AOL Morphs Into 'Aol.'


AOL plans to have a completely new brand identity and become known as "Aol." next month once it is spun off from Time Warner and becomes a stand-alone company.

AOL revealed its plans on Monday as a part of a plan by parent company Time Warner to spin AOL off as a separate company.

The move ends a decade-long relationship which started with Time Warner hoping to bring together print and broadcast media with an established Internet presence to develop a media powerhouse.

The new brand identity for AOL includes giving the company a new "Aol." moniker.

In addition, AOL seems to be borrowing a page from the Google brand identity manual by changing the image that goes with the logo on a regular basis.

The company's Web site showed examples of how its logo image will change. AOL said there will also be new art and animations to go with its new brand.

The final version of AOL's new brand identity is slated to be unveiled on December 10, which is the day on which AOL will begin trading as a separate company on the New York Stock Exchange.

Karl Heiselman, CEO of Wolff Olins, which partnered with AOL to create the new brand identity, said in a statement that AOL wants to get away from a traditional monolithic brand identity.

"AOL is a 21st century media company, with an ambitious vision for the future and new focus on creativity and expression, this required the new brand identity to be open and generous, to invite conversation and collaboration, and to feel credible, but also aspirational," Heiselman said.

While AOL is beaming about the new brand identity, all is not well. AOL is currently in the process of laying off about one-third of its employees, or about 2,500 people, as a cost-cutting measure prior to its spin-off.

The Wall Street Journal reported recently that AOL currently has about 6,900 employees, which is way below its peak employment of 20,000 people in 2004.