For Norman Hathaway, creative director of the London design company Assorted Images (an American who’s worked in Europe for the past decade), Goldman’s Sachs’ corporate identity is decidedly underwhelming. “It’s faceless,” he says. “About the only thing you can say about it is that it looks like a generic 1970s logo. But if you were flicking through a phone book, it could just as easily pass for a company which cleans swimming pools as an investment bank.”
The use of the box device to contain the stacked words “Goldman” and “Sachs” is irrelevant, the exaggerated typeface slightly comical and lacking in authority.
Hathaway points to another boxed logo for UPS, designed by Paul Rand, the master of US corporate identity, which cleverly mimics a parcel, complete with bow on top. “It has a lightness of touch and humanity, which is lacking here. Personality can be conveyed very simply, but there’s no idea evident [in the Goldman Sachs logo].”
A case, then, for going back to the drawing board and coming back with a solution that reflects the aspirations of the company and its staff.