Recently, along with a photography-focused cell phone, Kodak unveiled a redesign of its corporate logo. Created by New York design studio Work-Order, it is based on the iconic Peter Oestreich design used between 1971 and 2006. This is the version of the Kodak logo that most people alive today are familiar with.
Although I am pleased to see that Work-Order honored Oestreich’s design, possibly using it to conjure up nostalgic feelings of Kodak’s glory days, there are a couple of things about the new design that immediately struck me as a little ‘off’.
First, the ‘KODAK’ stacked vertically along the right side is reminiscent of film sprocket holes, but is this really a relevant or effective image to evoke in this day and age? The number of people for whom this will be meaningful is declining rapidly, with a whole generation about to come of age not ever having used film at all.
Second, this type seems a little ‘tacked on’ and not really a cohesive element of the entire logo. It stands off to the right of the logo, with the stylized rays of light drawing the eye away, rather than drawing it to the beginning of the word ‘KODAK’, as they did in Ostreich’s original design. The visual balance is a little precarious, to my eye, rather the rock-solid balance of the 1971 logo.
Having said that, however, I do believe the new logo is a vast improvement on the wordmark that had been in use in recent years. It’s connection to Kodak’s storied past and use of photography-related themes and imagery make it a worthy successor to Peter Ostreich’s iconic design.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments.