A Logo/ Branding I Love: Thinx
The company Thinx, or SheThinx, specializes in feminine hygiene clothing products, specifically their signature period proof underwear. What I love about this companies logo, but more specifically their branding and aesthetic direction, is the way they use type choices, color and comforting imagery to de-stigmatize a topic that many would find somewhat taboo.
Thinx as a company is fairly new in its rise to popularity, so there have only been a few variations of logo used since the companies start in 2013. The first being a sleek and elegant serif font called LTC Kennerly Pro Bold. I feel this rendition of the logo was effective in getting the brand noticed by the public in its infancy with the strong use of all caps, it grabbed the viewers attention and made them wonder what product it was associated with. However, as the brand grew so did their art direction as a whole.
Their current logo, which uses a custom typeface that most closely resembles Montserrat Alternates SemiBold, is a soft, sans serif, that I feel does an amazing job of correlating the brands products to their aesthetic intentions. The high curves of the “h” and the “n” create nice rounded shapes, making subtle reference to the female form. Along with this, the droplet icons that accompany the text act as a more direct tie to the main intentions of the brands products. These droplets are then mirrored in the center of the “x”, I think this is a great way to make a very slight but effective change to a letter form in order to convey a message but still remain very low-key about it.
However, my admiration for this brand doesn’t stop at the logo. Their website and packaging choices continue to tie together their brand intentions seamlessly, creating something that is welcoming and inclusive, allowing the consumer to associate Thinx with fond thoughts and perceptions. They use almost muted pastel earth tones throughout their advertising, these colors give off a very laid-back and non-judgmental feeling that I think only further connects the brands sustainable and eco friendly philosophy with their overall aesthetic.
Everything has been tied together in such a wonderful way. From their logo to their product, Thinx set out to create a reusable feminine hygiene product that could appeal to any woman, and I feel that thanks to such successful and well rounded branding, they have been able to do just that.
A Logo/ Branding I Hate: Microsoft Edge/ Internet Explorer
In 1995 Microsoft introduces their new internet browsing software, Internet Explorer. At the time the logo was some simple sans serif lettering, set back on an angle, with a realistic image of the earth tacked onto the end. While this logo for the time was not terrible, it was largely ineffective due to the many elements attempting to be represented on such a tiny scale. Over the next few years Internet Explorer’s logo would change in layout but stay relatively similar to the original. It wasn’t until 1997 that the brand changed form a heavy, text centered logo, to just a symbol. From there, Microsofts Internet Explorer, now called Edge, has been through the wringer in terms of design changes.
I feel that this brand as a whole isn’t completely hopeless, mostly due to a reasonably well designed interface, however the logo and branding for this browser has never been particularly good. I think one could even say that over the years things have only continued to go down hill form a once simple letter “e”. My beef does not lie with the 1997 logo, honestly I feel this is one of the more successful renditions of the design, where I feel things started to go down hill is at about 2005. Microsoft kept the ’97 logo until ’01 when they decreased its size and added some gradient and shadows to create more depth within the logo. I personally don’t love the ’01 logo, but I understand its value at the time. Then in 2005, with the rise of new and innovative technology Microsoft decided to do another logo redesign, this time making the “e” 3D, giving it a shiny texture and a shadow to suggest added dimension. To me, this logo is just ugly, while I hold fond memories of it from my childhood, I don’t think it has ever been totally successful.
From there a solid progression of bad decisions were made until ultimately we land on whatever the heck is happening from 2015-present. In 2015 Microsoft changed the name of their Internet Explorer software to Edge, this came along with a huge change in logo design, ditching the once iconic halo for something that I can only compare to a mullet. Then, after only four years with the mullet, we come to the logo for Edge released in 2019. What could basically be described as a wave, somewhat mimicking an “e” shape, to me feels largely ineffective.
When I look at the Edge icon on my computer I don’t even associate it with Microsoft anymore, and because its design is so similar to Firefox I instead associate it with the subpar web browser and tend not to use it. There is such thing as stepping too far away form your brand. Up until 2015 I feel that, although not aesthetically successful, the Internet Explorer/ Edge logo was at least recognizable and able to be associated with the Microsoft program we have all been using since 1995. But now, I don’t even register the logo on my desktop, because to my brain its something completely different.
I think as a whole Internet explorer had some potential with their ’97 logo, but as time went on they did entirely too much to the poor little “e” and not were left with a sad, unrecognizable wave. The design is simply redundant and boring, I feel they could have done so much more with it throughout the course of its existence.