Stop me if you’ve heard this before–an iconic retailer suffering through a staggering sales opts for a rebranding to help cure its ills, only to suffer a public relations nightmare . “Nightmare” is a little too strong here in this instance. “Uninspired” is more like it.
JCPenny’s, excuse me, jcpenney‘s official statement, “The jcpenney logo puts greater visual emphasis on a new, lowercase “jcp” by positioning it slightly off-centered in a red box”. While the redbox makes for a natural avatar (which the company has already rolled out in their social media presence), the rest of the logo just feels a little under appreciated. And how did a Fortune 500 company go about re-branding its future you may ask? For their new logo, “jcpenney sought submissions that reflect a wide range of perspectives. Participants included the Company’s associates, several design agencies and two art schools — University of Cincinnati and Rhode Island School of Design — that collectively submitted over 200 designs for consideration.”
Brand New nails it on the head once again:
The new logo has been designed by Luke Langhus, a third-year graphic design student at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. That’s right, a company with $17.8 billion in revenue in 2010, has a logo designed by a student.
The biggest problem I have with this whole thing is the perception that this is a “bold new logo”. It’s not. It’s rearranging the chairs on the Titanic, reupholstering them if you want to be generous. But bold or new? No way. Looking at the result… as a type exercise it’s actually very decent, it’s well spaced and nicely positioned, can’t argue with that but it is also a confusing visual and verbal nomenclature. Are we supposed to call it “jcp”? What do we do then with the “enney”? Why the division? No one calls it JCP, it’s always been “J. C. Penney”. Simple and memorable. I don’t think the old Unimark wordmark was any kind of work of genius, it was one more company to Helveticize, and it reflected a visual dogma of the time. This new logo simply waters down that premise without really looking at what the company might be able to contribute to twenty-first century retail.
What do you think of the new logo– Did
JCPenney jcpenney get it right?
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