PRH_logo_primary1-300x174Well — I do think this is pretty under-whelming. Random House had a strong logo. Penguin had a strong logo. Together they don’t amount to anything. The font used is ugly — those curly serifs, and the hook at the end of the stroke on the cap R — ugh. The lower case g is quite jolly, but is jolly what they want to say about themselves? The serifs on the lower case s are painful. As the Publishers Lunch story points out the Penguin orange does survive, in the stripes at either side.

All right — I agree it wasn’t ever going to be easy. No doubt lots of cunning ideas were ruled out en route to this bland committee-designed compromise. Markus Dohle, obviously trying to cover up his dismay says “the more I thought about it the more I realized that, it’s really fitting because we, as Penguin Random House, we are the merchants of words”. Knopf better get rid of that dog, or are they going to switch to picture books?

As Wikipedia says a logo (properly logotype) is “commonly used by commercial enterprises, organizations and even individuals to aid and promote instant public recognition”. It is meant to express the identity of the company. Not too much to hang onto in this one.

My earlier post on Colophon has more about the use of logotypes.