Thinking outside the box
HT&E – Here, There and Everywhere (formerly APN News & Media) is an ASX-listed media and entertainment company, with diverse assets in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. In Australia, HT&E operates the Australian Radio Network, a metropolitan radio broadcaster that’s home to the KIIS and Pure Gold networks, youth radio station The Edge, and the music streaming, digital entertainment and live events platform iHeartRadio. HT&E also owns and operates Adshel, an out-of-home advertising network in Australia and New Zealand. In October 2016, HT&E acquired Conversant Media, who own a portfolio of premium online publications such as global culture website, Lost At E Minor, Australia’s leading sports opinion website, The Roar, and the millennial-tech and lifestyle website, Techly. HT&E’s Hong Kong business, Cody, is focused on premium billboard advertising.
The rebrand follows a significant transformation of the company, with the original name – Australian Provincial Newspapers – speaking to the company’s foundations in print. In the decades since its establishment, APN has transformed and diversified, with the sale of its remaining newspaper assets last year marking the final shift away from traditional publishing. The name APN was no longer reflective of the company, its brands, investments, and vision. (HT&E)
“HT&E represents our new direction, as we move from being a holder of media assets, to a tier-one media business, uniquely placed in the media market,” says Ciaran Davis, HT&E CEO & Managing Director. “It’s not simply a new name and logo, it encapsulates a better proposition for our audiences, advertisers and shareholders.”
The old APN News & Media logo featured the initialism in ITC Symbol (Black), a typeface with minuscule serifs that lent an understated elegance to the design. Above that was a series of swooshes – who knows what the idea behind those were? Let’s suppose the swooshes were intended to create closure in the shape of an eye. Well, some of the symbolic meanings associated with eyes include omniscience, truth (or deceit), judgement and authority – qualities which, I would think, are pertinent to a news and media company.
These elements were contained in a blue square, a powerful geometry combined with a calm, corporate colour, focusing the attention on the name. In general, squares in logos suggest stability and professionalism, and tend to evoke familiar man-made objects – like, in this case, the newspaper. At the bottom, “News & Media” was set in FF Transit and was rather blah in its integration with the logo. Despite being a necessary inclusion, it just felt tacked on, matching the square neither in its colour nor its proportions.
Overall, however, the old logo wasn’t bad. Its only weakness was the treatment of “News & Media”, but it didn’t try to get away with contrived visual tricks. More effective was the blue square and the elements within it which were a strong representation for the brand.
The new logo is a total departure from the old, shedding the confining blue square and going for this airy, monoline lettering, because why not? Not only is it “here, there and everywhere”, but its colours are this, that and those, giving it a more fun and youthful vibe and reflecting the company’s diverse range of interests. At the same time, however, the multiple colours risk the company giving the impression of an identity crisis, due to an unwillingness to commit to just one or two sensible colours. Furthermore, just like the old logo, the ancillary text at the bottom is nothing special, but at least it has more presence here.
Overall, the new logo is an interesting change of direction for the company. It feels fresh and energetic, but I don’t feel like I can take it very seriously with all those different colours. Hopefully, the company’s new vision can live up to its audacious new look.