Seven branding articles worth reading this week

Blogging about America’s largest sporting event of the year seemed like as good  reason as any to start a new feature: Seven articles worth reading. Each week (or so) I hope to highlight seven articles about media, design and, of course, branding.

1. Super Bowl for branding geeks

It will be hard to ignore the large sporting event taking place this weekend. For those (like me) who prefer the commercials to the game, here are 25 Super Bowl commercials that explain Super Bowl commercials.

+The big question that unfortunately won’t be answered on Sunday: Why can't brands make every ad a Super Bowl ad?

2. Brand new

Logo redesigns are hard to do, even when they’re long overdue. Case in point: GAP’s disastrous attempt back in 2010. That’s because we become emotionally attached to logos, even when they become the equivalent of wearing 80s style acid wash jeans. What a refreshing change to see the new Toronto Maple Leafs logo that was unveiled this week. Rather than going with an ultramodern look, the team used a large helping of nostalgia to pull off a rebrand that was a hit with fans and designers alike. One fan (who also was a past  General Manager of the team) explains why he loves the new look.

+It’s not just large corporations like the Toronto Maple Leafs that need good brand identity. According to Entrepreneur magazine, here’s  why small businesses need strong logos.

3. Shoeshine boys

"The truth is, only 10 players currently have their own signature shoe with a U.S.-based brand, but literally every player in the league has some level of relationship with a footwear brand." Nick DePaula takes you inside the sneaker industry to find out how NBA shoe deals work.

4. Above the Fold

The former editor of the Edmonton Journal’s inside look at the damage being done to Canada’s newspaper industry.

5. Off target

What really went wrong with Target Canada. The untold tale of the retailer’s difficult birth, tough life and brutal death.

6. America's about-face

If you think choosing the right font for your wedding invitation was hard, imagine picking the best font to use on America’s highways signs. In view of an aging population a new, easier-to-read font—appropriately called Clearview—was unveiled and put into use 12 years ago. It replaced Highway Gothic, a font created in the 1940s. Why then in 2016 did the U.S. Federal Administration decide to mandate a change back to Highway Gothic for their font of choice? They didn’t say, but my guess is the fonts were flying between the bean counters and designers. But hey, at least they didn’t go with Comic Sans.

+Canada, on the other hand, is one of a handful of countries that are sticking with Clearview.

7. The age of abundance

You no longer need to own a recording studio, TV station, or publishing house to share your story. Large brands like Red Bull, GoPro and Starbucks are producing their own content and letting their fans (the Influencer Curators) distribute that content. In turn the content explosion is turning the media industry on its head.

+How small businesses can copy successful brands like GoPro and create their own brand stories.


What did I miss? Send me links to recent stories you found interesting. Who knows, I may include them in a future edition.