Meet the new xerox, same as the old XEROX?

What's in a logo anyway? Xerox will soon find out.

The company retired the venerable red, all-caps Xerox logo today in favor of a softer, lower-cased red logo alongside a red globe wrapped in an asymmetric letter "X" the company said represents "a brand identity that reflects the Xerox of today." Right. What it means is Xerox doesn't want to be the copier company most folks think of them as.

In a statement that would have been blasphemous for Xerox executives 10 years ago, Richard Wergan, vice president of worldwide brand marketing and advertising at Xerox said: "Xerox is still perceived incorrectly as a copier company. We do not make copiers." Bam.

Indeed the company now focuses on services, software and color printers and that's what it wants to be known for.Still, while Xerox, which says it is the world's biggest supplier of office printers and related services, sells many machines that copy documents.

But long-term supplies and services contracts that accompany those hardware sales represent about 75% of total revenue, according to a Reuters report.

The company says the old logo didn't translate well into today's digital, high-definition world. The New York Times said Xerox wanted a logo that would work as well on the Internet and on a fast-moving bike as it does in print or on television.

The Internet, sponsorships, all kinds of 3D icons - none of that existed when Xerox adopted its old logo, the Times said. Xerox settled on lowercase letters because they seemed friendlier, and on a deeper red and a thicker font, to stand out better on the Web and on high-definition television.

The logo revamp was also one of the last vestiges of a rougher time in Xerox history. The company has improved its balance sheet and its debt has returned to investment grade status since 2001, when it was smacked by billions in debt and an accounting scandal. It has introduced 100 new products in the past three years, made key acquisitions, paid down debt and repurchased stock.

The company is also trying to further differentiate itself from HP and Canon, two of its primary competitors.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

SD-WAN buyers guide: Key questions to ask vendors (and yourself)