AP Changes Logo for No Apparent Reason

The Associated Press has rolled out a slightly new logo for the first time since the Reagan Administration.

The Associated Press has rolled out a slightly new logo for the first time since the Reagan Administration.

Poynter (“AP unveils new logo for first time in 30 years“):

The Associated Press announced a new logo this morning, an update of the one that’s perched elegantly atop stylebooks for 30 years. The letters are now black, the “A” no longer leans against the “P” in an avuncular fashion, and both letters are on the same baseline. A red bar under the letters recalls the previous color scheme. The “stencil look” of the previous logo is preserved, but the “bridges” (the gaps in a stencil) are more pronounced.

Most readers will likely be unaware that AP even has a logo. After all, it doesn’t appear anywhere on published materials they’re likely to see–the reprinted/reposted stories on various AP affiliates. It’s pretty much relegated to the AP Stylebook, the AP website, and AP letterhead. And, frankly, I’m not sure that the old logo wasn’t cleaner and more distinctive.

The story also has a gallery of the evolution of the logo through the years–most of which look like they graced a comic book.

They add a caption clearing up the confusion created by their own labeling: “The AP has had eight logos, including the new one, since 1900. Note: Though the newest logo says ‘2011’ it was actually introduced in 2012.”

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. I suppose the new logo looks more “techie” and modern but that seems to be all one can say about it.

  2. Dave Schuler says:

    Maybe somebody’s niece is a graphic artist. Or it may be that the color was a sticking point—didn’t reproduce well or something and, once they’d started making revisions, they just went whole hog.

    I think it’s ugly.

  3. Ron Beasley says:

    There used to be a joke in the manufacturing business. The first thing a company did when it was in trouble was change the logo.

  4. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    Followed by the name? I’m thinking Blackwater to Xe.

  5. John Peabody says:

    Don’t faul the company for updating their logo. Look in the supermarket- hundreds of names have had the fonts tweaked. The 80s look was, well, 80s. Think about the more classical-looing logos… they need little updating. See: Coca-Cola, Ford, General Electric. This is why they’re calssical– they continue to remain attractive.

    Split-level homes, anyone?

  6. MarkedMan says:

    A lot of logos get changed as reproduction techniques changed. So logos that were difficult to fax, or that didn’t look good on a 640×480 display, got changed. But the new AP logo is… really bad. The font chosen and the kerning make it look like it is just slightly off center. Not in a clever way, but as if it was sloppily placed. Personally, I like the 1942 one best. They should have updated that one, or better yet, just gone with it.

  7. The only thing unusual about this is they hadn’t changed it for 30 years.

  8. Ernieyeball says:

    I thought AP was The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company.