Not too long ago, Meetup's brand identity was redone by Sagmeister & Walsh. Gone was the old name tag in exchange for a more hip aesthetic to echo the spirit of the brand. You can see the rest of the collateral here: https://sagmeisterwalsh.com/work/all/meetup/
There were mixed reactions, but one critique was almost unanimous: the wordmark left much to be desired. Like many others, I immediately noticed the inconsistency of the stroke weights and letter slants. Also, there were rounded letterforms combined with very angular ones (the "t" and the "u") which look like they couldn't have been written with the same tool. I definitely didn't want to lose the fun look, and if I were to guess why they made the wordmark this way, it was probably to keep the handwritten appeal of the nametag from their previous logo. Still, it doesn't have to look like a child wrote it since many people who attend Meetup groups are actually working professionals. I decided to use the "M" as a rough guide to how I want to structure the rest of the letters since that one seems to have the most character to me.
The rest of my analysis can be seen below:
I did a rough first draft just to even out the thicks and thins of the letters. The e's now look more like e's and I've eliminated the odd broad-edged strokes on the t and u. I kept everything pretty rounded to mimic the m, which I'm still not too sure if it's supposed to be upper or lowercase. Maybe I'll do another version where it's capitalized. I tried something different with the p so the little swash at the end to give it a bit more flair. Might have to close that loop a bit for legibility, but we'll see. Overall, I'm liking the look of the letters more but now I think it looks a little too polished and lost some of its original energetic appeal. I will try to kern out the letters some more and maybe be less rigid in unifying the slopes of all the letters.
I went with a thinner stroke weight so the wordmark is still clear and legible when scaled down significantly. Instead of alternating the angles of the letters that might result in the same issues with the original logo, I decided to make it "fun" in other ways. Aside from adding the loop to the end of the p and making the bar on the t a little wavier, I also played around with the M's. Since Meetup also uses the M in their swarm icon, it should have a bit more character to it. I never really figured out if the M in the logo was supposed to be lowercase or capitalized, but luckily the script M is quite similar for both. I made the first arch taller than the second so it remains ambiguous and adds a bit more weight towards the front since the logo ends with a nice little swash. The first option shows an M hugging the letter e and the second one with some curvy terminals. Both have low contrast in stroke weight and rounded ends for a friendlier look.
Generally, I prefer the first option because there is already a ton going on with the branding (vibrant, wacky photography plus blobby swarm illustrations and animation). The playfulness of the wordmark can be a bit more subtle and this simpler logo appeals to a broader audience since Meetup is used by people of all ages.
Overall, I had a lot of fun doing this project. Initially I was a little concerned that the end result looks so vastly different from the original, but I think it still fits with the rest of what S+W has already established. Would love to hear your comments and feedback on this :)