Competing typefaces

New logo for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

ACCC logo before and after
Logo before and after

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, or ACCC (pronounced “A-triple-C”), is an independent Commonwealth statutory authority whose role is to enforce the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 and a range of additional legislation, promoting competition, fair trading and regulating national infrastructure for the benefit of all Australians. It was established in 1995 with the amalgamation of the Australian Trade Practices Commission and the Prices Surveillance Authority. (Wikipedia)

Old ACCC logo
Old logo

The old logo featured a trapezium (for A) intersected by three “swooshes” (the Cs). I have previously voiced my distaste for the swoosh; it’s very 90s and just makes logos look tacky. Even though the swooshes carried meaning here, the way they were positioned also suggested a “broadcast”, and that was not in line with the function of the ACCC. The type was set in ITC Eras, a humanist sans-serif with a distinctive and curious feature: a slight, 2–3° right tilt, making it almost, but not quite, italic. It is further distinct for its open bowls in some characters, notably the a here. I don’t hate it, but I think the typeface had a bit too much charm for the agency it was representing. However, its playfulness was kept in check by the use of a single colour for the entire design. Overall, the logo wasn’t terrible, but of its time.

New ACCC logo
New logo

The new logo unambiguously spells out “ACCC”. It’s striking and appropriate as the agency is most commonly referred to by the initialism. The hook is a tall, stylised A featuring a turquoise triangle; perhaps it suggests that the ACCC is a “peak” authority (of the Australian government), but I would only be speculating. The choice of turquoise may not be entirely random, though – there was a superseded variant of the old logo that had similarly coloured swooshes. Beneath the initialism, the agency’s name is spelled out in full in Galaxie Copernicus. Conveniently, the letterspacing has little variation between both lines, so the arrangement makes for a nice even texture. However, as beautiful a serif typeface as Copernicus is, its inherently more intricate design clashes with the much simpler forms of the initialism, despite the contrast in size and weight. A geometric sans would have been ideal here. Overall, the new logo is a definite improvement.