-belief instead of dragging down the whole profession with this nonsense — which leads companies to believe they can reinvent themselves with a surface coat of paint in a “re-branding” exercise. Setting such unrealistic expectations isn’t the sign of a healthy, confident industry.

(c.f., Bluster around new Logos)

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