January 24, 2004

UPS Rebrands Redux

Back in March when UPS rebranded, I shrugged. Sort of liked the tacky metallic of the new shield. And despite the fact that the new logo launched at the same time as the neocon invasion of Iraq I missed the violent symbolism of the shield.

But two UPS trucked ended that. West Broadway, in the heart of Manhattan's Soho shopping mall, two UPS trucks back to back. One with Paul Rand's old gift + minimal shield design, one with a glossy new school UPS shield. One truck branded to say "we deliver your presents safely" and another truck branded more like an armored car.

Its not a pretty contrast. Is this what Bush's new world order looks like? Even a parcel delivery company feels the need to wrap itself in the cold paranoia of security? Apparently when Paul Rand showed the old design to his young daughter and asked what it was she replied delightedly "a present!" But now it's the 21st century and all presents now must pass through a full security screening before they arrive...

Geopolitics aside though, its also clear that the old trucks are just plain better designed. The old globe makes UPS worldwide scope far clearer then the new "Worldwide Services" tag. They've tellingly dropped the "delivery" from that tagline. Clarity is apparently a weakness in times when Cheney and a Bonesman lead the worlds most powerful nation.

The url and well thought phone number (800 pick ups) are gone on the new truck as well. If you need them you'll find them I suppose, but its another step towards closing their doors to outsides. Perhaps on the flip side of the new truck is a drop of slot similar to the one you can see on the back of the old one. But perhaps that charming detail has been stripped as well. I wouldn't be surprised if the slots get used about once a year. Doesn't matter though, the fact that they are there speaks more of the thoughtfulness of the company then a cold metallic shield ever will.

(click for larger version)

Posted by Abe at January 24, 2004 01:35 PM


>>Is this what Bush's new world order looks like?

Mmmm a CIA redesign maybe? ;-)