There are certain logo conventions that are taught in class — simplicity, practicality, and a few others. So when I see a logo like that of the Tate (hugely successful UK gallery), I wonder if sometimes conventions are there to be broken.
The Tate logos were designed by Wolff Olins. Not just one logo, but many:
“We designed a range of logos that move in and out of focus, suggesting the dynamic nature of Tate – always changing but always recognisable.”
With a constantly changing mark, you’d wonder what effect this has on brand recognition. Is the design far enough away from the norm to allow for slight variations across the board? Yes.
From the Tate website:
“There are a number of variations of the Tate logo, or mark. They range from a standard logo to a blurred version, a faded version and a halftone version (dots rather than smooth fading). The marks have no fixed size or position and they are not connected with one particular Tate site. The Tate mark helps to build a brand that is fresh and fluid, but has some consistency – one Tate, with constantly changing expressions.”
With some of the logos reliant on blur, they won’t transfer well across all media (whereas a design with sharp edges will), so this isn’t your standard design. Does this make it more distinctive? Absolutely. More effective? I’d love to know what you think.