Erich Nagler is a writer and designer based in New York City. His work can be found at

Welcome to My Chronic Internet Freak-Out Syndrome

Left: AOL, about the time the internet and I first met. (Remember that sonorous modem music? The sound of the future!) Right: AOL now (yes, it's still there). With lotsa "headline news" on household health hazards, amazing pet stories, and shocking-yet-true dramatic personal episodes of total nobodies.



I should probably start with a brief, unflattering jaunt down memory lane—unflattering mostly to my old college buddy, the internet. See, I came of age as a graphic designer in the early 2000s, when the internet was a vastly different place—virtually (heh, virtually) unrecognizable. I'd only ever had an AOL email account. I'd never sent a text. MySpace hadn't even dethroned Friendster yet as king of social media (a term no one had ever heard), Facebook was still just a glint in young Zuck's eye, Twitter was a looong way off, and a camera phone was the must-have device du jour (bonus points if yours didn't have a little antenna you pulled out to get reception).

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Welcome to My Chronic Internet Freak-Out Syndrome

To your first point, elegance is certainly not a prerequisite for a successful logo. And to your second: there are certainly recent logo designs/rebrands that I think are fantastic.

One recent, inelegant example that hits both marks is the NYC logo designed by WolffOlins in 2006 ( It’s big, brash, in-your-face -- and a perfect match for the city.

Seen elsewhere in NYC, I’m a huge fan of Doyle Partners’ 2009 redesign of The Cooper Union logo (, Paula Scher’s [super-elegant] 2009 logo for the New York Philharmonic (, and Experimental Jetset’s fascinating new 2013 graphic identity for the Whitney Museum (

On a more commercial scale, I think Landor Associates’ 2012 rebrand of Cheer for Proctor & Gamble is definitely a standout among the detergent aisle (

I could go on and on… But a great place to follow news and opinion on logos and branding is the site Brand New: