Yay Hooray has a long thread on redesigning famous logos in Web 2.0 format. Interesting and funny. The thread has been slightly hijacked by advertisements, and as any other Internet fad it’s bringing the server to its knees, but the logos are still there. Alternatively, you can view them directly through the collection on Flickr.
Thinking about logos, one can’t ignore the fact that even the most powerful identities can look quite crude on screen: when you look at something on paper, there’s a whole depth to it (even if you don’t consciously notice it) because parts of the design will get to your eyes first, and your focus plays a big part in isolating details. Also, you’ll always have shades of lightning and shadow when looking at something on a real surface, specially one you can manipulate, so when you look at something that’s perfectly square on your face, and projected by light – a logo on a computer screen, that is – all that depth is lost.
Much like the motion graphics field have in the past, we’re going through a period of adaptation, where most designers realize that identities that look great on paper don’t always translate that feeling to a screen, and they need something else entirely. This kind of decoration that’s present on most ‘Web 2.0’ logos – reflections, shadowing, top lightning – is a way to try and simulate that depth perception. It’s more than the just cheap look created by the old embossing and drop shadows (Web 0.5?)… and while it works in a way, it has become so mandatory that one can’t help but giggle at the list compiled at Yay Hooray. They’re the new swooshes.