Is It Time for a New Adventures in Odyssey Logo?
By Jacob Isom |
Adventures in Odyssey's inception in 1987, the logo
for the show has been tweaked several times. At the start,
there was no logo at all except for Family Portraits
Odyssey USA. In 1991, the initial horizontal AIO logo
first appeared on the cover of
Other Times, Other Places (original cover) with less
brilliant colors than what we see today. From 1992 to 1994,
this logo was tweaked to a more arched appearance with
vibrant colors and spanned albums 11-17 and
The Early Classics. Also, "Audio Series" was
added to the logo. The arched logo was later abandoned and
became horizontal once again in albums 18-44 (1994-2005), as
seen in the old art for
A Time of Discovery. At one point, the words "Adventures
in" were changed to yellow for several albums but reverted
to the original red. Ultimately, the words "Audio Series"
were removed from the logo. A a nice oval container was
added, making it the perfect logo, as first released in
as well as repacks 1-50 (see timeline at conclusion of
article). Or was it the perfect logo?
I think perhaps the main
reason why the logo underwent a logo redesign is because of
the word "in." The old logo (as you can see in our Odyssey
Scoop logo at the top of this page) has the word "in"
smashed in between "Adventures" and "Odyssey," with two
lines to fill the white space. While we as fans have grown
accustomed to this look over the past decade-and-some-years,
it does have one big problem: readability. If you're walking
through a Christian bookstore and the Odyssey items are in
the far distance, you might see a sign with the AIO logo on
it. But, instead of reading "Adventures in Odyssey" at first
glance, you might make the mistake of reading "Adventures
Odyssey," thus, getting a wrong first impression of the
series' actual title. But if you're familiar with the series
as all fans are, a first glance in the store would make you
automatically assume it is Adventures in Odyssey,
because that's what you listen to and love. For a good
example of how it might look to a customer in a store,
simply look at the smaller Scoop logo on the navigation bar.
I'm seeing "Adventures Odyssey." Are you?
With that being said, I think
it only makes sense to tweak the word "in" and move it up to
the top line with "Adventures." At a distance, people won't
get a wrong glimpse at the name. Not only that, the extended
line on the "A" is about as long as the extended line on the
"n" from the word "in," thus, we have a more balanced logo.
Chris from the
Unofficial Podcast states in his blog, "I'm not a fan of
the way the word, "in," is no longer in-between "Adventures"
and "Odyssey." It somehow makes the logo appear less
symmetrical. But I'm sure I'll get used to it. Haha."
Initially, I thought it felt
less symmetrical as well, but the more I look at it, I can
see why it was tweaked after so many years. Other
fans are unhappy with the new logo as well, and you can see
their comments at this message board
thread. But we will get used to it.
Perhaps the biggest changes
that fans seem to be unhappy with is the fact that the new
logo has stripped away everything that the old logo was. The
old logo popped off the page because it had a bold drop
shadow, thicker fonts, oval, and a 3D look. I believe we
have lost a lot of the creative flavor we had for years.
Whenever I heard the name Adventures in Odyssey, the
first color I thought of was orange, and still do. I don't
think I ever won't (yes, I know, I used a double negative
sentence there). So saying that leads me to perhaps the
biggest change I am unhappy with: the color change.
One fan said, "I can't think
of any logical reason they would spend years repacking all
the old albums to give them a uniform design and then
change, as soon as they finished. And, the other one was
new and bright and appealing, but this one's rather plain
and stale. [emphasis added] The one aspect of the
artwork that's gotten better with time, they change to make
look like it's 1987 again. I just don't get it."
I think this listener (and
observer) was primarily referring to the bright red color of
the logo which is rarely used in graphic design today unless
it is done correctly. The particular shade of red creates an
uneasiness or negative emotional response in a lot of
people. Also, the new blue arched containment device does
make the logo look somewhat archaic. It features a bevel,
which makes some people question its use.
Yet another AIO fan puts it this way: "I'm not a fan of the
new logo either. Something about that plastic-looking blue
border doesn't fit well."
From a graphic design
perspective, that's exactly what I was thinking. Here's one
rule of graphic design that we must always remember: If it
looks like it was photoshopped, it probably was. A good
indication that something maintains good graphic design is
that it goes unnoticed by the viewer. A good logo grabs your
attention and makes you agree with its design choices.
Blogger Austin Peachey of the
AIO Blog writes, "Personally, I don't like the new logo.
The present logo makes Odyssey look professional. While this
one takes that feeling away."
Let's face it. Companies tweak
logos over time, but not too much each time so as to
transition people into what a logo ultimately becomes. With
the stripping away of everything the fans held dear, it's
obviously going to cause some emotional upheavel. Consumers
are funny that way. They get used to seeing a product on a
shelf at a store and it always looks the same. Then they
discover that a drastic change in the look has taken place,
and they begin to question why.
The Pepsi logo is a
perfect example of this. For a long time, the logo was 3D,
featured refreshing water droplets on it, and popped off the
page. But then one day, consumers walked into Wal-mart to
discover that the logo had been stripped of everything. The
logo was now 2-dimensional, contained no water droplets, and
lost the excitement of the original look. To change a logo
in such a drastic way confuses consumers. Because of
Pepsi's poor mistake, their sales plummeted
significantly after the redesign. The same thing happened
with a redesign of the Tropicana logo. It went
through such a major design change that their sales
drastically went down immediately after the redesign.
Now I'm not saying that people
are going to quit buying Adventures in Odyssey
because it has been given a newer logo. Quite the contrary!
I'm pretty sure the loyalty level of a consumer's love for
Pepsi and Tropicana is far lower than that of
someone who grew up with Odyssey and almost lives in the
town alongside its characters. People are always going to
purchase AIO for its quality entertainment, great acting and
sound design, true-to-life aspect, Christian values, and
applicability to their lives. Odyssey is an emotional
product. It's got a lot of memories tied with it. We know
its impact. Its value. Because of that, Odyssey will live
The Odyssey team has always
been open to comments and suggestions on how they can
improve the show. A new logo is another opportunity for you
to share your thoughts. Usually a logo goes through several
stages before it is perfect. This could possibly just be
Stage 1 or Stage 2. And just remember... if you're a fan of
the logo on albums 1-50, enjoy it on albums 1-50. The old
logo is here to stay on those albums. Albums 51+ will
feature the new logo. I'm beginning to believe that since
we've entered into a new era for Adventures in Odyssey,
now is a perfect time
We may reach a point in the
show where there are so many changes happening. John Avery
Whittaker has a replacement actor for a second time. Even
Whit himself "lays off the Twinkies" after a long life of
obesity since 1992. Edwin Blackgaard is retiring. Tom Riley
drifts away. New characters. New storylines. A new logo.
Amidst those changes, we press forward. We keep tuning in on
our FM channels, CD players, iPods, and online streaming
internet radio. We keep supporting Odyssey because we
connect with it. We enjoy its drama, its laughs, its tears,
and its lessons. After all, it is Adventures in Odyssey:
the radio journey of a lifetime.
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