Adage rebrands with a sharp point of view, a bold redesign and an official name change. Rebrand will touch every aspect of print, digital, social and experiential. Advertising Age officially becomes Ad Age today as the 87-year old icon of the marketing and media industries unveils a bold new look both inside and out. Our berry, Alex Moulton of Trollbäck+Company, has reviewed the project.
As I write this on Monday morning of Ad Week, it’s about to get hot in New York City, and not just because of the unseasonably warm September weather. For everyone who follows the inner workings of the ad industry, the week will bring heated debate about the future of ads, cross-platform marketing, and audience reporting. So it’s only fitting that Advertising Age has unveiled its new logo and (finally) adopted it’s more colloquial moniker “Ad Age” to signal its move to embrace the evolving advertising landscape.
The new Ad Age brand identity system, developed by OCD, feels immediately more modern and energetic. Bright, electric colors feel young and vibrant. The new logotype designed by Tobias Frere-Jones is characteristically simple and classic, adding a touch character on the lower-case ‘g’ that is meant to act as a “clip” around color or content. It also stacks nicely on the publisher’s social avatars. I like it.
The bigger question already being voiced on social media in reaction to the rebrand, is “why?” The Ad Age press release touts a new slate of features and products intended to engage readers with a more holistic digital-leaning experience. All of the sub-brands will be gathered under the Ad Age umbrella, and we are promised new story formats and a clearer brand voice. As with most rebrands, the real proof and ROI of the switch can only be measured by time, and clearly it’s too early to say if success will come quickly.
In many ways, I’m reminded of Billboard Magazine’s rebrand by Michael Beirut at Pentagram in early 2013. The bold new visual identity marked a departure from publishing insider stories focused on the music industry, and opened itself up to cover celebrities, style, and even gossip. It was shocking (but beautiful) and took people a while to warm up to the new direction. The magazine was able to extend its relevance but also continues its struggles with revenue in an extremely challenged marketplace. The wonderful new look was only part of a larger business strategy, and ultimately not the most important part.
I, for one, am really looking forward to this new chapter in Ad Age’s 87 year history. If the editorial staff delivers the new vision as planned, then I expect the hot new visual brand identity system will be welcomed with open arms.