Pearson is a British publishing group with a great heritage stretching back to 1844. It was once a sprawling media conglomerate but has over time sold off many assets (including Penguin Books and the Financial Times) to focus on textbooks and other education products. This week it launched a new visual identity to reflect these changes.
The previous logo was a sober wordmark in a rectangle that could take on different colours. It was a simplification of an earlier mark that also included an arc (a "global horizon") that had been used in various iterations since 1995 (the original version was designed by Luxon Carra).
The new symbol features an "interrobang", a combination of a question mark and an exclamation mark used when denoting that a question is asked excitedly. Pearson has found this to be a good interpretation of what they do. The interrobang is surrounded by a thumbprint-shaped blob. The "excitement" of the symbol is balanced by a dignified serif wordmark.
Invented in the 1960s, the interrobang is a clever solution to a punctuation challenge. To ask a question excitedly, writers often used a question mark (“interrogation point”) followed by an exclamation point (“bang”)–or vice versa. The interrobang simply combines the two symbols.
We’ve adopted the interrobang as our brand mark because it captures two essential principles at Pearson–the curiosity to know and discover, and the excitement and fun of learning.
Our customized interrobang brand mark has been carefully crafted and encapsulated in a thumbprint, which symbolizes our human-centric approach of putting the learner at the heart of everything we do. - Pearson's logo guidelines
The brand guidelines are available online.