Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Met, Emojis and us.

The big news, of late, in our industry, has been emojis on Facebook and The Metropolitan Museum of Art's lousy new logo.

Both topics confirm my belief that we have really lost the plot line.

Of course, I have a lot of friends in the "branding" business. People who design logos and such (though now we call it 'brand identity,') so I don't want to disparage the pursuit too broadly. But truth be told, The Met's new logo, crappy as it is, is as consequential as a small fart in a large wind tunnel.

What's important about The Met is not that their maps in 27 languages are cohesive, or that their signage is lovely.

Those are nice to haves, not must haves. At least for an institution like The Met.

What's key to brands, in my humble but likely inflammatory opinion, is what they actually do.

The Met--crushed logo or not--has 2 million square feet of art spread over 5,000 years and 400 separate galleries.

I understand that for some workaday brands their branding might be the greatest asset they have. But if there's a subject-object split between the quality of the logo and the quality of the product, well, that helps no one.

A crappy hotel is a crappy hotel even if they have a nice logo.

In fact, most nice logos are a lie because the product or service they're fronting is not as good as the logo. Think of a psychopath in a $2,000 suit.

I'm tired, frankly, of people branding turds and other people falling for it.

It's sad that we're not smarter than this.

But, alas.

As for Facebook's new emojis, well, whoopdedoo.

I suspect they will fade in six months or so simply because they take more work than simply liking something.

My point, however, is not about emojis or The Met.

It's that as an industry, I find it sad that our conversation is conducted on the level of gossip, fetish and trivia.

Frankly, it makes me want to go home and read a good book.

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