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Whitney Museum Move Inspires Flexible Logo Redesign

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 22, 2013 11:36 AM

New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art is taking its collection of more than 19,000 items for a ride downtown in two years as it moves from its current location to a new Renzo Piano-designed building right at the southern end of the High Line. With the move, museum execs saw the opportunity to also change up the museum's 13-year-old blocky logo.

Maybe to avoid too much change at once (or so it can be sure to have all the new stationery in place before the new building’s opening), the Whitney unveiled its new logo and visual identity system this week. It consists of a very simple W that Amerstam-based design firm Experimental Jetset apparently sees a lot of symbolism in.Continue reading...

retail watch

Earnings Show JCPenney Still Has Problems Even Another Logo Can't Fix

Posted by Dale Buss on May 16, 2013 07:01 PM

Old/new JCPenney CEO Mike Ullman keeps reaching backward into his pre-2012 bag of tricks for things that will revive the brand that he ran, then lost, and is now running again in the post-Ron Johnson era. But unfortunately, he hasn't yet been able to reach back to a time when the company still made money: Still smarting from the damage done during Johnson's tenure, JCPenney reported a worse-than-expected loss of nearly $350 million for the first quarter on Thursday afternoon.

Ullman had told investors to anticipate about a 16 percent drop in sales for the fiscal first quarter from a year ago, when Johnson was just putting his "reforms" into place. But the bottom line for the just-concluded period was much worse that analysts had expected, a loss amounting to $1.58 a share when the consensus forecast called for a loss of just 43 cents a share.

"Our objective is to put JC Penney back on a path to profitable growth," Ullman said in a press release, according to USA Today. "We are looking forward, not back, and undertaking initiatives to ensure that we have a successful future."Continue reading...


Little Debbie Gets Subtle Makeover to Keep Snack Brand Fresh

Posted by Dale Buss on May 14, 2013 04:47 PM

Joining a long roster of freshened iconic-female CPG logos that includes Betty Crocker, Aunt Jemima and Wendy of fast-food fame, Little Debbie is getting a modern makeover. The face of the snack-cake brand is being tweaked by owner McKee Foods for just the third time since the iconic logo was introduced in 1960.

The difference between Little Debbie and the other three females is that she's the only real person who is still working in a key role with the company whose eponymous logo she inspired. Debbie McKee-Fowler is still an executive vice president of McKee, a family-owned, Collegedale, Tenn.-based company that was founded by her grandfather, O.D. McKee. Grandpa was inspired by the angelic visage of his three-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter to make her the fresh and appealing face of his new food enterprise.Continue reading...

trademark wars

Gucci Loses 7 Trademarks to Guess in Latest Legal Ruling

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 6, 2013 06:33 PM

Gucci and Guess have been tussling over trademarks for years, but the Italian fashion house took a hit from its American counterpart on its own turf last week.

The Court of Milan turned out an 83-page ruling that “rejected all claims” that Gucci had filed against Guess, according to a press release. Not only that, “the Italian Court has ordered the cancellation of certain of Gucci’s diamond pattern, G logo, and ‘Flora’ pattern trademarks” along with its “rights in a ‘Square G’ logo.” 

This is a big blow to Gucci, which had received “minimal monetary damages and narrow injunctions on a handful of logos” in a similar case against Guess in New York that was decided last year. That “minimal” amount added up to $4.66 million, though Gucci had hoped to make a $120 million payday. This time, Guess scored a victory that allows it to use its famed Quattro G logo pattern without worry of infringing on any trademarks.Continue reading...

sporting brands

Chevrolet Celebrates Iconic (and Refreshed) Louisville Slugger Brand

Posted by Shirley Brady on May 6, 2013 11:46 AM

Chevrolet has just released a video extolling the most recognizable name in baseball’s craftsmanship: Louisville Slugger, which refreshed its branding in time for Major League Baseball's opening day this season. 

Interbrand Cincinnati, based in the same city the first professional baseball team called home, was honored to be selected to celebrate that craftsmanship by redesigning the iconic logo, marking its first update in 33 years. Find out more here.

brand roadmaps

Intel Looks Inside for New CEO, While Brand Plans for Service Expansion

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on May 2, 2013 07:45 PM

While the computing world continues to shift around them, Intel has remained steady and true to form, remaing loyal to its infamous tagline: Intel Inside.

The company, which has staved off advances from competitors like Advanced Micro Devices and is posting $50 billion in annual sales has remained sure-footed even as it searched for a new CEO to take the helm after Paul Otellini retires in May. Despite rumors that the company was looking to an outsider to fill the role, its board selected current COO Brian Krzanich, an engineer who has been with the company since 1982. The company also elevated software honcho Renee James to President, Reuters reports.

While the duo will likely make a successful team, Intel hopes that the new appointments will aid in leading the company in a new, more mobile direction. While Intel's processing chips still sit inside many personal computers, the company is losing market share to companies like ARM, which makes rival chips for smartphones.Continue reading...

brand makeovers

Microsoft Plans to Adopt Windows Design Across Brands

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 29, 2013 12:43 PM

When there are more than a billion people already using your products, it doesn’t seem like a natural time for a rebrand. But Microsoft is apparently sick of being portrayed as an old fuddy duddy to Apple’s hip, young counterpart. 

After all, “the consensus among analysts seems to be that Microsoft is a company in transition, experiencing growing pains and pockets of great promise as it moves from dominance in a world centered on Windows and PCs to becoming a company that delivers services and devices,” the Seattle Times reports.

That transition means some big changes for the way the company presents itself. According to Windows Phone design studio general manager Albert Shum and Wolff Olins creative director Todd Simmons, Microsoft is planning to rebrand Bing, Skype, Yammer and Xbox, Gizbot reports.

After all, Microsoft refreshed the visual identity for Windows and Office last year, and the company in the midst of a big plan to align all of its products across design and marketing.Continue reading...

social commerce

How TOMS Inspired a Generation of Socially-Conscious, Booming Businesses

Posted by Barry Silverstein on April 24, 2013 01:41 PM

Sometimes a brand blazes a trail, only to find itself outrun by the competition. 

Back in 2006, entrepreneur Blake Mycoskie, who made his name and a small fortune as a contestant on reality TV show, The Amazing Race, came up with a unique proposition for a new brand, TOMS Shoes. The business model: TOMS would donate a pair of shoes to a child who lived in poverty for every pair of shoes sold. The philanthropic concept quickly became a sensation that catapulted the company's brand awareness to superstar status.

Not surprisingly, other companies started to knock off the idea. The most egregious copycat has been a line of shoes called "BOBS" that Skechers introduced in 2010. BOBS not only look exactly like TOMS signature shoe, right down to the logo stitched on a visible exterior label, but Skechers also shamelessly followed TOMS' "one-for-one" model of giving away a pair of shoes for every pair sold.Continue reading...

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