Logo Review – The New GM logo – what were they thinking?


Is it Dope or Nope? In this first Logo review, the guys rant on the new General Motors logo (spoiler alert – what the heck?).

Discussing the history of the company, the new direction for the technology & the brand, and the aesthetics of what has become the new GM logo, the guys cover all angles providing both a biased AND unbiased opinion at the new face of General Motors.

Episode Transcript


The Classic GM General Motors logo is all upper case masculine, right? Upper case G upper case M. And in case you didn't know that.  Let's underline that for you. 


Whether you're refreshing your brand or completely rebranding your company. When you mess with a company's brand, it's a huge pain in the butt process that companies often undergo for the best of intentions, but it's often plagued with horrible consequences. Often costs a ton of money and resources. If you decide to do it internally, it pulls your creative team, your C-suite and anybody else involved in the process off of more important things that they're doing. It often starts off great with the right intentions and lots of momentum. Honestly, by the time you're finished, everybody just wants to see that bad boy go. You'll likely get disagreements, frustration, and backlash internally. You can always count on outrage and heat from the internet. Even with that being said, Ironically, you should consider yourself lucky. If people actually give a crap about your new brand, whether it's good or bad as it means that you're actually doing something right, for people to notice, Ooh, I like this, right? 


This is something that's seriously can enrage a lot of designers. Right? We feel this way. 


I know, but not even designers, but man, people who are passionate are connected with the companies there, they get outraged all the time over this kind of stuff. Yeah. You know, you're absolutely right. It's not just design. It's not even just designers. It's not even people who actually work for the company. It's people who use the company's products. What we're talking about is when companies decide to go through a rebrand, so we're going to actually start reviewing some of these on a regular basis and give you our opinion and then try to be as biased and unbiased. 


On the topic. 


So, Sean, what are we starting with today, buddy? 


Today? We're going to start with the new general motors. Yeah. They're they're the biggest U S automaker. They started out making a horse-drawn. 


Oh, ironically. When was that shown? When was that? That was. 


19. Oh eight long before were born. Here's an automaker that started out making horse-drawn vehicles. Right. What they're trying to do is take the company in another step up the evolutionary chain. 


Well, wait, what is the new direction? What's the new direction? The new direction. 


Two is to revitalize its brand identity for a digital first environment. Ooh. So that's like battery power. 


Oh, friendly. Now ironically enough, wasn't GM, one of the first companies to create an electric vehicle. Right? Right. We talked about the evil, I, it wasn't it was legit and this car was great. They were ahead of the game. They okay. I'm sure the mileage kind of sucked because battery technology, wasn't where it is now. Yeah, they were one of the first and not to get too deep into this, but they actually pulled the plug to the point where they destroyed all the vehicles. They destroyed all the blueprints. They didn't want a single person to have, or know anything about this. They literally tried to wipe it off the face of the earth and sure enough, 30 years later they could be so far ahead of everybody. Imagine they're literally starting from zero again. Right. It's like, where do we start? Let's start with the rebrand. 


Starting with the rebrand. 


Yeah. So, I mean, this logo was a result of their green push within the company. That's focusing on this Altium yes. Which is like a drive train, like a system, like a, I, so it's like a chassis with a battery. 


Right. The benefit of that of course is so then they can create commercial vehicles. Yes. Right. Because what they did is they created bright drop on another brand within called the bright Trop brand. Yes. That's for commercial electric vehicles, which they've announced recently. It was probably one of the biggest things that have shocked their stock price. The stock price has actually finally move. 


Like, is it good? Like, is it going up? Oh. 


Yeah. The stock price is right now. I didn't realize. Yeah. Yeah. So, and it's because of, not necessarily this new logo, which we can learn from that, but this whole relationship with this break drop brand and this whole yeah, absolutely. So the intent is good. The intent is good. 


Then this is what's. This is what makes this was more so frustrating then, because it could very well be successful for the absolutely. It will be, you're just kind of, but I think it really kind of alienates a lot of their die hard kind of fans, which is, I don't know, maybe that's unfair. 


Yeah. Based on what we know about the GM clientele, I don't know if they're ready for that job and they've almost committed too much. 


Right. You want to bring in new people, which I think is what this logo is about. Right. It's, it's kind of appealing to a younger hipper. 


Yeah. Younger demographic. The new people are more with the times then with the outgoing G. 


Yes. Demographics, I guess I get the modern feel, but I don't know whether that's inclusive. 


Yeah, no, it's absolutely not. It's almost the opposite. Yes it is. And isn't that kind of different. 


Pushing your old past, right? It does. It's true. It's, it's funny because it's, there's a focus on, now that it's all lowercase, right. Which is a big step for them because the last GM level was like, 


Right. You know, upper case masculine, right. Upper case G upper case M and in case you didn't notice, let's underline that for you, that was the GM logo serious. That's how serious are For the record that logo was created in 64, 1964. Hasn't really changed in like over 50 years. Did it 60 years. Yes. Yeah. Wow. Right. Didn't change, 


The, other than some gradients and shading and stuff like that. Yeah. It's been that way for since 1964, which is pretty iconic. And, and, it's kind of, it's definitely a staple in the automotive industry. Salute list is it is as ugly as it is. I would almost if borderline on a classic 1964 logo, 


You're right though, in the sense that it's almost a classic, like yeah. Instead of them doing a rebrand, like they did, they should just refreshed what they had enough. This is what I was thinking. Right. Because again, you're right. It's the GM is just so stapled. I mean, to me, it is that company. So, but with this rebrand, are they running from their past? And that's what it feels like. Yes. Right. Because again, that classic G M logo, as boring as it is, it's a classic logo. That is, it's just, everybody knows it. 


Yeah. Yeah. Totally. Yeah. 


I don't know. Was this, was this good? I don't know. Well, let's, I mean, again, let's analyze the new logo. Of course. So, 


Okay. Lowercase G lowercase. 


M yep. And then they underlined the app. 


Yes. Just the M yes. Right. If you look closely, this was a great attempt, but I don't know whether it really hit the Mark, but if you look at it's got like that FedEx element where the em, and the underscore form a plug, 


Dude, was that intentional? I think so. I think so. I think that's why that underscore is there interesting if that's the case that, okay. That, that thought process could be kind of brilliance kind of cool. All right. Well, what we'll say is they played with the negative space enough. Yes. Had I known that? I might've actually given that logo a second. Look, 


That's the thing is, in the more I kind of look at it too, and they've, the main logo that they released was the one with the gradient and the beveled edges. Right. Which is, I don't understand that maybe that's a nod to the Pope is old because if you look at the old GM level yeah. It's got that bevel on it, but it's because it's from 1964, you almost can kind of let that go. Right. They also have a flat version, with no gradient. Right. Which isn't terrible. 


Well, funny enough, funny that you say that, I mean, even though the first time I saw this logo, I kind of puked in my life. I kinda chuckled because again, I it's, it was hard to take serious that this was GM. Right. I was just like, where are like, it almost felt like. 


Trying too hard. Yes. It's, it's almost, it's one of those things where you're they're, they were really close. Yeah. Yeah. 


Now do you feel that this is a natural progression? Like, does it, do you think it does what they set it out to? Do they want to recreate themselves as this eco-friendly awesome. Yeah. Thinking of the future kind of company, do you think they succeeded with this new brand? 


You know, it's funny. If I look at it, like from my perspective, the more I read into it, the more I understood it. Yeah. Johnny lunch pail, who's looking at the new GMC to Homer or whatever the fuck those trucks are. He going to know what they're trying to do? 


Right. So you're right. On a standpoint of the logo itself, the brand itself does it actually, I couldn't imagine that as a badge on the truck, I'm going to have to see how that plays out. 


Yeah, exactly. Right. Yeah. I have no idea what that emblem is going to look like in place. Yeah. 


Well, let's critique this. Let's, let's look through this more. We always use, like, five points about, does a logo work, simplicity, if it's a minimal, is that iconic? Is it relevant? And is it timeless? So simplicity. Do you think that this logo chiefs, the simplicity factor? 


Sure. It, the simplicity is, yeah. I would say that's, 


I don't, I don't know if he can get as much more simple. Right. I don't think he can. Yeah. It minimal? Like, can it get any more minimal than it is? 


Geez, I don't think so. Yeah. 


Pretty minimal. I mean, it's bound within that box and that box is the only thing that somebody could possibly even question and get rid of. I mean, it's GM, you get rid of that box. 


There's nothing, exactly. No connection. Right. Right here. 


I, I think it's almost as minimal as you're going to get. Is it iconic. 


That I, I think is where it really kind of lacks. Yeah. Like, I don't know whether this is going to have stain. 


No, I agree. Because that font feels very trendy. It does it. Right. And that's my concern. I'm looking at this font. It looks like somebody would have just downloaded it from Google or something or slapped it onto a web page and was like, here's our logo tweaks and where you go. Yeah. Like it borders trendy. Yeah. Cause it does look very much for the times, which, Hey, that's cool right now, but is that going to be cool in five years? Is it going to be cool in 10 years? Are you going to want a vehicle that has a badge that looks like it was from the last decade? 


No. About that, man. No. Is it relevant for this time? 


Agreed. Do you know what I mean? Yeah. Yeah. I think now if in fact, the times, I don't think it's going to change. I think right now the push for green energy that push for electric vehicles. I don't think that's going to change. I've always said that I thought have a future. That is the future. Yeah. Is it relevant in that sense? Yeah. Will it stay relevant? Hopefully, the idea will stay relevant if they continue to do this push. Yep. As, as a green company and moving forward to this, I mean, they've committed, man. They've gone global, they've committed, they've doubled down. They can't own the sudden go make some new deals with some of those, Saudis out there and get some new, oil, crude oil coming over again and better price. Like we can't see a replay of the nineties. 


Yeah. The King cab version is not on the way think. 


So. Right. Right. With that being said, so this begs the question then how timeless is this logo? 


That's a tricky one to, predict cause yeah, you could very well, GM takes off and this idea is up there with Tesla and that kind of thing. Yep. 


If that's the kind of company they become yeah. Could it work for them? So my issue with this, which is kind of crazy is, although blue skies water should be an eco-friendly color and you should think of that equally as green because GM's old color was blue. Yes. I can't get past that. I don't see that color and think it's, they've now become an eco-friendly company. Exactly. I don't. And I can't shake that. That's, I think the one fault here is when you create a brand is more than just the icon. It's more than the Sluggo with, you've branded your color. Yep. They branded GM blue. Yes. And I can't unsee that. Yeah. That's why this local feels fake to me. Yeah. Right. In that sense. I love the intent. Yeah. All I keep thinking is this is the old GM, like, they're trying to pull one over on us again, they've got a shitty history in that sense. 


And I just, I don't know. That's what I can't unsee. Right. 


Yeah. It's funny because I re I can't, I think it was, my grandfather had a GM and I remember, clicking on the seatbelt. Yup. And you see that square icon. Yeah. Big GM, the capital letters, what I mean? Like that's a, that's one of those memories. Oh, it's so true. I mean, and it's, so it's is that, is this logo going to have that for somebody else down the road. 


It's going to take some time is, like the intent is there. I think in all fairness, it checks all of our boxes. Does it does, in almost every way it does the iconic part questionable. Right? Yeah. But it checks the boxes. So, that's just saying, Hey, it does what we claim it does, but I can't shake that color, dude. Yeah. It's, it's a brand and that's where I, could they have changed things around? Could they, I think they probably should have tried to introduce it slower. Maybe introduced, some bigger plays as opposed to something so big. Yeah. Because of how they went about with this introduction of the brand yeah. 


Feels fake. You don't want almost, I think if they could have just stuck with the GM blue with that new logo. It might not have been such a S the sticker shock might not have been, so, Oh, did you like that car there? Yeah. So. 


I have some other concerns about this logo versus their, what they've departed from. Right. GM and I made a joke about this, but capital G capital M, and it's underlying, 


That has been. 


The GM angle that has been that's, that's their culture. That is the brand. It's almost like, it's a kick it kick you in the teeth kind of brand here we are. This new brand, this new brand feels humble. Yes. The lowercase, it's not as big. It's not as bold. It's a little softer, more elegant. Yep. I begged the question again, are they trying to be legit? Are they cowering down to companies like Tesla right now? And are they just, or, I think it could have been stronger if they would add a more strong logo, a more intentful logo that kept that same, GM bad-ass badge, but try to soften that up. I think it's almost going to, 


Yeah. I think you're right. I think you're absolutely right, because correct me if I'm wrong, Tesla's logo is all caps. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Well, they still got, they have the balls. Yeah, 


Yeah, yeah. They've been the industry leader for this. 


General motors. They, they also dropped like their wordmark too. Right. Which is like the full general model. Wow. Okay. All lower case. It's track to beat the band. Like it's so spaced out. Wow. Yeah. It's just like, just kind of a mess. All, I don't understand that. Yeah. 


What, this feels like it was done. In-house I don't think an agency would have done was. Yeah. 


I think the woman Susan or Sharon, Gautschy the executive director there. I think they were responsible. Her team was responsible for that. Yeah. 


Yeah. Because again, I don't think that they brought it, they may be focused too much on what they wanted to be, as opposed to let's be realistic here. Who are we? I mean, it, cause it does feel like they're running. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. I can't say all right, well, how are people feeling about this? 


The overall reaction is not a positive as you can imagine. Yeah. There's a lot of people there saying it's a very, it's too techie to techie, which I totally agree with that. I think Dell lowercase and whatever that font is that was plucked from Google fonts. Right. In a lot of see that a lot of people are saying, it looks like it reminds them of the gap logo or the Goodwill G and back to your point, which I thought was it doesn't convey the GM stature of the past. Like it's, GM was the jest. So exactly like you said, right. Like upper caps and underlined. Right. Which it doesn't have that. Right. I don't, and a lot of people are kind of saying why ditch that? And I can't figure that out actually. It doesn't feel like a natural progression. No, it does. It doesn't, it's almost like if they kept the GM upper caps. 




Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. Just again, it, yeah. Yeah. Sadly I think it was a rebrand and I can't say as of right now it's a rebrand that's gone. Well, 


Yes. The only, the only positives I could really find, about this was a lot of people were saying, it's very ambitious, which it is. Yes, it is. So score one for them. It's also a bold move, which maybe is the same thing as ambitious. Yeah. 


Yeah. Fair enough. Fair enough. It's ambitious. It's bold. Yes. 


I get that. Yes. Like I said, the more I read up on this, the more I understand the thought process and why they were doing this, but was it executed at a hundred percent? I don't think. Yeah. Yeah. 


Let me ask you, Sean, in your opinion, is it dope or is it no, I'm going to say, Nope. I'm going to have to agree with you brother. I think the new GM logo is a big, no, it's a good try. Kind of missed the Mark. Maybe it was wrong. Maybe it's a note with the lower case. All tracked really wide and an underline or poor effort. Okay. Underlines P for tour F. Okay. Well, awesome. I hope you guys liked our very first, angry logo ranch. If you guys, had a good chuckle today, or if you guys liked what you heard or gals, if you listened to this, if you heard anything that you liked, didn't like made you laugh, beat you get angry, that's all right. Keep following us. It gets better. I'm sure it will. As we keep doing this, please subscribe and remember to share us with everybody that you love. 


All right, Mr. Sean. Good job. All right. Mr. Moss. Good job. YouTube. My friend. I think we are outta here. 

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