After a rocky nine-year marriage, AOL and Time Warner are ready to go their separate ways. The divorce is final on December 9, when AOL will return to the single life with a fresh look from branding firm Wolff Olins. The new identity dispenses with the blue AOL triangle (too square), swaps out the uppercase “OL” for lowercase letters, and adds a period. It all feels a bit Apple-icious. At the heart of the new identity are hundreds of colorful images (here a goldfish and an abstract painting, there a hip-hop dance trio and a cheeky cardboard camera) that serve as backgrounds for the white Aol., which Top Chef fans should be careful not to confuse with a certain garlic and olive oil emulsion—that’s aioli. Stuart Elliott of The New York Times breaks down the new identity:
[AOL Chairman and CEO Tim] Armstrong said he liked to describe the period as “the AOL dot” because “the dot is the pivot point for what comes after AOL,” whether it is e-mail, Web sites, or coming offerings that will “surprise people.”
The constantly changing images behind the logo are also intended to elicit surprise, said [Sam Wilson, managing director at the Wolff Olins New York office] and Jordan Crane, creative director at Wolff Olins New York. “It’s a mix of do-it-yourself and high production values, crazy stuff and elegant stuff,” Mr. Crane said, “simple and engaging and bizarre—all the things the Internet is.”
Read on for a mesmerizing video of the new identity in motion.