This image is a logo for the budget-friendly grocery store, Aldi. The logo is displayed above the entrance of the store, serving as an eye-catching brand identifier for those driving by or navigating the shopping center. The repeated use of this design on products and signage within the store transforms the plain warehouse interior into a clean, cohesive space.
The logo uses varying rectilinear blocks of flat color void of explicit outlines, shapes are defined only by contrast between hue or value. Golden yellow, tangerine orange, and two contrasting shades of blue make up a bright, saturated palette. The portrait orientation defines a rectangular yellow border that sharply ribbon along all four edges with a consistent width. Tracing the interior edges of the yellow border is an equally thick orange border that frames a deep blue that fills the rectangular capacity. A lighter blue is used to form the heavy outline of a square that is horizontally centered and positioned near the top of the dark blue section.
Nestled inside of the square outline are two groups of three lines each. Three parallel blue lines extend from the left third of the bottom interior edge all the way to the right third of the top. Each of these lines is the same width as the square border enclosing the diagonal forms, and the three are separated from both each other and the square’s interior edges by narrow dark blue space. Jutting out sideways about a third of the way up the right side of the square border is another group of three horizontal lines. The horizontal lines have similar weight and spacing as the diagonal group, the left ends cut off before they meet with the diagonal group while the right ends are seamlessly plastered to the right side of the square frame.
The thin light blue lines form a cropped rendition of the upper-case letter “A”, the first letter in “Aldi”. The inclusion of the letter “A” is not only a literal representation of the company name, but a visual metaphor for their products as well. The letter “A” is most often associated with quality, such as an “A” rating or an “A” grade. Aldi puts this logo on their food in an attempt to subliminally indicate a high-grade product, almost like a “Grade A” label. The cropped nature of the “A” suggests an entirely different appeal: low cost. This half “A” is just as comprehensible as a whole letter would be, yet it costs half the space. This runs parallel to the notion that Aldi food is just as good as other generic grocery brands, but at a much lower price. Through these clever design strategies, the logo effectively reflects the nature of the company’s products, while managing to be incredibly aesthetically pleasing at the same time.
McDonald’s, the world’s largest restaurant chain, has 34,480 restaurants in 119 countries throughout the world. The McDonald’s logo is one of the most recognizable and iconic logos used in branding today. Since McDonald’s Corporation was founded in 1955, the company’s logo has been changed many times. In 1960, the “golden arches” (the yellow “M”) was introduced as their new symbol. This logo references the architecture of McDonald’s during this era designed by Stanley Meston, “which was a roof lined higher in front than in back, flanked by a pair of illuminated golden arches. The ‘M’ formed by the arches would define the company’s logo throughout the ensuing decades” (“McDonald’s”).
The logo contains an upper case yellow “M” in a sans serif font that stands for McDonald’s. This “M” is usually in a red background with the word “McDonald’s” or the phrase “i’m lovin’ it” written in white beneath it. In some cases, the “M” is placed by itself with no other words. The yellow color resembles the famous McDonald’s fries. The strong contrast created between the red and the yellow represent the company’s bold nature while also making the logo more visible from a distance. The prevalence of this logo in everyday life makes it recognizable as the McDonald’s logo even without using any words. I think what makes this logo most effective is its ability to convey information with use of very minimal graphics. The simplicity logo makes it very effective and versatile for many different things such as signs, billboards, menus, paper bags, websites, apps, etc.
This logo represents more than just fast food. It represents the American culture that is spreading throughout the world. Today, it has become a cultural icon synonymous with capitalism and the globalization of America. McDonald’s represents many of the principles the rest of the world associates with America: consistency, homogenization and inexpensive food served fast. As an American, if you go to a different country, even if you do not speak the language, you are still able to recognize the McDonald’s logo and have a sense of familiarity. The language barrier is broken by using logos rather than words as a form of communication. This is a really important aspect in advertising and branding on a global level.
“McDonald’s.” Www.logos.wikia.com, Logopedia.
The image above is the new logo of Uniqlo store. Uniqlo is a Japanese fashion brand that has evolved from a roadside store to a global brand leader in style and quality. The name is a combination of the short form for “unique clothing” and a misspelling of an employee—the letter “C” was written as “Q” instead. In addition, the company created a dual language version of the logo, Japanese and English language. The logo is used on all their products and advertisements. Uniqlo product designs are bold and basic clothing—no overwhelming prints, very versatile, and do not go out of style.
The design of the logo is flat and simple yet bold. It consists of two distinct color palettes, red and white. The richness in saturation and contrast of these palettes attract the viewer’s attention. The red square is the dominant color, which serves as the container of the texts. It has the shade of an electric red—the brightest red that a computer monitor can display. The white type is set on the red background resulting an implied knocked out effect. This kind of white is the purest and brightest out of all the colors and commonly seen in nature, the color of milk and snow. The name of the brand is spelled out in either Roman letters (right logo) or Japanese script (left logo). The American logo consists of six sans serif Roman letters—“UNI” at the top and “QLO” at the bottom. The font is a customized font, which is adapted from the typeface family FF DIN in bold weight. All characters are capitalized, monospaced and centered. The Japanese version consists of four Katakana characters that has straight edges and thick strokes. Both versions are legible and easy to remember. These characteristics depict some hints of minimalism.
Uniqlo’s new logo design is powerful. It successfully reflects not only the essence of the brand but also the Japanese design and craftsmanship. Japanese symbolism is achieved with the color palette and shape. The colors red and white matches the Japanese flag. The square form resembles the name seals that are traditionally used in Japan as a mark of ownership and authenticity. The seals bear either a motto, poem, or name of a person or an organization. It also expresses strong trade relationship between United States and Japan by integrating both Japanese characters and Roman letters. The new logo is a simple representation of the contemporary Japanese style.
Overall, there is no doubt that Uniqlo’s logo as a whole is satisfying as it’s products. Everything is carefully considered, from the visual aesthetics to the symbolisms. It is simple, memorable, versatile, appropriate, and timeless. Just like what a veteran logo designer — Paul Rand — would say, “Design is the silent ambassador of your brand” and “Good design doesn’t date. Bad design does.”