Autodesk Unveils New Brand

26 Feb, 2013 By: Nancy Spurling Johnson

With spring just around the corner, Autodesk today sprang a fresh new brand. According to the company, “The new visual identity represents the most significant branding update in the company’s history and reflects the business transformation the 31-year-old technology company is undergoing to continue offering innovative technology for its millions of customers.”

New Autodesk brand

For the first time in more than a decade, the new look includes a logomark (marketing speak for an image used in conjunction with the text portion of a brand), this one said to be inspired by origami. A team of Autodesk designers created the new branding using Autodesk software, primarily Autodesk Maya and Autodesk 3ds Max, the company reports.

Chris Bradshaw, senior vice-president and chief marketing officer at Autodesk, wrote in a blog post today, “The new Autodesk is not just a surface change, but a reflection of how we are evolving our business.” He cites the company’s 30-year evolution from a desktop-based 2D CAD company to a leader in 3D design and engineering software to most recently a leader in cloud and mobile. “We’ve also invested in new markets like personal fabrication and digital art, which attract millions of new customers every month who use Autodesk design apps and products,” he added, referring to the company’s giant leap into the consumer market over the past few years. Today more than 100 million designers, engineers, architects, creative artists, students and hobbyists use Autodesk software, cloud services and mobile apps, Bradshaw concluded.

Bradshaw didn't state specifically how the new brand reflects these transitions, but what company that had undergone such major changes to strategy and image wouldn’t want a fresh, new look to go with that? Bradshaw did say, “The style beautifully shows the convergence of art and science, form and function, aptly representing the Autodesk software portfolio.”

As of this morning, the Autodesk web site was still sporting the old look.

Coincidentally, PTC, another long-time CAD-industry giant, just a month ago announced a change to its legal name — from Parametric Technology Corporation to PTC — “to reflect the full breadth of its current technology portfolio, market scope, and corporate vision,” which has evolved significantly since the company introduced the first parametric, feature-based, fully-associative solid-modeling software 25 years ago. The legal name change aligns with the company’s “broadened purpose of helping manufacturers transform the way products are created and serviced,” it reported.

As for Autodesk, apparently there’s more to come: “This is just the beginning of the new Autodesk,” Bradshaw said.

In the meantime, I thought you might enjoy a look back at the new logo’s predecessors.

The Autodesk brand looked like this from the mid-2000s until yesterday:

This version of the logo was used during the 1990s and into the mid-2000s:

And this version, with its nod to the caliper, dates back to the 1980s:

About the Author: Nancy Spurling Johnson

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