After the radical redesign of 2006 and the filed for bankruptcy in 2012, Kodak – the American technology company mostly known for its photographic achievements – is coming back from the ashes as a Fenix bringing back the iconic “K” designed by Peter J. Oestreich in 1971 with a typographic and identity update.
The “new” design was created by New York studio Work-Order and keeps the legendary colors of the brand -yellow, red and black- and the original elements of the “K”, however, this time the name of the brand is all capital as a symbol of honor to George Eastman’s invention and it’s stacked vertically evoking the film perforations and street signage. And rumor has it that the only thing Kodak, well KODAK now, specified was to go back to Oestrich’s “K.”
There is no doubt that getting rid of the past typography and bringing back the iconic symbol were clever decisions; and even though at first sight I wasn’t sure about the name being stacked vertically, the way they did it is great, it’s not easy to achieve a perfect symmetry with different letters as they did.
And what it’s more interesting about this part of the design is its purpose, they want the logo to be the first thing you read and the name to be the supporting mark; something I’ve never seen before, clients always want the name to be the main thing, but maybe that’s just the perks of having a worldwide known symbol.
But since a logo isn’t everything in a brand, Work-Order designed a unified graphic identity for the brand and sub-brands that brings cohesion back into the brand, and for me also it brings back trust into the brand, having all this different logos made the brand look cheap, you didn’t know if you were buying a great camera or not, but now with this unified design they are saying “Hey! All of our products are the same quality”.
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Regarding the packaging design, I really like the initial approach of big color blocks and big types, So classic! but I think they need to decide the guidelines for the complete set of packagings because now it looks a little messy. For me the way to go is a big yellow block at the bottom with the symbol and the rest black, like the box of the new super 8, and they can definitely forget about the design they have for the batteries packaging.
In short, for me, this redesign is like a father saying: “Ok son you had a lot of fun outside but it’s time to go back and work.” We will have to wait to see the effects of this redesign and if the company finally success embracing the new technologies and trends with the launch of the new KODAK Super 8 Camera and the company’s first mobile phone Ektra.
But well.. at least this is my f opinion
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