In October of last year we reported on the new logo for Arby’s — the quick-service restaurant with more than 3,400 locations worldwide specializing in roast beef sandwiches. Of 3,681 votes in our poll, 3,450 (93%) voted that the new logo was bad and it seems someone high up on the Arby’s corporate ladder thought so too as the chain has quietly introduced a new-er logo, first in a November TV spot and in recent weeks on its website and social media channels. Its “Slicing Up Freshness” tagline remains.
The 2012 logo is now officially a blip in Arby’s history continuum. A costly one too, since the logo had started to be applied not just in easy-to-replace napkins or digital avatars but in mass consumer products like sauces and in brand new locations. If I were a franchiser who opened a new location with the 2012 look I would be pissed. But then again I would probably be able to eat all the curly fries I wanted, so things would even out in the larger scheme of things. When you see the new stores, that don’t even have a hat anywhere, and compare them to the classic hat signs your faith in brand identity is restored that someone, somewhere said “You know what? This new logo is just not right. Let’s correct our mistake.”
If we ignore the 2012 aberration, the image above is a much more palatable change. One that even makes sense. It addresses the formal challenges of the original logo by having more open counters in the line drawing of the hat and moving away from a condensed wordmark which created a really tall logo that isn’t primed for social media avatars — see the image below for comparison on how much space was “wasted” with the old logo when trying to fit it into a square.
The new logo is a nice homage to the older logo, with each of the characters in the wordmark replicating the old, one thick slab at a time. Even the old speech bubble apostrophe is back. It isn’t amazing but in contrast with the 2012 logo it’s a masterpiece and, more important, it provides a solid case study against 3D extrusion logos, so when a client asks you for more cowbell on your flat logo you can point to Arby’s failed attempt.
Thanks to Kevin Smola for the tip.