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This is a very old entry — images are small, formatting is off.


Duane Reade, the Luxury Pharmacy

Reviewed Jan. 28, 2009 by Armin

Industry / Retailers Tags /

Duane Reade Logo, Before and After

Duane Reade, the most ubiquitous pharmacy and umbrella-seller-on-a-rainy day in New York with close to 250 stores — one seemingly on every corner and across a Starbucks — has begun rolling out a new upscale identity. In general we don’t cover many local redesigns with limited exposure but given that Duane Reade is sort of an institution around these parts I feel obligated to cover it. The first sights of the new logo were spotted back in early November and a few more stores have updated since. Their web site indicates nothing about the change, and I had hoped that by now something more concrete would be available. So the best we have is a faux-official logo above first cobbled together by Paul Sahner, as well as plenty of citizen brandjournalism on Flickr.

Duane Reade Stores

Photo: Flickr user arvindgrover

Duane Reade Stores

Photo: Flickr user vernnyc

Duane Reade Stores

Photo: Flickr user rolando.pujol

Duane Reade Stores

Photo: Flickr user rolando.pujol

Duane Reade Stores

Photo: Flickr user nrw206

The old logo has always felt weird to me, I like how the D and R joined but the crossbar of the R is just somehow wrong. Though the peculiarities of the old logo are really not important: Duane Reade was instantly recognizable from Walgreens and CVS pharmacy through its logo and blue and red combination. The new look is a higher-end black and white approach that will also set it apart from its competitors, although someone looking for a Sephora store might accidentally end up buying toilet paper and Mucinex. Also, it’s left to see whether the store experience will step up to the look, as they are typically raggedy old stores that you just want to get in and out of. The new logo is too sterile and medicinal, like a prescription logo that you should take three times a day. The cut-off circle is very annoying and poorly executed, while the typography is at least properly done. I’m usually a fan of combining serifs with sans serifs, and this one does it nicely, plus it serves as a nice reminder that the store was originally between these two New York streets, Duane and Reade. It’s a nice, needed upgrade overall but the the DR monogram could have been better.



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UnderConsideration is a graphic design firm generating its own projects, initiatives, and content while taking on limited client work. Run by Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit in Austin, TX.

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