Design. What is it? It’s an arbitrary combination of kerning, tracking, warm colors, spot colors, CMYK, RGB, OMG! Right? That may be true on some levels, but it’s more like a melting pot of strategies, executions, and revisions.
A designer’s goal is to take everything in to account. When it comes to logo design, the more detail a logo has, the more information the viewer has to process. A logo should be memorable, and one of the best ways to make it memorable, is to keep it simple (ahem, one of our core values, by the way).
Sometimes a brand refresh can be long overdue. In 2017 global giant, Subway, rolled out their “Fresh Forward” design, and it’s proven to be a smart and purposeful move.
Let’s break down Subway’s logo circa 2015. Below you’ll see the latest rendition before the refresh.
Introducing the green color is a smart move. It convinces the consumer that it’s a healthy option compared to the red in KFC or Wendy’s. Although the green is a nice addition, making it a stroke around “SUBWAY” becomes bulky and looks dated. The angled addition of “eat fresh” in such a kerned and bold font adds to the bulk of the design. Overall, they kept the iconic arrows, but it still lacked that wow factor, and only ran for 2 years.
After two years of falling revenue, 2017 called for action. The new logo is bright yellow and green. This palette not only reassures the consumer it’s healthy, but yellow exudes fresh, happy, and positive emotions. The typeface is a more simplified version of the previous san serif, and keeps the iconic arrows. By removing the italic old-world style and introducing a slightly bolder sans serif font, the updated logo feels timeless and delightful. Adding a rounded style for each letter creates an inviting and playful tone.
In this fast paced world we live in, having a logo “mark”(the “S” comprised of arrows) – is a quick way to gain brand recognition with consumers. If you look closely at the mark you’ll see it’s not just one “S” but two. In the negative space you’ll recognize a “S” that looks eerily similar to the “S” in Subway. Coincidence? I think not.
I say bravo Subway. As a designer and fan of radiant, uncomplicated, smart, and simple branding, here’s to many more years of Toasted BLT’s.