Verizon Logo Exploration
EDIT (2/8/16): Figuring I wrote this before the announcement of Verizon's new logo last year, I updated the comparison graphic below to show the original, my concept, and the new logo. I personally think the new direction communicated exactly what the executive team wanted to communicate: simple. It's so simple that some don't like how simple, arguably bland, it is. I'm fine with it, the only thing I wish is that the team had prepared an asset that would fare better as small profile image/icon, because requiring that Verizon always be written out with the mark makes it far less responsive overall.
I've been meaning to take a stab at my employer's mark for awhile, so here's how I came to arrive at one option.
Verizon's name is a combo of the latin word veritas (certainty + reliability) and the word horizon (forward-looking + visionary).
It's necessary to retain the meaning of the name in a concept like this, so I started by considering how I might combine an arrow (forward-looking) along with the 'V' and 'Z' that get highlighted in the current mark. The 'V' is clearly more prominent here, but I did try to give a subtle nod to the 'Z' in the top right portion.
I tinkered with opacity, layers, shadows, and other elements--but ultimately just kept returning to a few basic necessities in this design. One, it needed to be simple, extremely void of fluff. The current checkmark/"z" is void of fluff, and any refresh on big red's logo would need to be void of fluff. That said, I wanted to provide some room for a bit more finesse than what Verizon currently offers--so I rounded the corners just slightly and avoided perfectly straight lines on the top and right portions of the arrow (the left side is more obviously curved).
Below you'll find the comparison. Now mind you, I am fully aware of the dangers of tinkering with an iconic logo, especially given the fact I currently work for this particular company. That said, I've always wished the name Verizon could be separated from the checkmark without looking like a bit like a skinny Nike logo. Current branding guidelines permit for a specific standalone checkmark to be used in video material, but otherwise you'll never see the checkmark and Verizon separated. Additionally, you'll often find variations of checkmark/"Z"s with fade-out gradients, but often you'll find that the gradients are removed in favor of flat end-caps to them. I wanted to provide a concept that could play nice in any color variation, regardless of placement, and whether or not the name Verizon was present.
To close this brief presentation out, let me provide full disclosure that while employed by Verizon as a UI/UX designer, I am not a part of any branding team with the company and am not currently involved in any way with determining the direction of our brand-image. This was just for fun.