AOL ditches the triangle; previews new brand identity, logos

In a move that mimics Yahoo's "It's You" media branding campaign, AOL has unveiled a "new brand identity" now that the company will spin off from corporate conglomerate Time Warner on Dec. 10.

In a move that mimics Yahoo's "It's You" media branding campaign, AOL has unveiled a "new brand identity" now that the company will spin off from corporate conglomerate Time Warner on Dec. 10.

Instead of the old triangle logo the world has come to recognize, AOL is moving in a new, more multifaceted direction, introducing a new text logo printed across colorful splash backgrounds, including a goldfish, a "rock hand," scribbles and more.

For now, the new logos are just the tip of the iceberg, a preview of an upcoming full announcement once the company is fully spun off from Time Warner.

The rebranding also marks AOL's shift from an Internet provider to a digital publisher. The company, helmed by CEO and former Googler Tim Armstrong, has a large family of blogs from the purchase of Weblogs, Inc. in 2005 that includes Engadget, Joystiq, Autoblog, TUAW, Asylum and Switched.

"Historically, brand identity has been monolithic and controlling, little more than stamping a company name on a product. AOL is a 21st century media company, with an ambitious vision for the future and new focus on creativity and expression, this required the new brand identity to be open and generous, to invite conversation and collaboration, and to feel credible, but also aspirational. We’re delighted to have worked so closely with the AOL leadership team to create something bold and exciting that sets AOL apart,” said Karl Heiselman, CEO of Wolff Olins, the global brand and innovation consultancy that AOL partnered with for the new digs.

Nevertheless, AOL's primary revenue still comes from its connectivity business, and while its online properties help it redefine its corporate image, the company's still heavily relying on it. The online publishing business is still very much in flux and heavily dependent on ad revenue, which is depressed in the wake of the recession.