Given that we finally got around to adding a newspaper to the logo just in time for the complete disappearance of actual newspapers, I'm pretty sure the next logo is going to feature a news headline on a Palm Pilot.
- Adam Felber
About Wait Wait ...
I am a huge fan of Wait wait... don't tell me. If you're not familiar with the program, It's a witty weekly news program syndicated on NPR. Hosted by the extremely talented Peter Segal, the show turns the week of news into a game show, complete with a rotating cast of comedians, call-in listeners and a lucky guest celeb (asked to play "Not My Job" which is usually a quiz with a clever play on words).
The show is fantastically funny and for the most part light-hearted and cheeky. Although, sometimes they remind you just how ridiculous what we consider "news" in America can be... and that can be a little depressing.
A Peek Behind the Client Curtain
The best part of this logo, is NPR's post about their approach to the redesign. Rather than putting out the traditional request for proposal and hiring a third party to help narrow down the most qualified agency, it sounds like they took a really hands on approach to finding designers they liked and reaching out specifically to them to undertake the work. It's always exciting and refreshing to hear how someone on the client side of things sees the process.
Instead of starting with a blank slate and asking an agency or designer with breadth to come up with the art direction and ultimately the design, they came to the table with the art direction internally. They knew what style they were looking for, the type of personality they wanted to convey for the show and then they sought out designers who executed in the desired style.
You can read the full blog post about the redesign on NPR's Blog.
The New Brand
The design is great, the concept and style match really well with the personality of the show and the colors are punchy and fun but grown-up. The designer Mike Casebolt did a little write up on his thought process on dribble. He also posted a nice large image sampling of some of the final artifacts. I highly recommend checking out Mike's work.
I'm glad they didn't feel the need to stick with the talk bubble concept and just "evolve" it. The new mark is bold and much more memorable than the talk bubble in both concept and style. The thick line work of the icon is a little comic book-ish and has just the right amount of retro feel without overly following the "retro" look that is currently popular.
The newspaper icon is a nice concrete symbol for what the show is about. I'm glad they moved away from some of the early radio-related symbols because that wouldn't say much about how the show is different from other programs on NPR. They are all radio programs. Although the newspaper on it's own as a symbol for "news" wouldn't help communicate the personality against other syndicated NPR news-related shows either. Rolling up the paper in an exclamation point gives the newspaper concept it's cheeky personality - showing how Wait Wait has fun with the news, or at least more fun that let's say, Morning Edition or Talk of the Nation.
All said and done, I really like the new brand and am a little jealous of Mike! The best projects are the ones you get to work on for products/brands you personally love. As a fan of Wait Wait I think it would have been pretty fun to work on this project. I just hope Mike got Carl Kasell's voice on his answering machine as part of his compensation for the great work.