The new logo consists of the words ‘News Corp’ in a face based on an amalgam of the hand writing of Rupert Murdoch and his father Keith. It’s artfully contrived to look like it has just been dashed off. The very clear implication is that News Corp isn’t some faceless corporation, it’s human, it’s informal, it’s warm. It’s not perfect.
It’s not that there’s anything wrong with using a signature for your logo. Far from it. Coley Porter Bell is part of the Ogilvy group and its logo is the signature of founder David Ogilvy. It hints at craft and continuity and personal service.
And we use signatures all the time on packaging. But there are very clear reasons for doing it.
So we used the signature of Beefeater’s founder William Burroughs to locate a new gin in a long tradition of distilling.
We used the signature of master blender Colin Scott on a new bottle for Royal Salute bottle whisky to denote the hand crafted nature of the product and the care that has gone into it.
We might use the signature of an entrepreneur if he or she is the face of the brand.
We even invented our own hand-written type face for Morrison’s own value label range, to show that the products are cared for by human beings.
The problem with the new News Corporation logo is that it does none of those things. It’s not a reflection of a long journalistic tradition. It’s not a mark of the craft that goes into its product.
It seems to be more of an attempt to turn Rupert Murdoch into the face of News Corp. But unlike say David Ogilvy or Paul Smith or even Richard Branson, he brings no useful equities to News Corp. In fact quite the opposite.
Rightly or wrongly Murdoch is widely viewed as the archetypal uncaring global capitalist whose main priority is making money and it doesn’t much matter how.
It doesn’t feel that this logo reflects any deeper truth about News Corp other than it is controlled by Murdoch. It’s perfectly imperfect, artfully artless nature simply makes News Corp feel more cynical and scary. Not less. Which was evidently not the intention.