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Associated Press introduces new logo

The Associated Press is updating its branding, replacing a logo in use since 1981. Here’s a look at the old and new AP logos:

Old:

Old Associated Press Logo

New:

New Associated Press Logo

The AP is a strange brand: A not-for-profit, business-to-business news service owned as a co-op by American newspapers and broadcast channels. It is not really a consumer brand, though enthusiastic news consumers are certainly familiar with it. The AP is all about serious news gathering, so it’s logo only has to stay out of the way and not make trouble. Both the old and the new logos accomplished that, but the old logo was beginning to take on a stale, 1980s-public-television vibe. So this new logo, while not revolutionary, is a nice step forward.

The AP’s new design scheme uses two standard fonts, Good and Freight Text.

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In addition, the AP has posted Brand Introduction document, which is worth a read if you’re interested in branding. The AP describes its “Brand Personality” with three words: Gutsy, resourceful and connected:

“With 49 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other news organization in the categories for which we can compete, the AP brand speaks for the people who work for us. Our brand personality traits — we are gutsy, resourceful and connected — reflect who we are and how we act and make us stand out among news organizations. Since our creation in 165 years ago, we have served as the definitive source for news. As we continue our evolution to a diversified digital news company, our brand promise remains the same. The AP Masterbrand Strategy enables us to channel our brand traits, personality, vision and promise into a new visual identity system that captures our history and guides our future.”

Within the brand guidelines is a timeline of the AP logo through history:

One thing that struck me about this report is how long the branding update took. The report says the AP began this exercise in 2009. And as you can see above, the report references 2011 as “current,” even though the report was just released this week. Perhaps it took a while to finish it.

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Lastly, here’s a short video from the AP about the design changes:

You can read more about this in an AP press release.

— By Daryl Lang. Filed under Logos, News & Journalism

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