WarnerMedia’s new minimalist logo won’t likely join the pantheon of Hollywood design, alongside, say, the 20th Century Fox’s searchlight or The Walt Disney Co.’s iconic mouse.
“That’s obviously the intention,” said San Francisco-based type designer James Edmondson. “To go with something extremely utilitarian.”
AT&T discarded the Time Warner name and logo last week, upon completing its $85 billion acquisition of the venerable film and television studio. The telecommunications giant said research revealed that consumers couldn’t distinguish the media company from its one-time cable unit, also known as Time Warner.
Newly installed media chief John Stankey announced the WarnerMedia moniker and logo in a memo last week to staff. The logo, in which the name is displayed in all-caps, in modern san-serif type, with “Warner” in black and “Media” in gray — showed up this morning at a town hall meeting on the Warner Bros studio lot, and on the company website.
The no-nonsense look is consistent with Stankey’s view that the WarnerMedia brand should take a back seat to its collection of well-known media brands HBO, CNN, Warner Bros and TNT.
“It will ultimately occupy an even lower profile than the Time Warner Inc. brand,” Stankey said in a memo last week to staff. “Our important customer-facing brands — HBO, CNN, Warner Bros., TNT, etc. — will all remain unchanged.”
Edmondson, who creates offbeat typefaces for his company, OH No Type Co., said the WarnerMedia logo is poorly spaced, suggesting it was either rushed or not properly vetted by someone with a graphic design background.
“Is the audience just the investors and equity firms that have a huge financial stake in this company?” Edmondson asked. “If so, maybe they nailed it.”