(Est. 1953) “Sonic Corp., more commonly known as Sonic (stylized as SONIC), is the operator of an American drive-in fast-food restaurant chain based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, that is owned by Inspire Brands, the parent company of Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings. As of August 27, 2018, 3,606 Sonic restaurants are located in 46 U.S. states. In 2011, it was ranked 10th in QSR Magazine’s rankings of the top 50 quick-service and fast-casual restaurant brands in the nation (moving to 13th for 2015 and 2016). Known for its use of carhops on roller skates, the company annually hosts a competition (in most locations) to determine the top skating carhop in its system.” (Wikipedia)
Images (opinion after)
The official “before” logo used in newer applications was a single-color rendition of the better-known full-color logo that sits on top of pretty much all locations. The before-before logo established the Atomic Age design aesthetic with its drive-thru-sign holding frame overlapped to look like an atom. Not great by any means, but has become hugely recognizable and the italic Futura type sitting within it was pretty good. The before logo was a fairly decent simplification that worked pretty well to hint at the two overlapping shapes in the background and could have potentially been a great starting point for a highly crafted evolution in the right hands. Instead, Sonic has taken a lateral misstep into a pretty terrible re-interpretation that is surprisingly bad for a company this big. The new frame loses the nod to the atomic age and now looks like a crooked bowtie on a sad party clown and the typography is atrocious with not a single letter consistent with each other — and there are only five letters. That “N” is a complete eyesore that manages to eclipse what an eyesore the “S” is as well. And the “O”, at first I thought it was an SVG issue that distorted it but, nope, its hump on the right upper area seems to be on purpose. Overall, a solid bad job from start to finish.
Thanks to Joe Ernst for the tip.