Basking in visual success?

October 24, 2009

A recent trip to Patriot Place in Foxborough, MA, led me to place my eyes on the “not-so-new” Baskin Robbins logo. Forgive me for being more than a couple years late on this, but Baskin Robbins is not prevalent in my area so that is my excuse. In fact, according to BR’s (Baskin Robbins) store locator, the two stores closest to me are actually in seemingly hidden locations alongside Dunkin’ Donuts’; therefore I am excused, again.

Take a look at the old logo:
BaskinRobbinsOld

Now here is the fresh, new logo:
BaskinRobbinsNew

First thoughts?

They did a great job with the negative space in creating the “31” that you are seeing. My thoughts were “Oh isn’t that the place famous for 31 flavors?”

Which do you like better?

The old one has more of an old ice cream shop feel, very traditional, appealing typeface, and the semi-circle over the 31 has been said to symbolize an ice cream scoop. Overall, it’s nice.

The new one just screams childhood to me. Clearly, BR is focusing aggressively on a new market. Doesn’t this seem more appealing to the youth? Heck, if an old Baskin Robbins was right next to a new one with their respective logos, I’d stroll into the new one; I might even skip in. While this is more inviting, did they try too hard? Was that “31” put in there too forcefully? I think they’re right on the edge of that debate.

I’ve seen many complaints that the colors are two contrasting and it’s simply “too much”. Well those are there colors, slightly changed from the old logo, and they made it work. The 31 inside of the BR is clever, plain and simple. I enjoy it because I can look at this and see the 31, but then quickly change my focus to see the BR again, whereas in some logos or illusions it’s tough to see it the “normal way” when you’ve already seen the hidden picture.

What do you think of the logo? Do you think it’s working for them? Better than their very old logo?

BaskinRobbinsVeryOld

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goodjob goodwill II

August 26, 2009

This has been saved in my drafts for a couple weeks. Sorry!

Before moving on to other intriguing logos and advertisements I decidegoodwillsmalld to explore the Goodwill Industries a little further.  James Harder, the Director of Communications for Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries, was kind enough to leave a comment on my last blog post and he directed my attention to the fact that some Goodwill chapters aren’t using the exact same logo. As he mentioned, the San Francisco and New York chapters do sport different logos, but I decided to search for more.

I simply googled many popular cities and states followed by ‘goodwill’ to find different chapters; most sported the same “smiling g” discussed in the previous post. I did find one minor difference in one logo, and that was for the East Texas chapter.

goodwill east texas

Now if you look at the original logo above and to the right, this is practically the same. I like this simple change in the face however, less rounded, more hard angles; it still works. Another thing I like is the smaller eye, I didn’t have a problem with the original one until I saw this eye. The original appears very dilated to me now and that’s where my focus lies – which is not good.

What I do not like about the East Texas style is the font of “goodwill”, the letters seem to fat for their own good. Can’t see the holes in the o’s and to me makes it look very rough. The opaqueness of the logo is a turnoff as well. Looks to me like an unnecessary effect that does more damage than good. On a broader scope, I dislike the style of the banner text. The colors are fine, but I think the shadows are too much of a focal point. Almost like they tried too hard to make it “cool” looking, looks very amateurish.

goodwill new york

Above is the logo for the Greater New York and Northern New Jersey. It has a nice, childlike feel to it. Again, the first thing I see is the smiley face – not the g. Staring at the face long enough makes it look kind of creepy and peeping-tomish, but I won’t get into that. The whole theme is consistent with youth and childhood. The box has loose lines and the underlining of goodwill has a paintbrush style to it.

I like this for the message it conveys without saying anything. If the word goodwill were not present, you know by looking at it that the company does something with the youth.

goodwill san francisco

San Francisco’s is entirely different; SF decided to ditch the smiley for a new approach. Unfortunately this remind me of Google instantly. I see a big G, and the Goodwill font is similar to Google’s (the double o’s don’t help either). What I like about this is that I’m actually not sure what I see first, a large G or an upward pointing arrow. It’s amazing how just tilting the letter G and adding a little line turns it into something entirely different. The obvious idea thrown at us here is that Goodwill is a positive thing, doing good things, and moving upward. At least, that’s what an arrow pointing towards the sky says to me on the simple level.

While I like SF’s logo idea, I feel that the smiley face does the name of Goodwill more justice. The upward arrow seems like it would fit better in a more corporate setting. Not to say that Goodwill isn’t a large, recognizable company; I just think it belongs elsewhere.

All in all, still a great logo for all three.

goodjob goodwill

July 8, 2009

Every once in a while I observe a company logo or advertisement that simply amazes me; the amazement usually comes from its cleverness. I decided to start sharing these with everyone else and maybe see if anyone feels the same way.

One logo that I have always loved is up in Boston. It belongs to the Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries. Just so you know what they do, here is their Mission Statement found on their website: “Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries’ mission is to provide exemplary job training and related services to help individuals with disabilities and other barriers to self-sufficiency to achieve independence and dignity through work. Not charity, but a chance.”

Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries

Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries

The first thing you probably see is half of a smiley face, I know that’s what I first noticed. A company with goodwill in the name that bears a smiley face in its logo, makes sense. I passed this sign multiple times and didn’t realize the actual beauty of it for a while. I appreciated this sign a lot more when I saw that the half-smiley face was actually a lower case g as well. This realization was quickly followed by a couple “Oh WOW!”‘s.

I will admit though that I was a little disappointed when I realized that it is simply the font that they chose. If you look at the word goodwill at the bottom of the logo, it’s the same g, meaning it was just the correctly chosen font. I originally thought there must have been some “sculpting” done to make the g look like a happy person. Either way, very clever. Designing ones own font or even finding the perfect one is something to be proud of. It is extremely hard to make a simple logo and have it convey so much just by looking at it. Mark this down as one of my favorites.

Do you have any favorites?