This week, Stanford changed its online logo.
Two word version of this post: just no.
Longer version of this post:
The old Stanford font, Sabon, actually looks like something that merits being taken seriously. Why? Consider, if you will, the website fonts for Harvard, Princeton, and the University of Chicago. Eerily similar to Sabon. Why? Because these schools are renowned academic institutions that take themselves seriously.
Stanford University is not an app, and should not look like one.
The new Stanford font is inaccurate.
The new Stanford font likewise fails to take Stanford tradition and basic knowledge into account. Sabon was created by a German typographer, and its Teutonic roots dovetail nicely with Stanford’s distinctly German motto, “die Luft der Freiheit weht” (the wind of freedom blows). The new font is called “Crimson.” CRIMSON. A brief note to Bright, the “design firm” that created our new font, which ostensibly “spent a lot of time” developing it:
OUR COLOR IS CARDINAL. Crimson is Harvard. Get. It. Together.
Mobile apps, schmobile apps.
The argument for this change is that the new font is viewed better on a mobile interface and that Stanford wanted a thicker font to stand up to the pixelated mobile screen environment.
We already have a very “thick” font that would have been perfect for this application: the block Stanford “S.” It already exists. It is beautiful, we love it, and it doesn’t make me cringe.
And while I’m at it, a basic design note.
If you go into the vector drawings for the new logo, the “f” is taller than the “S.” I…. Whu-? Why…? No.
Okay, that’s it. Rant over. Happy Thanksgiving, y’all.