Hot off the heels of hiring their next CEO in as many years, HP have updated their logo again, three years after I blogged about their last logo change. Eventually they'll update and restore their consumer business too!
HP, number 3? #Rhyme
When I first read on The Twitters that HP were updating their logo, initially I was unfased. Or is it "un-phased"? I've been obsessing over too much Star Trek again recently. In any event, I expected the updated version of their logo to be an evolutionary step once more, just as their removal of the rectangle in 2008 was.
Turns out, while the logo is being heralded as an evolutionary change, to me it's anything but. In place of their original, timeless H and P letters... wait, hold the phone. H and P... HP... Hewlett Packard! And here I was thinking they just used lowercase H and lowercase P because they looked like the inverse of each other! Now that's smart!
Sarcasm aside though, what I loved about their old logo was the clever use of the letters which double-mirrored each other. You know when you dip something in chocolate, and then you dip something in chocolate again? This is what HP did with their old logo. Double everything is good. Well, almost double everything.
Degrees of separation
Their latest logo retains the classic HP 13 degree sweep, which even seems to be asserted more now in mockups of their business documents, letterheads and such. That much I can appreciate, some may scoff at trivial things like this, but the fact the angle of these lines has been a part of their corporate brand for so long and they've been able to keep it in the current design is hat-tip worthy. If I were wearing a hat.
In place of the letters however are four lines of two differing lengths, which if you're short sighted like me resemble HP if I put them on my screen and proceed to walk 20 metres away. Up close though, for some reason I keep seeing an elephant raising an arm to ask a question. Or leg, or whatever it is elephants have.
Why change a timeless logo like this that has its roots in 1941? HP is facing unprecedented challenges of late; their consumer businesses are struggling, arguably their largest acquisitions haven't gone over so well, they've gone through more CEOs than I have all time favourite anime characters, to not even speak of their mixed performance in the enterprise. The company needed a distraction, and they got one in this new logo.
Like mustard mixed with custard, branding is a funny thing. It's easy to dismiss, but sometimes a change of clothes can transform a person. Will a refresh of this logo refresh HP's fortunes? Will they start making the 16C again? I'd be happy if they did that. For now, let's just wait and see.
Thanks to the always fascinating Brand New for the graphic and information.