Both Nebraska and Rhode Island recently redesigned their state logos. Nebraska paid something like $65,000 for their new logo design, and according to the Providence Journal, Rhode Island paid famous designer Milton Glaser $400,000 to execute their logo design. When a logo design costs this much, and public funds are being used, we think this at least opens the designs up for a little democratic critique. First up Nebraska, with the new slogan; “Good Life. Great Opportunity.”
The first thing we would say about this is it is not a pure logo. It is set inside this sort of business card shaped “poster” layout which uses the graphics at the bottom to play off the logo, and refer to the low rolling landscape of Nebraska, evoking a feeling of warmth, hospitality and tradition. The butter-yellow swoosh that weaves through the word Nebraska and forms the cross on both the “A”s looks nice but we have to say… how many swooshes/computer brushstrokes go through the word out there and form the cross on a letter or two? The other thing we would ask is will we even see the weaving of the swoosh when this design is printed very small, on a business card for example. It reads Nebraska clearly, even at a glance or at a distance, which is very important.
Next up, Rhode Island’s new logo, designed by Milton Glaser; designer of the famous “I love NY” logo.
We are not going to argue with Milton Glaser only to say that the type could be bigger for readability at a small size. Perhaps the tension or pull at the top could be retained with the type extending to the edges, making the entire design still a square, just larger type. The type is sized more like a poster than a traditional logo. Either way, the square shape is very utilitarian these days with the preponderance of square shaped social media profiles and applications that need to be filled. This logo could drop right in to most of those small square applications without any major redesign. Also, in the end the type can be positioned any way to the icon depending on the usage. Overall our hat is off to this modern icon based logo for Rhode Island.
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