Woolworths, the largest grocery store chain in Australia has recently rebranded its 21-year-old previous logo and is preparing a rollout of the new identity across 780 stores, including the transformation of the Safeway stores (owned by the same parent company) in Victoria. So, having little to offer on the brand as I’ve never had the pleasure of setting foot in Australia, much less a Woolworths, let’s turn to some press releasing and explanations by Hulsbosch who designed the identity.
From Hulsbosch on the shape of the new icon:
— “W” for Woolworths
— The icon represents “people,” the upper body of a person with outstretched arms — food is energy is life
— The round shapes signify friendliness, humanity, approachability and openness
And from the press release:
The new identity introduces a new icon incorporating a stylised ‘W’ with the addition of an abstract leaf symbol representing fresh food. It is also reminiscent of one of the most famous of all Woolworths logos used in the 1970s and it represents a person — as in “The Fresh Food People” and the Woolworths focus on its customers.
From this video, I am guessing this is the 1970s logo they refer to in the release. I like to think that I am pretty open to interpreting logos or looking for shapes in clouds but this “person” that everybody keeps seeing in the logo seems to evade me. If I squint maybe, but I’m not convinced. And would it be wrong to call this new logo an apple? That’s the first thing I thought of when I saw the logo, but there seems to be no mention of it, and the funny thing is that an apple stands for all the same things that the brand wants to stand for. So I guess I’m just a little confused… and a little concerned for Woolworths as a certain technology company might feel their branding territory is being pee’d upon again. But I digress.
The change is very welcome, it’s an undeniable improvement over the non-logo of before, specially one that treated its tagline with more importance than the name. I like the new icon, there is something refreshing and progressive about it. I do find it a bit on the extended side, if it were a little less wide it might feel less heavy. The typography feels weak in comparison and doesn’t seem to jive with the aesthetic of the icon, it’s like two different design languages. In this case I’ll defer to our Australian readers and let them bring us up to date on the relevance of the brand and the change. From where I’m seating though, it sure beats Key Food. Many applications from Hulsbosch below.
Thank to Adam Cason and Stewart Falconer for the tip.<
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