Verizon dumps another Oath property for peanuts: RIP, Mapquest

Mapquest was once the leading map site in the world; they were bought by AOL as part of AOL's decades' long spree of buying successful companies and running them into the ground -- finally, they were sold, and merged with Yahoo's mangled acquisitions, to Verizon, to form a new, doomed division called "Oath" (because thinking about it made people swear). Read the rest

Facebook owns Netscape

AOL bought Netscape, renamed it New Aurora Corporation, sold it to Microsoft, who sold it to Facebook, where it is a "non-operating subsidiary." Netscape veteran JWZ writes, "That makes Facebook the current owner of the cookie patent, so I was hoping that this meant that they are now embroiled in the Forever War with ValueClick, but I now see that it was settled in 2010. Bummer!" Read the rest

British Rail's corporate identity

Amazing as it is to be nostalgic for British Rail, here we are. There's a corporate identity manual, a typeface, and a considerable library of further reading. [via]

This is a website about the British Rail Corporate Identity from 1965–1994 which includes a wealth of digitised examples of British Rail design material collected over several years. I hope you find it useful and inspiring, whether you're a practitioner or historian of graphic design, a scale modeller or simply a connoisseur of corporate design at its aesthetically satisfying best.

Photo: National Railway Museum

Update: You can buy the British Rail Corporate Identity Manual from Amazon. Read the rest

SkyMall rises from grave

Recently put to brand-pasture by bankruptcy, legendary airline retailer SkyMall is already back in action.

The Atlantic reports on the rapid resurrection.

It turns out, though, that we shouldn't have skipped over the “denial” part of things so quickly. Because SkyMall was not dead—not then, and, fortunately for consumers, not now. SkyMall would not go gently. #BringBackSkyMall, the brand's Twitter feed hashtagged its tweets—a stream of which have been steadily flowing, news of the bankruptcy notwithstanding, since January.

Last night, its triumphal return was sealed in a tweet marketing something described as "#hipster dog bed"

The brand necrophilia comes courtesy of "C&A Marketing, a New Jersey-based distributor and retailer that specializes in brand revamps" which paid $1.9m a few weeks ago for the company's remains. If you've bought something from the undead brands "Polaroid" or "Ritz Camera" lately, well, same folks.

A quick litmus test, of how good these guys are at marketing, fails hilariously:

Update: C&A Marketing writes in:

HI Rob

I read your article about SkyMall, and I just wanted to correct one thing that you have wrong toward the bottom. The image you show is actually Fuji cameras, not Polaroid cameras and has nothing to do with C&A Marketing. They are manufactured and sold by Fuji. Many people get them confused with Polaroid cameras.

Yes, indeed they do. Read the rest