The Newspaper Logo Wars: Who's Winning & Who's Losing?
Moving a fledgling media brand like the The Madison Avenue Journal from a monthly to daily was much easier than many 100 year-old newspapers which have challenged with integrating a digital-focused new media "sister" group with the flagship brand. Who's winning, who's losing and at what price is it costing them both?
How did we do it vs. how did they do it? Well, it was probably much easier for us. We began with some research and a glint in the eye. Our favorite saying is "You're Either New Or You're Through" so the goal was to illuminate and juxtapose that in a humorous way.
Everyone who touches the business of Madison Avenue can't help but identify with the fact that the industry we toil in is too often a "Mad" Avenue.
So if our cluster of contributors were going to produce a daily, we realized that the old fashioned type face found on numerous newspapers might complement our new tongue-in-cheeky tagline.
With multiple years buying newspaper advertising across the country, we were aware how many papers used that old English style font. Almost all of them that still exist today go back 100 or so years and are proud of their legacy logo.
For better or worse, upon surfing the net-versions of the same newspapers, we found that many logos within the newspaper structure, now that added a .com department to the traditional organization had lost their authenticity. They had become bi-polar.
That is, their newspaper still used the paper's legacy type-face, yet the online version logos looked nothing like their older sister pubs.
Sometimes the evolution going from the 100 year old logo was more draconian than Darwinian. Sometimes the changes were simple, like adding the word "online" to the logo, or "on the web."
Yet, we had to wonder for whose benefit were these additions really there for. If readers were already on the site, wouldn't they know the content was online, or on the web?
Was this an example of satisfying a different audience other than the readers, or more specifically was it of the egos, fears and opposite agendas between the paper vs. digital departments? It's not hard to guess which one was working hard to maintain the history/brand equity of the brand while the other trying to dust it off and bring a new look for a new generation of reader/skimmers.
Having a fair amount of experience juggling offline with online we imagined the in-fighting that went on in newspaper conference rooms debating such weightless issues as to how to satisfy the paper vs. digital departmental prejudices with the other.
As a result, our own path of logo re-identification therefore appeared obvious. Known for being renegades to some degree, as detailed below, we went from a new media contemporary logo to a clearly old style English type face:
Over the last few months, we've worked hard to take you through what we learned about the medium founded by Guttenberg. The results of this exploration to date have been profound. We've been so enamored and entertained by our discoveries that this "loco-logo" analysis seems to be one of the best decisions we made.
Unfortunately, not that many journals have been as successful. If you take a look at how each of the six major newspaper holding companies have successfuly waged their traditional vs. online logo wars, you could see the battles have left each division scarred.
We'll let you categorize which ones are more in-sync vs. bi-polar in their design. We'll cover both local and national vehicles, with special attention on our hometown tablets. For example, if we look at just two of the major newspaper companies, one of which has just been sold, we provided a link which will take you to each of their long lists of newpapers, which list the link of each paper they publish.
Once you get there, click on several of the links and you'll see the merging, integration or down right refusal of each group to be flexible to each news groups preferences, which consequently list both logos, side by side in a clearly dysfunction way. You decide.
(Aberdeen, S.D.) AberdeenNews.com
(Belleville, Ill.) BellevilleNewsDemocrat.com
(Bellingham, Wash.) BellinghamHerald.co
(Biloxi, Miss.) SunHerald.com
(Bradenton, Fla.) HeraldToday.com
(Charlotte, N.C.) Charlotte.com
(Columbia, S.C.) TheState.com
(Columbus, Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer.com
(Contra Costa, Calif.) ContraCostaTimes.com
(Duluth, Minn.) DuluthNewsTribune.com
(Fort Worth) Star-Telegram.com
(Grand Forks, N.D.) GrandForksHerald.com
(Lexington, Ky.) Kentucky.com
(Macon, Ga.) MaconTelegraph.com
(Myrtle Beach, S.C.) MyrtleBeachOnline.com
(Olympia, Wash.) TheOlympian.com
(St. Paul) TwinCities.com
(San Jose, Calif.) MercuryNews.com
(San Luis Obispo, Calif.) SanLuisObispo.com
(State College, Pa.) CentreDaily.com
(Washington D.C.) KRWashington.com
(Wichita, Kan.) Kansas.com
(Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) TimesLeader.com
The Montgomery Advertiser
The Arizona Republic, Phoenix
The Baxter Bulletin
The Desert Sun, Palm Springs
The Salinas Californian
Fort Collins Coloradoan
The News Journal, Wilmington
FLORIDA TODAY, Brevard County
The News-Press, Fort Myers
Pensacola News Journal
Pacific Daily News, Hagatna
The Honolulu Advertiser
Rockford Register Star
The Indianapolis Star
Journal and Courier, Lafayette
The Star Press, Muncie
The Des Moines Register
Iowa City Press-Citizen
The Courier-Journal, Louisville
The Town Talk, Alexandria
The Daily Advertiser, Lafayette
The News-Star, Monroe
Daily World, Opelousas
The Times, Shreveport
The Daily Times, Salisbury
Battle Creek Enquirer
Detroit Free Press
Lansing State Journal
Daily Press & Argus, Livingston County
Times Herald, Port Huron
St. Cloud Times
The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson
Great Falls Tribune
Asbury Park Press
Courier News, Bridgewater
Courier-Post, Cherry Hill
Home News Tribune, East Brunswick
Daily Record, Morristown
The Daily Journal, Vineland
Press & Sun-Bulletin, Binghamton
The Ithaca Journal
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
The Journal News, Westchester County
Newspaper Network of Central Ohio
The Cincinnati Enquirer
The News-Messenger, Fremont
News Journal, Mansfield
The Marion Star
The Advocate, Newark
News Herald, Port Clinton
Times Recorder, Zanesville
Statesman Journal, Salem
The Greenville News
Argus Leader, Sioux Falls
The Leaf-Chronicle, Clarksville
The Jackson Sun
The Daily News Journal, Murfreesboro
The Tennessean, Nashville
The Spectrum, St. George
The Burlington Free Press
The Daily News Leader, Staunton
The Herald-Dispatch, Huntington
The Post-Crescent, Appleton
The Reporter, Fond du Lac
Green Bay Press-Gazette
Herald Times Reporter, Manitowoc
The Sheboygan Press
Stevens Point Journal
Wausau Daily Herald
The Daily Tribune, Wisconsin Rapids
Let's together continue to watch the evolution or revolution of how these organizations integration or lack their of deal with the ever-changing requirements of being comtemporary in this 21st era, so-called modern age.