Autodesk, in common with other multi-billion-dollar corporations, periodically spends large sums on redeveloping and then consistently presenting its corporate image. It then spends even larger sums making itself look silly in court by claiming exclusive rights to such things as empty orange rectangles. Strange, then, that Autodesk should slip up online when it comes to that most fundamental image element, the logo for the Autodesk name itself. Spotted on the web this very day:
- The topmost of these three logos is the normal, correct one. That’s what you will see if you visit the main Autodesk web site, whatever browser you are using.
- The second version of the logo is what you will see if you use AutoCAD 2011’s online Help, if your browser happens to be Internet Explorer 6. Yes, I know that’s a terrible browser and yes, I know it’s not officially supported. However, there are quite a number of larger organisations that still mandate the use of IE6, because expensive corporate software has been developed around its various quirks. It’s still in common use, with 9% of this month’s blog traffic coming through IE6 (just for comparison, it’s 12% IE7, 25% IE8, 33% Firefox 3.x and 8% Chrome). The problem is caused by the browser not correctly handling transparency in PNG files. I have a transparent PNG as the stripe at the top of this blog, but the pale blue background that IE6 uses in its place still looks fine in that context. The Autodesk ghost logo looks awful. This could easily have been avoided with a few minutes’ work.
- The third version is from the new Autodesk Homestyler page. Oops, wrong font! The word Autodesk is actually used in five different fonts on that page, in various contexts. Unfortunately, none of those five are the approved logo font. Somebody didn’t read the style manual properly. (As mentioned by Donnie Gladfelter on Facebook).
It’s kind of silly for Autodesk to literally give itself a bad name like this, especially when it’s so easily avoided.
The solution? Let me do it. Autodesk’s logo is kind of harsh, mechanical and masculine at the moment, in common with its previous iterations. The world is changing and Autodesk’s image needs to move with the times. Here’s my redesign.
Comic Sans is such a nice font, don’t you think? The slopes of the A and the k provide a certain symmetry, hinting at the original divider-A logo that is fondly remembered by so many. The bright pink is a bold, positive, affirming statement that says Autodesk is comfortable with its sexuality. The background is organic and human. This logo says Autodesk has a soul. Go for it, Autodesk, it’s a winner!
Where do I send the bill?