A reset for a global brand on the mend
“I don’t think of what we’re doing as ‘bringing back’ the iconic identity of Kodak, because in people’s hearts and minds, I don’t think it really went away. It’s simply logical to keep one of the world’s most famous brand marks at the forefront of the company’s image and identity.”
— STEVEN OVERMAN, Kodak’s Chief Marketing Officer
“I devised the name myself. The letter ‘K’ had been a favorite with me — it seems a strong, incisive sort of letter. It became a question of trying out a great number of combinations of letters that made words starting and ending with ‘K.’ The word ‘Kodak’ is the result.”
— GEORGE EASTMAN
THE LEGACY OF YELLOW
Since the early 20th Century, Kodak’s packaging and marketing materials have been blanketed in a warm yellow with red and black features. Our aim was to re-establish this strength and to never abandon the use of yellow on anything.
Along with the trademarked colors, Kodak’s first official “symbol”, designed by Peter J. Oestreich in 1971, is their most recognized piece of branding. It was used in various forms for over 35 years and had a lifespan well past that in the form of shop signage around the world.
An all capital solution honors George Eastman’s invention and his visual appreciation of the letterforms. It brings out the geometry and symmetry and is a clear departure from the past.
The symmetry of the captial letterforms creates a molecular flexibility that allows the wordmark to be be stacked. It is reminiscent of film perforations and street signage. It acts as a manufacturer’s stamp: the logo is the first read and the name is the supporting mark. When small, the name is removed leaving just the icon.
A UNIFIED SYSTEM
Kodak, both visually and emotionally, is a system of scientifically organized resources for creativity. It communicates professional expertise, an expansive sense of shared vision and stands for a company that works seamlessly and efficiently. A unified graphic identity brings cohesion back into the brand.
This article, from 1971, captures the same spirit of simplicity and honesty to the 2016 rebrand (image photoshopped to reflect Work-Order’s new logo).