So The New School rebranded…. I’ll tell you what, honestly and brutally: I’m not a fan (and based off the comments on social media, I’m not alone). As a designer and a student who came from this school, I find the typography and rebranding have devolved from a sleek, sophisticated institution based in New York to an experiment in making your own type face by an amateur. What’s even more surprising, the logo and rebranding were designed by Paula Scher, one of my favorite and more well-renowned graphic designers out there. To the best of my knowledge, the original logo was a variation of Franklin Gothic — it’s an established typeface, and when your logo is nearly text-driven and a representation of a university, it’s probably best to stick to the classics.
The biggest problem I have with the new logo is the inconsistency of the letters — they’re not cohesive at all, and when I read that text, I get a sense of imbalance, of confusion. The different widths of the individual letters throw me off, and it’s a little too futuristic for me (plus, with this font, their mobile site looks awful). I get that Parsons/The New School want to push the edge of design and leap forward into the future of typography, but holy fuck, what were they thinking? It’s not elegant. It’s almost schizophrenic. You can read more about the design process here, which from an aesthetic and communication point of view, I disagree with.
I’d hate to see them rebrand everything with this, especially the original, Franklin Gothic typeface awning in the main campus building.