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Gannett bets on a new logo

Hi! We’re a company best known for publishing a newspaper you only read in hotels, and for decimating and demoralizing community newspaper staffs across the country. Wanna see our awesome new logo?

Super! Here it is!

New Gannett Logo

Seriously. That’s the new Gannett corporate identity, unveiled Friday in the chain’s flagship paper, USA Today. The logo is set in a font called Verlag, though you could certainly be forgiven for thinking it was Trebuchet MS. That’s apparently the look they’re going for: Microsoft circa 1996.

For comparison, here’s the old Gannett logo, which has been around for a long time and which emphasized the global nature of the company:

Old Gannett Logo

In the days before the Internet, Gannett pioneered transmitting newspaper pages via satellite. These days, Gannett’s new tagline reflects smaller ambitions. “It’s all within reach,” is designed to show that the company connects with audiences on all different platforms. Just like every other media company.

In the USA Today story, CEO Craig Dubow says, “We are creating an environment of feedback loops so the consumer can talk with us and tell us what it is they would like to see, or not want to see.”

Feedback loops? I don’t think that phrase means what you thinks it means. But I’ll play along. Here’s my feedback: Give the journalists you laid off their jobs back.

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Update, 3/7/11: Gannett‘s new website went up overnight, with lots of new information about the rebranding.

The logo was designed by Farm of San Diego, the same agency responsible for the new NBCUniversal logo.

A timeline of the company logo shows that the old Gannett logo has been in use since 1979.

Here’s the language they use to justify the new logo:

“The strength of our new logo rests in the simplicity of our name. We felt we didn’t need a lot of trappings to represent who we are. At the same time, we wanted to reflect our heritage and complement our many great brands. We invite you to get to know us better.”

“Get to know us better” seems to mean forgetting that this is a newspaper company. Gannett is touting its “portfolio of trusted brands” and has posted some video content highlighting the new identity. In one 30 second spot, you don’t see a single newspaper until 0:15 (and it’s The Arizona Republic, not USA Today). Top placement instead goes to MomsLikeMe.com.

Over on Twitter, Gannett corporate has just opened an account, tweeting: “We’re so excited to be part of the twitterverse!”

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

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