Being a big Paul Rand fan I was more than a little sad to see UPS ditch the logo that he created for them. Especially as what it has been replaced with is a bland, generic symbol that follows a trend for shine and gloss.
Of the four logos used in UPS’s history Rand’s was the longest serving at 42 years, nearly half the time that the company has been going. It was a true classic.
Reading the fact sheet about the logo on the UPS website is quite funny I especially like this reason for removing the bow-tied package:
Quite simply, the bow-tied package restrained UPS’s ability to represent these new services. (And although it did not heavily influence the decision to remove the package, strings are no longer appropriate because they can get caught in UPS’s modern automated sorting systems.)
When Rand showed the design to his then seven-year-old daughter and asked “What’s this?, Cath?” she quickly answered, “That’s a present Daddy.” I’m sure people didn’t look at the old logo to get tips on how to wrap their parcels, they just saw it and knew straight away that it was a parcel or a present, especially as the company already had huge brand awareness.
Another interesting fact that I read in Rand’s book, Design, Form & Chaos is that at one point he offered to make some minor adjustments to the logo but was turned down. It’s a shame that board weren’t in charge in 2003.
I know it’s only my opinion but I think if a company has an iconic logo created by one of the best designers of the 20th century, it should be cherished and treated more as an heirloom and less a piece of branding collateral that can be changed on the whim of a CEO’s ego.