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Is Harry and Meghan's Archewell logo a missed opportunity?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are fully embracing a redesigned brand image, after ditching the Sussex Royal insignia that previously appeared on their correspondence. Now, we're aware the world has an opinion on the controversy surrounding the couple's split from the royal family, but we're just here from a design perspective, okay? Good.

Appearing on the top of a letter addressed to Robert Clack School, the simple new design features a single A atop a W inside an oval. See the tweet below, which shared the logo of Harry and Meghan's media brand on the first piece of official correspondence (replacing the old royal monogram). And be sure to compare it to our pick of the best logos ever.

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Okay so it isn't a design that's going to set the world alight (see it more clearly below). But it is simple, stylised and pretty inoffensive as a design made to be found on top of a letterhead. The A is nicely balanced above the W and the letterforms are nicely weighted. It kind of reminds us of a high-end events company.

Archewell logo

The Archewell logo (Image credit: Archewell)

But Archewell is actually a multi-faceted media brand, meaning this logo will be visible on more than simply correspondence, and it needs to hold its own in the varied situations it will find itself placed in. First there's Archewell Foundation (an impact-driven 'not-for-profit'), then, Archewell Productions, which has a deal with Netflix, and finally Archewell Audio, which is in partnership with Spotify. 

As part of a vibrant media landscape, the logo could be in danger of getting lost. Though it may be classic in style, we wonder how it will sit digitally on the Netflix page, or as part of a podcast database. Will it hold up as a classic (if slightly dull) design, or will it fade into the background? It is worth mentioning that the oval has appeared in different colours on other stationery, so maybe that will be the part that makes the design pop.

Archewell logo

The now-replaced Royal Sussex monogram and the Archewell logo (Image credit: Instagram/Archewell)

We look forward to seeing the new design in situ to see how it works against the digital landscape. It's clear that the brand needed to touch on the ex-royal's rich history in its design and therefore keep it classic, and the royal monogram (above) was a weighty one to follow. But we have to say, we kind of wish this design had kept some of the playful style of the old monogram, though we suppose the serious nature of the tagline – 'Compassion in Action' – belies something more straight-laced.

The design team was probably aware that pushing design boundaries wasn't going to work in this case (unlike with the way Burger King was able to push the boundaries on flat design, or the CIA went totally off-piste with its new logo).

BIA

(Image credit: Future)

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Georgia Coggan

Georgia Coggan is a regular freelance contributor for Creative Bloq, who has also worked on T3 and Top Ten Reviews. With a particular interest in branding and retro design, Georgia writes about everything from logo design to creative technology, enjoys hunting down genuinely good deals and has even used her knowledge as an ex-teacher to create buying guides on products including children's books and bookcases. Tying these design interests together is an obsession with London Underground posters from the last century.