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Brand Identity

Pentagram’s New (but unsuccesful) Big 10 Logo

On 07, Jan 2011 | 10 Comments | In Brand Identity, Sports | By Nick Conflitti

As a Big 10 fan and a graphic designer, I am to say the least, disappointed.

This is an epic fail (sorry to use one of the most used phrases of 2010.) This is right up there with the redesign of the GAP logo this past year and the Tropicana blunder of 2008. Was Pentagram too busy to take the time to research what the Big 10 stands for? Or was it a case of the client (the Big 10) having too much control of the project?

This concept, as my college professor would say, is trite. This idea seems like it was thought of by a first-year intern, rather than the Pentagram we’ve come to know and love over the years. The old logo embraced the fact that there was 11 teams in the Big 10 (odd enough), but at least it conveyed that message in a clever way.

I know what you’re saying. We can’t keep redesigning the Big 10 logo to incorporate the number of teams every time we add a team to the conference.”What would we do when there is 13 teams in the Big 10?” Very true. And I completely agree. So why do they feel the need to bash it over our brains twice that the number 10 is significant (which it really isn’t since there are 12 teams in the conference!) It seems quite silly to me.

I actually second guessed my judgment when I first saw the new identity. I could not believe what I was seeing. I stared at it for nearly 90 seconds to make sure I wasn’t missing an “Ah Ha,” witty design thing. I was wrong. Was this really all there was to the new logo? The “I” and “G” act as a “10?” Really? And even if it was obvious and clever, the top half of the logo reads “B 10.” And if you read it all the way through, you get “B 10 Ten” or “Big 10 Ten.” REALLY?

Disappointing Pentagram.

P.S. Please tell me that Pentagram didn’t name our new divisions as well. Leaders and Legends? That’s not conceited or anything. The Big 10 is now living up to the stereotype that the rest of the country already associates with us. Great. Who thought of this?

What do my fellow designers/Big 10 fans think? Are you as angry about this as I am? Let me know what you think please.

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