We tend to take our letterforms pretty seriously, and I’m not just referring to designers. Ask any type maven and they can regale you with just how much leeway the public is willing to allow when crafting a font. Embellish a letterform, and you’re just improving; but remove a stroke here or there, and you’ll be issued a cease and desist notice without apology. The designers of the marks in this trend are just flat flaunting their disrespect, and in doing so have captured the attention of the consumer.
A judiciously excised aspect of a word or letterform may create no issue with legibility. We folk are a pretty clever lot when playing fill in the blank. But what we edit out can be either a vacuous stylistic gesture or a clever treatment to reinforce a message or help provide context for a brand. The latter is certainly preferred. With Slate’s new wordmark, the A is no less legible, and it helps convey the journalistic editing and overlapping of content that’s a part of their process. When crafted with wit and prudence, these solutions earn honors in Disruption 101.