(Est. 1989) “McAlister’s Deli is an American chain of fast casual restaurants founded in 1989 in Oxford, Mississippi, by retired dentist Dr. Don Newcomb. There are currently over 400 locations in 26 states, ranging from Virginia in the East to Florida in the South to Arizona in West to Michigan in the North. The menu includes deli sandwiches, “Texas-size” spuds (baked potatoes), soups, salads, and desserts, as well as catering items such as sandwich trays and boxed lunches. The chain is also known for its McAlister’s Famous Sweet Tea, which is available by the glass or by the gallon. McAlister’s Deli Corporation is a privately held company, currently owned by Focus Brands, a subsidiary of Roark Capital.” (Wikipedia)
Images (opinion after)
I ate at McAlister’s once or twice and the logo sort of conveys the experience and food: passable. The old serif lettering was actually kind of ambitious and properly customized to sit on a curve and have a flat top; it had some funky elements but someone spent some time on it, which they obviously ran out of when they got to the “DELI” part and just ran that in Copperplate in the shittiest way possible. The new logo drops the cowboy-saloon aesthetic in exchange for an I-don’t-know-what-they-are-going-for aesthetic… maybe it’s an Art Deco New York Deli aesthetic? Not sure at all, really. The new logo is typeset in a slab serif that is possibly Hoefler & Co.’s Archer. Whatever is it, it isn’t exactly pleasant in the way it has been customized and arranged. The “cA” ligature is awkward, the “AL” pair has been customized to remove the lower-left slab of the “L” and the final “S” feels way too big in contrast to everything else. The “DELI” part is better than before but that wasn’t too hard to improve. The border around the type is fine but it feels too constrictive. Overall, this seems like it lacks direction and conviction about what it wants to be and the execution doesn’t make up for it.
Thanks to Zac Cosner for the tip.