Logos and fonts: Channeling my inner feministJuly 15, 2010
One of my tech writer colleagues in the US is involved as a leader in the Girl Scouts. She asked our tech writing group what we thought of the new logo and font that have been designed for the Girl Scouts and sent us a link to the new designs (http://originalchampionsofdesign.com/).
Here are before and after images of the logo:
And before and after images of the font with the logo:
As I looked closely at both, I got angry — and my inner feminist started to emerge. Here was a group that supposedly empowers young girls, teenagers, and young adult women to be independent and resourceful, yet by the subtlety of the logo and font change the designers have stepped back from that — in my opinion.
Here’s my reaction to these changes, showing how subtle changes logo and font styles can change perceptions. I thought these battles had all been fought back in the 60s and 70s. Apparently not.
I don’t like the logo. I particularly don’t like how the stylised girls are depicted. Why?
- They look like women, not girls
- Straight noses are obviously not acceptable — they had to make them all little upturned perky noses that most people can only get through surgery
- Long flowing locks are the look, and oh, we’ll cover the first figure’s eyes with her hair (demure coquette?)
- Pouty bee-sting lips and gapey ‘vacant’ mouths are obviously in
- And let’s straighten their long necks. We couldn’t have any hint of a roundness or a double chin, could we?
The logo doesn’t show strong, independent girls/teenagers to me. It shows vacuous princesses.
And the problem with the font? By making it all lower case, it takes away strength. It makes it look like little girls’ printing — I almost expected a little heart over the ‘i’. Compare the before/afters of the aqua logo and text with the new green one. The new font is more rounded, all lower case, without a period (registered mark). It’s submissive! The aqua one is MUCH stronger (even though I’m not fussed with the aqua colour). It makes a statement.
And the green? It’s an awful shade. Are they trying to cash in on the ‘green washing’ going on with other products/labels/logos?
I scrolled further down the page and found that the same logo is used for the Brownies. Now I don’t know what age you have to be in the US to be a Brownie, but when I was a kid, it was pretty much open to girls from about 6 to 10 or 12. There’s NO WAY that logo depicts a girl of that age — it depicts a woman. Talk about not-so-subtle messages to little girls about growing up early and into one of those vacuous princesses.
You can see the design changes for yourself here (at least, you could on 11 July 2010 when I wrote this post): http://originalchampionsofdesign.com/
[Links last checked July 2010]