September 13, 2019
Volkswagen has a new logo. Design critique aside, one line stuck out to me from their press release:
The design was implemented with the full integration of all departments of the company in the record time of nine months using a powerhouse concept developed by Volkswagen especially for this purpose. A total of 19 internal teams and 17 external agencies were involved in the project.
That is…a lot.
There’s a term in our industry, “design by committee.” It’s usually a negative term, implying that if you put dozens of people on a single project, it inevitably loses focus and turns out like shit.
Volkswagen’s new logo is not shitty, but the boasting about how 19 internal teams and 17 external agencies were involved makes little sense. Moby Dick wasn’t written by hiring a team of thirty Herman Melville’s.1
I should caveat and say that, especially for branding projects at the scale of Volkswagen, you must involve your internal teams and stakeholders—at least some of them. Overhauling a brand identity should feel like a collaborative effort, even if the execution and graphic design work is left to the professionals.↩