Wednesday, February 1, 2012


This week J.C. Penney announced they'd be making a number of changes to their stores, including of course, a brand new logo. Because these days, why keep the same logo for more than six months, amiright?

You might want to turn down the brightness on your monitor before looking directly at it.

Man, that's just not right. Are you kidding me? Penney's management willingly chose this logo to best represent their company? They weren't forced to pick it an gunpoint or anything?

Based on my own experience as a graphic designer, I can say with confidence that this logo will be extremely difficult to work with. You won't be able to shrink it much or the tiny text in the corner will become unreadable. But if you blow it up in order to see the text then you're saddled with an acre of dead space inside that red square. It would be hard to think of a more awkward design.

My first thought upon seeing it was, "When can I see the finished version?" I keep staring at that blank area, wondering what they'll fill it with.

As if the design wasn't bad enough, those colors are even worse. When you first fire up Illustrator or Photoshop and open the color palette, those are the colors you see. They didn't even bother to customize them or attempt to make them a bit more compatible.

I'm also not a fan of the current trend of "initializing" corporate names. Am I supposed to start calling them "JCP" from now on? Am I no longer allowed to say "Penney's?" Who can tell?

I may not like this new logo, but the head of Penney's, er, excuse me, JCP, is positively giddy about it. Listen to this hunk of MarketSpeak™ he spewed out in a press conference:

"The new jcpenney logo combines the elements that have made jcpenney an enduring American brand by evoking the nation's flag and jcpenney's commitment to treating customers Fair and Square. The square frame imagery will be evident throughout all of jcpenney's marketing, to remind customers to frame the things they love." 

Whew! He's probably exhausted after working that hard to say absolutely nothing!

This was their previous logo. There was absolutely nothing wrong with this one. It's Helvetica-ness wasn't very exciting, but at least it was identifiable and got the job done. I bet it was also a lot easier to incorporate into advertisements.

Personally I was always fond of this logo and wish they'd go back to it (fat chance, I know). It was quirky and had personality, unlike this current eyesore.

When will corporations learn that logos take a long time to seep into the public's consciousness? They're never going to recognize your logo if you keep changing it up every couple of years. There's a reason Coke has been using that "Coca-Cola" script logo for a hundred years.

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