[a little swing over to my marketing side today...]
A bunch of random articles I've read today from wildly different sources confirm the same thing: ITE (In This Economy), corporate branding is taking drastic measures to make itself more comforting, friendly, and less "hi-I'm-a-retail-monolith-and-I've-come-to-take-all-your-money." According to this NYT article, ld-standby brands like Wal-Mart, Stop & Shop and Woolworths are all softening their logos by subbing in lowercase instead of uppercase, curves instead of corners, and a general feeling of cuteness.
“The economy is the No. 1 influence this year,” said John H. Bredenfoerder, a color expert and design director at Landor Associates, the brand-consulting company that produced the new Cheer detergent emblem. Amid all the gloom, he said, “people need a little joy in their lives.” ...Mr. Bredenfoerder said that blue was also gaining as a stand-in for the environment (think of earth’s blue orb as seen from space, or clear blue waters) as well as for fresh optimism. But please, make it a joyful sky blue — not dark, corporate-titan navy.I'm not really a fan--come on, Sysco, don't you think the old logo had a bit more oomph behind it? And did you really have to get rid of the silly/awesome little cube symbol? Curved lines are overrated!--but it definitely is interesting. Starbucks is also adapting in its own way via logos, or lack thereof...more below.
[source: staple design's blog]
As for Starbucks, the logo that used to signify Seattle cool (I remember when my mom actually ORDERED a Starbucks coffee mug and some coffee from its Seattle outpost. I am THAT OLD, you guys.) now is a not-so-cool symbol of overpriced hegemony. This Mother Jones article reports that Starbucks cafes in Seattle are now actually experimenting with HIDING their logos entirely ("Stealth Starbucks"):
"Think of it as the Red Scare in reverse: Worrying whether the hipster at the cafe is secretly a communist is about to be replaced with worrying whether the hipster cafe is secretly a Starbucks. Yesterday, the chain revealed that it's dropping its name from a location in Seattle's trendy Capitol Hill neighborhood and replacing it with '15th Avenue Coffee and Tea.' That's right, the people's coffee provider is going underground."
interesting, non? what do y'all think of the logo waffling?