First produced in the 1880s, ChapStick is one of the more well-known brands of lip balm around the world, sold in 25 countries. Owned by Pfizer since 2009 (previously by The A.H. Robins Company since 1963), ChapStick has been using the same script wordmark since the 1930s when it was designed by Frank Wright, Jr.. The logo has adorned the two-and-a-half-inch little tubes with the propensity to get lost for many years and its so ubiquitous that it might be easy to NOT notice that the logo on it recently changed. I buy at least one ChapStick every month or two when I am at the airport and realize that I left the last one I bought at home. Without any fanfare — and actually with a really poor rollout, since none of the digital applications have been updated — ChapStick introduced an evolution of its logo late last year, crafted by Toronto-based Ian Brignell.
This is a straight-up logo review, as there is no major range of applications nor a brand system to look at. The above images are simply to place the logo in context. (Not the prettiest of contexts, as the packaging isn’t exactly cool). The previous logo looks like it was digitized by someone whose index finger was crushed with a hammer because the curves on those beziers are as smooth as chapped lips. The wordmark, as a whole, has always been pleasant. Similar to the Kleenex wordmark: it’s just there and it makes the product look and feel like something you would want to smush against your face. The ChapStick logo is used so small that it’s no wonder no one has bothered to improve it.
The new wordmark by Ian is the perfect evolution. It maintains the same flavor but improves greatly on it with a few simple moves: a less pronounced italic slant; ball terminals in the “C”, “S”, “c”, and “k”; a more curved “k”; clearer stems for the “a” and “p”; and, obviously, bezier curves like the wings of an angel. Yes, it might be too much waxing about a wordmark evolution, but this is the kind of stuff that gets me all excited and if ChapStick doesn’t want to make a big deal of it (or update its PNG files) I will. Now, where did I leave my ChapStick?