We received a lot of requests to review the logo currently adorning the header of the website of apparel, accessory and hipness retailer Urban Outfitters (UO) and as much as I hesitated to post it I think it’s worth getting it out of our system. I hesitated because this is not an identity change or, at the very least it is not being positioned as such by UO. I believe they change their website every three or four months, complete from the ground up, with new typographic treatments for their name. This iteration seems to have caught more attention because it’s not just really ugly but also because people are hungry for the next Gap-like meltdown. In contrast to the Gap, UO’s new look feels purposely ugly, it’s hip-ugly without a wink, and it shows that someone at UO subscribes to 032c magazine and its stretched typography aesthetic. The logo is only the tip of the iceberg on this. Everything on the new site follows the same annoying premises and it screams for attention to be noticed — again, unlike the Gap, where they expected people to just go about their business. In the spirit of “The Cult of the Ugly” I would urge everyone to consider this as a blip in the continuum of the UO identity and ride it out until the next iteration. But if you see your local UO changing their store sign to the above logo then, yeah, we’ll talk.
Plans are in development for coming back to Europe in Spring of 2018 with the current top contender host city of Barcelona.