This is a very old entry — images are small, formatting is off.
It is quite likely that you’ve never heard of Cholie’s. I hadn’t. It’s not a national pizza franchise. Nor regional. It’s not a famous local joint that people travel to. It’s not even its hometown’s most famous pie. Cholie’s is a small chain in Chicago, with three locations, aptly named Cholie’s, Cholie’s #2 and Cholie’s #3. Its logo is not even a logo per se, it’s whatever the sign painter can muster using the name, and a pizza with a slice coming off. So why in the world would we be reviewing it?
Since 1987, the University of Chicago, nestled in the beautiful South side neighborhood of Hyde Park in Chicago, has hosted what has become the world’s biggest scavenger hunt, The University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt (or Scav Hunt), a nearly four-day marathon of scavenger shenanigans, requiring the completion of hundreds of items — and one of this year’s items, worth 9 points, is to “Rebrand Cholie’s and make sure your new design is up to the standards of the discerning folks at Brand New.” Of nine competing teams, we’ve heard from the Armydillos — the Snell-Hitchcock house team, a six-time winner, whose mascot is an armadillo, hence the name — who submitted their redesign of Cholie’s #2, located near the university, for review and final judging by the Scav Hunt committee, today at noon central standard time.
The logo was designed, in less than four days, by Luke Joyner, a University of Chicago alum now residing in Paris and a former Summer resident at Hoefler & Frere-Jones — which explains the sophisticated type choices in the logo, Whitney Black Condensed for the name, and Hoefler Text Bold Italic for the tagline. “For the re-design itself,” explain the Armydillos, “we wanted to combine the existing Cholie’s concept with something Scav Hunt-friendly, which usually turns out to be some type of witty joke. This year’s Scav Hunt judges tend to appreciate things that are slightly more crass, so we decided to accommodate their interests (and our own) with this wonderful logo.” And crass it is, specially considering that no one knows what college students are wont to do with a slice of pizza, as exemplified by the new tagline, “Fill your holes with Chol’s.” The optimist in me wants to think they are referring to the mouth cavity, but with the disclaimer that the judges are crass, I wouldn’t want to be initiated by anyone at the University of Chicago.
The logo itself also indicates that something’s awry, with the slice of pizza taken off from the bottom, as opposed to an upper side, like the existing logo. Unlike other logo reviews, exceptions have to be made, and new standards applied, so I will say that the tag line complements the new logo rather poignantly. There is also the nice gesture of using the slice of pizza as the apostrophe, although I’m not sure why the slice turned from red to yellow. The typography is an interesting choice, maybe even unintended. The noncircular “o” used to make the pizza is, of course, not round, perhaps signaling that Cholie’s is not about perfection, but about finding joy in the unexpected and singular results of each pizza baked by the establishment. And the top angled edges of the typography are a clear homage to one of Chicago’s most iconic skyscrapers, the Smurfit-Stone building on North Michigan Avenue.
Considering the timeline of this logo, the audience, the context and the result, I would deem it up to the standards of this discerning logo critic.