Cedar Fair logo reviewd

slithernoggin's avatar

I tried, unsuccessfully, to find the thread where the new Cedar Fair logo was discussed (and compared to the Visual Studio logo), so I'll just put this here.

A brand identity site I follow recently reviewed the Cedar Fair logo, with interesting comments from both the guy who runs the site and several of the commentators.

Last edited by slithernoggin,

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

Thabto's avatar

Is this the thread your refferring to? It was at PointBuzz.


slithernoggin's avatar

Well, that explains that.

Thanks, Thabto!

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

Jeff's avatar

I tend to agree that it really does seem like a first stab, that there should have been some iterating on it to improve it. But I'm still struck by how much it reminds me of the older Visual Studio logo. It just doesn't seem like a coincidence.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog

Read the comments. Turns out there's worrysome, over-critical design nerds out there, too!

slithernoggin's avatar

That's one of the things I enjoyed about the Brand New post, RCMAC! Folks who likely couldn't care less about the coasters but dwell on what's wrong with the logo.

(Similarly, after years of attending coaster enthusiast events, I was very amused to find myself at my first leather club run, surrounded by burly men in vests covered with patches, lined up for the buffet. Run patches in one case, coaster patches in the other.)

Last edited by slithernoggin,

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

Tommytheduck's avatar

Can't believe I just read that whole thing. It was actually an interesting read. But it just goes to show you, if it's a thing, there's an internet forum for it. (Logotools... who would have guessed?)

Now I'm going to see if they have an opinion on the company I work for. Our new branding is quite strange indeed.

Last edited by Tommytheduck,
birdhombre's avatar

Being a graphic designer with an interest in logo design, naturally I follow Brand New. I even commented on that very post. :)

I mentioned there that Knott's has continued to use its old type styling, but every now and then I see this variant turn up, which is more in line with the logos of the other parks. Although Worlds of Fun can't seem to agree on what its official logo is either.

slithernoggin's avatar

When I read that comment I thought it was from someone who was almost certainly on Coasterbuzz.

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

In my strictly amateur opinion, I think a good logo is one that not only brands the company, but provides instant recognition as to what the company is about. This new Cedar Fair logo is poorly executed, but at least it projects the movement that rides have. I also like logos that carry a hidden, or a "look closer and you'll see..." message in its graphics, like Wendy's, FedEx, Baskin Robbins, or even the new Busch logo that has combined ride movement with a nod to nature as well. It seems like Cedar Fair has some of that going on what with certain letters acting as "footers" for the coaster supports, but that's about it.

The note about park logos in comparison to corporate is interesting, and I've thought about that some, especially when the Paramount parks came on board. Cedar Point had their well-known logo and typeface and they simply transferred the same look to all the parks in what seemed to me like a sudden attempt to unify the company and include the new acquisitions. And if thats the case then the local and corporate logos should be similar for instant brand recognition. Or....
As none of the parks in the chain were ground-up-brand-new, each had an original logo that was familiar and easily recognized in that particular regional market. Why not stick with that? Our Slith makes a good point about Knott's and their brand carrying over to other products, but for whatever reason, it still works. And it would work in Charlotte, Kansas City, and Minneapolis as well. Then employ someone who's not a first year intern to design a corporate logo that is clean, exciting, and somehow puts all parks under an umbrella. It's not my field, but those who know these things would likely suggest my second scenario is not the easiest or the most modern approach.

But this new logo is embarrassing. One would think with the money available (and probably spent already) that it would be a lot better than this. It's early and I need a memory jogger, but what was the university that spent millions for a new logo and what they got looked like a lot less? This makes me think of that.

I'm going to hip a few friends to this Brand New, they will find it as interesting as I do. (if they haven't found it already)

rollergator's avatar

Le'go my logo!

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

birdhombre's avatar

RCMAC said:

As none of the parks in the chain were ground-up-brand-new, each had an original logo that was familiar and easily recognized in that particular regional market. Why not stick with that?

The Paramount parks had their own unifying style that changed over the years, so I'm not sure what one would claim as the "classic" version (you can see a collection of the Kings Dominion and Canada's Wonderland logos on Wikipedia). For the non-Paramount parks, I get what you mean though. I'm guessing the Paramount acquisition necessitated a redesign anyway, since simply removing the mountain leaves us with pretty basic text with a swoosh under it. So they took the opportunity to update all the parks, including Wildwater Kingdom after Geauga Lake closed.

I think it also coincided with the introduction of the Platinum Pass, where they made a point of promoting their parks as a whole, so maybe they wanted some visual recognition there too, in the way Six Flags naturally has with their recurring name.

I do think there are a number of advantages to the current logos, namely that they have thick, bold letters that reproduce well at various sizes and don't use gratuitous beveling or gradients. Plus, in general there's an advantage to updating the brand when you're in a business that relies on "what's new this year?" to keep people coming back -- you don't want to be stuck in an era (this WoF logo always made me think of Peter, Paul & Mary). I suppose the exception would be parks that rely more on nostalgia and intentionally go for that old-fashioned look.

birdhombre's avatar

Being a child of the '80s, I'm more likely to think of a Muppet Babies episode or The Chipmunk Adventure. ;)

Vater's avatar

I'm always complaining about how terrible the cartoons are that my kids watch. Never again. I guess I'd subconsciously blocked out of my memory just how nauseatingly sh***y the Muppet Babies show was.

I love the old logo and think the new one is hideous.

I understand companies' desire to keep things fresh, current, and trendy. But "Don't fix it if it ain't broke" should factor into the equation as well. Coca-Cola? Ford? McDonald's?

The change strikes me as the classic example of someone making decisions with their head buried in a college textbook to the exclusion of reasoned thought.

For so many people a college degree is nothing more than a dunce cap. You can "educate", or transfer knowledge to, just about anyone. But intelligence you're either born with or you're not.

birdhombre's avatar

Good grief. I'd contest the notion that the old logo "weren't broke."

And they hardly had any brand equity in that logo, unlike Coke or McDonald's. I would certainly say Six Flags does have equity in their logo, since it's used at almost every park and they're often advertised as a whole.

I have issues with the new Cedar Fair logo too -- namely the coaster supports -- but I don't think it has anything to do with book-smart eggheads. There's a markedly different attitude and atmosphere in the company compared to the previous regime, so an updated logo can be part of that breath of fresh air. I just don't think this was necessarily the best they could do (which is not to blame the designer... any number of flaws with this logo could have been requests from people much higher up the ladder).

Not comparing the brand equity. Simply making the point that there is often much to be said for sticking with a good logo as opposed to changing it to keep up with the latest trends as freshman business school might condition one to do.

I also wasn't intending to compliment anyone as "book-smart." Rather the contrary in fact. A lot of people can be book-stupid. You can read tons of textbooks, study, and memorize. You can even earn advanced degrees and be a virtual walking encyclopedia, and still be as dumb as a sunbleached dog turd.

I'm also not saying that the scale implied by my analogy applies to the Cedar Fair personnel in question, just the principle.

In my opinion, it wasn't smart to release this new logo, yet the persons behind the logo and its adoption were probably quite proud of themselves for it.

Lastly, while Cedar Fair's new management team has indeed done some great things, that doesn't mean they haven't had some blunders and doesn't mean they don't have the proverbial pauper-in-the-penthouse in the graphic arts department.

Last edited by DiamondPilot,
Raven-Phile's avatar

No matter how many articles, books, studies, etc.. I've read - the only thing that's made me dumber has been the post above mine.

That makes more sense than you realize

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