When you are an award show as big as The Academy Awards you almost never expect to have to keep relevant as society progresses. But as many brands in this day are figuring out, is that if the situation calls for it, a rebrand can take a company forward in many positive ways. In 2013 the Academy Awards set to take on a new name in hopes of keeping young and fresh. Renamed “The Oscars” the Academy started its commitment to completely rebrand by keeping it classy but also being lighthearted and approachable.
Fast forward to this year’s Oscars, Hollywood’s brightest stars where not the only ones being rolled out on the red carpet. With the help of an LA based design agency called 180LA, the Oscars presented their new look last Sunday. Even though the Oscars is only a small piece of what The Academy represents, they really set out to unify the Oscars and The Academy visually into one identity. The old Academy logo had been in existence since the 1920’s and exclusively showed off the shape of the Academy’s gold statue. Progress some years later the statue would then be locked into a round oval and hog all the spotlight. The agency saw this was the problem but they also saw this as the solution.
The new Academy logo still spotlights the statue, but instead of glowing from behind, the statue is now being ‘spotlighted’ from above, thus in the process creating the Academy ‘A’. This simple icon not only can be used in its Academy lock up, but it can also easily translate into the Oscars Logo as well. This new aspect of the statue branding kept the same components without taking away the integrity that the Academy was all about.
First glance, the new identity really does what the logo sends out to do. By taking on a cleaner and contemporary look the Academy becomes rightfully relevant to the current generation without loosing their older audience. There will always be the big question on whether or not branding was a step in the right direction. But if you compare their mission with recently rebranded companies’, the Academy made a smart move with proper reasoning rather than just wanting to look current. They wanted to move forward. Being that the Academy holds the record for the longest and most prestigious award show, they were also finding that as time passed they were loosing the popularity with the younger generations. So not only are they rebranding their look, but they are also rebranding how they conducted the award shows as well. Recently the award show looked towards comedians to lighten up the show, and draw in younger generations. Now the brand only needed to look as if it was younger and fresher to match.
The take on the A is clever in that it can be interpreted in many different ways. The Academy version of the brand, even though given a new look, works well on it’s own as an icon or just a mark. The iconic statue, no matter, what it is surrounded by keeps brand recognition already giving this new look a head start in the game. Compared to the popular rebranding of Starbucks, where the mermaid was simplified, it was questioned whether or not brand recognition was going to be an issue. The Academy would not have this problem as only the lock up version of the logo would change and not the shape of the statue. An even cleverer take on the icon is its use within the Oscars logo. The reversed out version of the icon helps to remind the viewer that the Academy plays a big role in the Oscars. The new identity really gives the Academy a presence in it’s own logo for the first time and shows that they support creative arts and sciences year round and not just one night a year.