Opinions on corporate and brand identity work.

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


Crafty Logo for a Crafty Store

Reviewed Sep. 24, 2008 by Armin

Industry / Retailers Tags /

Michaels Logo, Before and After

I am not into crafts, not because I have any of the sometimes insulting preconceptions about it but because I’m just not good at it. Unless preceded by the command key, there is no copying and pasting for me. Nonetheless I love going into craft stores, there is something pretty incredible about all the collected, individual materials, knickknacks and doo-hickeys arranged in neat bundles or stacks begging to be put together — and, perhaps, there is no haven more crafty than Michaels. Established in 1973, it grew to sixteen stores by 1984, went public and was operating 500 stores by 1995, became a private company again in 2006, and is now celebrating the opening of its 1,000th store in San Antonio. To mark the milestone and thirty-five years in business Michaels is also introducing a new logo.

“Our new logo and tagline are an outward symbol that signifies how we have listened to our customers,” said Aitken. “She wants to create memories, enjoy and be inspired by her creative activities and spend more meaningful time with her children. She is looking for a place that pushes her imagination, allows for self-expression and personal enrichment through innovation and new, creative products. And Michaels is the place Where Creativity Happens.”
From press release [links to Microsoft Word document]

It’s very interesting that in the press release they refer to their customer as “she”… what about my feelings?! But I digress. The old logo, set in an unflattering oblique version of Bookman (which in contrast to a true italic it simply takes the Roman forms and slants them) but saved by the swash initial and terminal to at least have some personality — I should disclose that I am a fan of Bookman and we’ve used it at UC headquarters before. It was pretty recognizable, specially as it screamed in those ubiquitous red-lighted letters in strip malls across America, something the new one will have trouble achieving, being that it’s so dainty and light. I do like the evolution of the logo from a stock typeface to a proprietary hand-lettered logo as it speaks to the task of creating and crafting by hand, but I wonder if it’s too whimsical or too much like a logo for pasta packaging? Overall, a bold move to change drastically a brand so ingrained with its customers.

Thanks to Julie Pardee for first tip.



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