The Girl Scouts logo has received a facelift — but will it make the organization cool?
Opinions are divided on whether the new logo is actually an improvement. Armin of Brand New praises design firm Original Champions of Design for hewing close to Saul Bass's 1978 logo — he's also a fan of the added bangs, new lips, and "perkier nose." But Mediabistro's Stephanie Murg calls the new hairdo "an awkward tuft of bangs," and I have to agree. It's not even clear that the extra green dollop is hair — at some sizes, it looks like a hat, or sunglasses, or a bite taken out of the girl's head.
According to the Girl Scouts, though, bangs are just the beginning of a large-scale effort to refurbish their image. It's a worthy goal, since the Girl Scouts could be a truly awesome organization. They're a a major national nonprofit that's just for girls, and at their best, they can set girls on a path toward leadership and service while teaching them cool skills. But they're kind of hit-or-miss. When I was a Girl Scout back in nineties, our activities ranged from awesome (sea kayaking) to pretty stupid (playing with rubber stamps), and actual community service opportunities were few and far between. The general understanding was that the coolness of scouting varied widely by troop, and if you ended up in a lackluster one, then Girl Scouts might be a waste of time. Things do seem to have changed for the better since then — intern Noorain, a current Girl Scout, says,
They've done a great job of changing what they do and providing services and opportunities especially to those who are generally underserved and/or in rural areas. They have not done a good job with rebranding and being more than cookies even though they've enlisted endless consultants/branding specialists to do it.
Indeed, I remember rebranding efforts of everything from cookie boxes to uniforms from my time as a Scout, yet Chief Marketing Officer Laurel Richie still has to say things like,
While we are proud of our $700 million cookie business run by girls, we offer so much more than that, and this new work is designed to let people know about all the new and exciting things girls do every day as Girl Scouts.
The Scouts' press contact hasn't returned my call yet, so I can't say for sure what the "360 degree marketing program" that's supposed to accompany the new logo will entail. Whatever the case, the Girl Scouts are going to need more than a new hairdo if they want to show everyone they're better than their baked goods.
Image via Original Champions of Design.
Girl Scouts Unveils New National Brand Initiative [Girl Scouts Official Site]
This Is Not Your Mom's Girl Scouts [Brand New]
Saul Bass' Iconic Girl Scouts Logo Gets Bangs, Nose Job [Mediabistro]