Warner Bros iconic 'WB' shield gets refreshed look ahead of upcoming centennial

Warner Bros. has launched a new brand identity and brand strategy, updating the iconic "WB" shield and making it the foundation of a comprehensive identity system, including a custom typeface inspired by the logo. Done in collaboration with?design studio Pentagram, the brand identity draws on its heritage?to position it for the future, looking ahead to the studio?s centennial in 2023.

According to a blog post on Pentagram, the update streamlines the logo to its key elements, returning the shield and monogram to prominence and losing the sash. The redesign refines the shield with a form based on the classical proportions of the golden ratio. Pentagram's designers looked at the construction of the letterforms of the ?WB? monogram, preserving their quirkiness but making them more modern. The letters of the monogram align as though made in one continuous gesture, emphasising unity and connection, the post added.

The Warner Bros. shield has been used dating back to the company's roots and periodically updated. The blog post said?Warner Bros. wanted to build on this legacy and make the shield more functional and effective. The previous iteration, introduced in 1993, was highly detailed and hard to use at a small scale and in digital contexts, which are increasingly important. Meanwhile, the new brand position - ?We believe in the power of story? - captures the company's legacy and aims to help focus and guide Warner Bros. as it moves forward. This renewed sense of focus, Pentagram's blog post said, is evident in the clean lines of the redrawn logo.

The new logo has been optimised to perform across various?platforms and scales, from the small spaces of the digital world to giant installations such as the iconic water tower on the Warner Bros. studio lot. According to Pentagram, the new logo also works well with a wide range of content. The logo appears in the signature Warner Bros. blue, which has been brightened to a more contemporary hue, with the wordmark set off in a slightly darker shade to create a complementary contrast.

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Pentagram also created a dimensional version of the logo, to be used exclusively for on-screen content and special cases. The dimensional mark has the clean, streamlined look of the new logo, but with a depth that hints at the content experience. The logo can be customised for the opening and closing moments of individual movies and shows. It can also function as a window for imagery and sequences, using the edge of the shield as a frame.

The new brand identity also involves the distinctive monogram being expanded into a custom typeface -?Warner Bros. Condensed Bold - used for the wordmarks?of the various divisions and other display typography.?Warner Bros. Condensed Bold is designed by Pentagram and expanded into a full family of fonts by designer?Jeremy Mickel who owns the design stupid MCKL.

According to the blog post, the typeface has a look and feel that is uniquely Warner Bros., with condensed letterforms that relate to the elongated ?WB? in the shield. Details in the logo?s letterforms are echoed in the font; for instance, the curvature of the ?R? references the redrawn ?B.? Like the redrawn logo, the typeface carries a sense of the company?s history, but is clean, modern and timeless.

The new brand identity and strategy came about because Warner Bros. wanted to?reexamine its role and lay the groundwork for the next 100 years, with the rise of digital streaming and other technologies changing the entertainment industry. As part of the process, the team at Pentagram?conducted in-depth research, interviews and discussions with staff and stakeholders around the world. Through this, the team realised that Warner Bros. and its?employees and creative partners?are all driven to tell great stories and that the company has storytelling in its DNA.

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