less is less (sometimes)

Don’t believe what you see. We are not rebranding ourselves. It was a test. I want you to consider what your first impression was. Did modern8 make a bold design move, dropping all color and sticking with a black and white color palette? Was our choice using Gotham Bold one that made you think we are finally up-to-date in the ever-evolving design world and that we’ve taken our design aesthetic to the next level?

Or are you tearing up, saying to yourself, “I just don’t know who modern8 is anymore.”

We certainly hope the latter. We’re designers. We understand the appeal of minimalist design. But as the minimal logo trend grows, so too does our appreciation of a quality identity; one that truly identifies a philosophy, an industry, a place, or a product. One that is built on strategic reasons that connect with the viewer.

On one of my favorite blogs Brand New, I’ve come across several businesses that have rolled out updated, minimal brand identities. At the risk of starting a war with Canada, I’ve chosen the recent branding of the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia as my example.

Sure the old logo could have used a facelift, but it was more than a logo. It was an identity. Sure, the new wordmark works as a logo, but does it provide any sense of place identity? I’ll let some of the following comments made by various members of the design community help answer that for you:

The destination brand trend you identify is a depressing one. This is perfectly well executed and devoid of any specific personality whatsoever. It could be any town in Canada, but just as easily a plastics manufacturing company in any town in Canada.


Generic™. Dropping the lighthouse is a mistake.


This is not a bold identity. No risks have been taken. It is not courageous. It is decidedly middle-of-the-road, most likely blunted by a committee who wants to think of themselves as bold but acts the opposite, as not to upset anyone.

-David Michael Moore