Established as the first trademark for a breakfast cereal in 1877, Quaker Oats has been providing cereal to America and parts of the world for more than 135 years. That’s a lot of cereal, people. Now owned by Pepsico, Quaker offers a broad range of products, from cereal to granola bars to oatmeal to tight little bundles of rice crackers — more than 40 different sub-brands in total. And this expansion is starting to show some confusion. Without any press releases or information, Quaker has introduced two new logos in the past two years, both operating in parallel while the original logo remains in play across non-updated products, and has just started messing with a bunch of its most popular cereals.
The most recent logo has started appearing on new cereal boxes, which include a redesigned Life cereal and Oatmeal Squares. Both of these redesigns are pretty bad, especially the Oatmeal Squares, looking like a cheap in-house brand. Their only redeeming quality being the banner-like logo, which has a nice execution and looks bold, nostalgic, and confident, with a very nice typographic treatment. It stands out like a sore thumb, though, in the rather unsophisticated boxes.
The older new logo was introduced in 2010 and seems to be used in the “lighter” offerings of Quaker. Set in Archer, the logo is not terribly offensive but a little annoying with the quaker dude just peeking out of the “Q”, and that “ak” ligature is a terrible solution.
The biggest problem I see isn’t with the execution of the logos or even the packaging — well, okay, the packaging is as poor as it gets with a brand this size — but the lack of commitment to a single logo expression or a clearly defined separation of logos for different uses. At least let people know what’s going on with the boxes that sit in front of them every morning.