Arby’s redesigned their logo. First, I’m going to give you something to think about. Stop reading this, look at it, and form your own opinion. Read on when you’re ready.
The fast food chain that opened in 1964 laughed a redesigned logo this weekend. Their Chief Marketing Officer commented: “We’ve made some small but significant changes designed to con temporize the look without losing what our most devoted customers love — namely the hat. The most significant elements, the lowercase font and the apostrophe slicer icon, are details that communicate our post of differentiation, that we freshly slice meats daily in our restaurants.”
By now I’m hoping you’ve formed your own opinion, because here’s mine. Overall, in the past, I’ve thought their logo has been awkward. Mainly the upper portion has distracted me. It looks like a poor Illustrator sketch. Not even a drawing, but a sketch. The curves don’t look like they curve enough.
I’ve always looked at it from a visual standpoint whereas most consumers likely look at it without focusing on the details. I don’t think most people noticed the apostrophe in their previous logo because of the upper portion of the hat and the penis shaped (whichever immature designer did that, congratulations) top of the Y. Also I’ve always seen it as an oven mat rather than a hat. I’m confused on the connection of fast food and tall cowboy hats.
But onto the new logo…I think there is too much going on between the hat/mit, the type, the apostrophe, and the trademark mark. There isn’t enough visual space to allow us to respect the apostrophe and the cutout on the S.
A lot of branding experts may not like me saying this, but I think they could drop the oven mit/hat, or whatever the awkward shape is supposed to represent. I do think it worked and it helped build their company. And I’m not saying it’s childish, but it’s a part of them to grow up. By that, I mean they need to evolve and I feel like they want to, but they’re afraid to, because of backlash. As the guys at Nike would say…well, you know what I’m about to say without saying it.
The Arby’s logo doesn’t need to describe their product. Does a bitten apple have anything remotely in common with technology? But that bitten apple is one of the most recognizable and memorable logos ever created. And look back at Apple’s original logo. It was a disaster. They’ve simplified it. Arby’s could do the same. The lowercase typeface and the simple apostrophe is enough. It makes them appear innovative, without overdoing it with the extra hat thingamajig. I also think the trademark symbol could move to the bottom right of the Y. Again, I’m suggesting that they do this with the confidence that they don’t currently have. Don’t just put up a three inch logo on their bag and call it good. Here’s my redesign of their redesign:
While working on that, I’ve changed my view of the apostrophe. It looks too mechanical. Less like it’s about to cut meat. However, in a way, it might just work. I also wanted to mention that the 3D effect shouldn’t have been added. It just looks cheap because it was executed so poorly. The glossy effect makes it look like you’re trying too hard. But that’s my general thought.