Design / Inspiration


Michael Beirut and Co. Explore Re-Branding Christmas

Earlier this month Studio 360, commissioned Pentagram partner Michael Beirut to tackle the problem of re-branding Christmas. The host, Kurt Anderson, is a former art director who often talks about design and branding and how they affect modern society.

xmas-bookDuring the show, Ander­son argues that Christ­mas may be the biggest brand in Amer­i­can cul­ture. But every­one you talk to agrees that it has become too com­mer­cial, too ugly, and from a reli­gious point of view—too exclu­sive. The Pen­ta­gram team solves the prob­lem by rolling out a whole new Christ­mas brand called x.mas. This updated Christ­mas look calls for the tra­di­tional red and green (gag) to be replaced with a series of whites rep­re­sented the mul­ti­ple faiths and points of view that all enjoy the hol­i­day. The brand name, “x.mas” allows the “x” to be replaced with words and sym­bols as needed to accom­mo­date mes­sages and com­mer­cial ven­tures. This gives retail indus­try a place within the brand, with­out over­pow­er­ing it with their own inva­sive mar­ket­ing. They also pro­posed a .mas web suffix which could be sold to com­pa­nies. The huge result­ing income would raise enough money to make x.mas the largest char­ity orga­ni­za­tion on earth. Not a bad plan!

Of course, this is all elit­ist B.S. that will never fly in the real world. In fact, there would be a large por­tion of the pop­u­la­tion accus­ing you of being com­mu­nist for propos­ing x.mas.

But we are design folks and it is Christ­mas time. So what the hell, lets see how Pen­ta­gram does Christ­mas. (I can guar­an­tee, my grand­mother will never under­stand that last sen­tence as long as she lives.)


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