February 21, 2012

Design opinion: Colquitt Regional Medical Center branding

In this installment of our regular review and critique of rebranding work, brand refreshes, and new logo design from across the web, we’re looking at a Georgia hospital’s recently adopted new identity. According to the Moultrie Observer, for “the first time in more than 25 years, Colquitt Regional Medical Center has a new logo.”

Colquitt Logo Before and After

Yippee. After a quarter century, the change seems somewhat less than monumental. Is setting the corporate name in Trajan or some similar grand font sufficient for identity design? If so, those of us in brand design consultancies can cap our markers, shut down our computers, and turn out the lights.

It’s hard to imagine a more generic brand identity. Typography here adds almost nothing to straight keyboarding of the words in the name. The soft initial caps are nice, but really, are they enough to make this an identity?

Trajan is a beautiful font, which could be why it’s included with almost every edition of Adobe‚Äôs Creative Suite. Inevitably, it’s been overused to lend an air of “scholarly authenticity” to everything from movies to auto repair shops. Even if the relationships between letterforms had been explored here, it might have positioned this “logotype” only slightly above the multitudes of others floating in a sea of sameness. Here, for example, another hospital puts Trajan to work:

Losing the primitive “crest” was certainly a step in the right direction aesthetically. The article referenced above, however, notes that the hospital is “commonly referred to C.R.M.C..” As we weren’t the designers and haven’t seen the brand design brief, we can’t say whether it was a sound decision to discard whatever equity that combination of initials might have held. We do think that the formerly upper- and lower-case treatment expressed more warmth.

Colquitt’s design firm deserves credit for at least setting its type so that this new logo isn’t visual blight. Unfortunately, there’s just not much more that can be said.

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