Laura Colton / Social Media and Content Marketing
A company’s logo is the equivalent of a first impression. It only takes a quick glance to form an opinion and make a swift evaluation based off of appearance. An effective logo must convey a certain attitude that reflects a company’s persona in a way that is memorable and translates to the customer immediately. Which is one reason The Co-operative Group, one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives, decided it was time to reclaim its roots by bringing back its signature ‘60s ‘clover leaf’ logo. In an effort to channel the company’s original and authentic message, The Co-op devised a plan to slightly revamp its older logo in order to shift consumer perception and restore the company’s identity.
It all comes full circle, as this marketing move reminds us that change doesn’t always come in the form of something new and shiny. Recycling the old is cool again, and in this day in age, the past is making a comeback. The question we must ask ourselves is: how will the Co-Op’s old logo fit into the modern branding space?
Here’s a quick rundown on why I think this works.
Vintage looks and old-school style is trending today. People have a soft spot for the past, which is why old logos and typography are beginning to become popular again. Any brand that has lost its way and strayed from its original principles should take a look at what made the company unique in the first place.
By embracing the older logo, the Co-op is resolutely shedding its cookie-cutter corporate image that the 2007 logo introduced, and striving for a more community driven design.
The Power of Subconscious Design
On a subconscious level, our minds’ respond to shapes in different ways. Sharp shapes with jagged edges tend to stand for strong, or durable products. While circular shapes and curves tend to signify soft or flexible products. The soft, rounded letters of the new/old Co-op logo have a very simple yet timeless quality that fits into the overall ‘clover’ shape. The ever-popular ‘squircle’ – both a squared circle and rounded square – suggests an air of stability, community, and balance. While the new robin-egg blue color feels clean and tranquil and promotes a feeling of trust and reliability.
It’s important to understand how shape, color, and typeface all play a role in creating a memorable and long-lasting logo. The end result of a great logo should somehow connect a company’s values with the overall design aesthetic.
Sometimes it takes a bit of trial and error to get it just right. The Co-op logo started with a strong and clean design with a light blue and white color palette that felt approachable. Years later the company decided to opt for a darker navy blue typeface and extended the name. The inconsistency of the brand name created confusion for consumers and felt overly corporate and inauthentic. The logo change was the turning point for the company’s persona that led many consumers to believe the company had lost its way.
A company once praised for its ethical lines and strong moral compass as a pioneer for Fairtrade, quickly became seen as a money hungry corporate business. By stepping back and embracing the old branding strategy, the Co-op is making moves to once again be viewed as an organization that is interested in benefiting the community and creating positive incentives for its members.
Look Good No Matter What
Once upon a time, the only requirement for a logo was to look good in print. These days, logos must be flexible across all digital platforms. The shortened name is a huge improvement in helping the logo look clearer and more recognizable in a number of different layouts and backgrounds.
As the wise Albert Einstein once said, “Out of clutter, find simplicity”. The test of a great logo is whether the design is strong enough to hold up on its own. In other words, a logo should be memorable based on its shape and lines. It shouldn’t have to rely on its color scheme in order to be recognized. As stated earlier, a first impression is everything, and making the right one off the bat goes a long way in the marketing world.