07 April 2013

[logo] The 43-Year Old Kid: Rolling Out The New Wendy's

2916.According to the news I've been following, Wendy's, the of the rather tasty square hamburger, has begun rolling out the new-look designs across the country.

You'll have no trouble spotting the old one.

Heavy type, curliques, a design that just takes you right back to the late 1970s, when 'old fashioned' was the ironic selling point (recall that when first produced, Pringle's Potato-crispy-thingies were marketed with a dude with a high-collar, a huge bow-tie, and fully swashed-and-buckled type as Pringle's Newfangled Potato Chips, as opposed to now, simply being called Pringles (for which we imagine the singular would be pringle, obviating the awkwardness in calling this formed artifice a potato chip) and marketed by something that looks like an extraterrestrial with a bow-tie). Antiques were big (I was protiques before I was antiques, BTW) and everything billed as old-fashioned was seen as simple, honest, and more wholesome.

People bought that stuff in droves, man.

Despite my evident jaded point-of-view, Wendy's burgers always were better than the others, and the most satistfying fast-food option (at least until Jack in the Box invaded Oregon back in the 90s). But the 'old-fashioned' motif was carried through even to the laminate on the table tops, which was a composite of old-timey ads from old-timey newspapers.

That was then; this is now. Old fashioned has kind of gone back to being stale, dated, unimaginative, but there's Wendy's logo with the same look'n'feel they've had since the 70s.

To the brandcave, Brandman! Announced last October,  and rolled out over the past two months (Beware! Press Release! warning) the logo and wordmark brings the company's famous look forward but peels off all that retro cruft.

The new mark preserves the visual themes that those who redesigned Wendy's (the stylized cameo portrait of the founder's daughter at age 8, with the high-necked blue-striped white dress and the gravity-repudiating red pigtails, the ascending 'wave' in the name) saw as emblematic of that logo. The head and pigtails break out of the cameo circle, which is visually interesting because everything in the old logo was contained. The illustrative style of the young girl, I find, is accomplished and attractive.

They risked going Comic Sans with that script word design but safely avoided it, and made it rather attractive too.

It's tough trying to abstract the familiar into a design that looks updated without jumping the logo shark (We're looking at you, Gap logo), and Wendy's redesign isn't going to reinvent fast-food logos, but they really did a good job here. We like it.

Wendy's look has changed over the years more than is obvious. The Wendy's Company has a history of that evolution at the pdf here, which is also linked via the second press release, linked above the new-look logo there.

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