Quaker launches a new logo design

July 26, 2010

Everyone knows the renowned Quaker's logo design. Who doesn’t recognize the classic illustration of a Quaker man smiling fondly out at us from within a shiny, golden oval? Quaker’s iconic logo design has had a place on the shelves in most Western families for over a century now. Remember those days of waking up early, sleep still lodged in the corners of your tired eyes while you sat at the kitchen table eating a warm bowl of oatmeal that your mom had made for you? Although, I don’t eat much oatmeal anymore, for me, Quaker oatmeal will always be synchronous with my mother, home, warmth, comfort and good feelings.

While still trying to preserve its image as a familiar household cereal, Quaker recently launched a new, modernized logo design. So far, the new logo design can only be seen on Quaker’s ‘True Delights’ packaging (a new line of healthy snack bars) as well as on Quaker’s international website. This new logo design still features the memorable Quaker man however much else has been changed. A new font is being used (Archer, which was created by Hoefler & Frere-Jones) and the Quaker man has be removed from his oval home and placed inside the letter ‘Q’. A new shade of blue is used as well as a new tagline: ‘Love Life’.

Here are both the old and new Quaker logo designs:

Old and New Quaker logo design

Quaker was actually America’s first registered cereal in 1877. The Quaker brand has a long history and as such, the logo redesign must have been quite a challenge. For decades, the Quaker name has been associated with the values of integrity, honesty and purity. The old logo design was created to highlight these values. Does the new Quaker logo design created by Wallace Church still embody these values or does it instead lead Quaker in new directions?

Packaging of Quaker's True Delights

I must admit that I am fairly attached to the old Quaker logo design. Created by Saul Bass in 1972, it is a simple, strong, recognizable and memorable logo design. These are all vital attributes that are essential to any of the great logo designs in the world today. It is a vintage logo design that has been loved and admired by many. I definitely have an affinity for old logotypes from my childhood such as Quaker and Aunt Jemima. Although they are outdated and cheesy, I just don’t seem to want to let them go.

That being said, I am not one to oppose change and I do think that it is wise to modernize one’s look every few years. The only problem here is that I don’t think that this is a great logo redesign. I must admit that I do like how the gradients, shadows, and gold embossing was removed from the new logo design. I found these to be quite distracting and unnecessary in the old Quaker logo design. I also like just how light the new logo feels overall and how they reused the familiar image of Quaker man. However, I don’t like how they put the Quaker man inside the ‘Q’. I find that the new logo design looks unbalanced and I think that this is partly to blame. I also think that the logo looks unbalanced because the font size is too large. Both the words and the image compete for your attention. This sends your eyes off in all directions and this makes the logo design quite hard to look at.

I also don’t really like the Archer font that they used in this logo redesign. Quaker decided to use this font because this typeface is a soft slab serif typeface that emphasizes Quaker’s trustworthy, safe and friendly image. I don’t agree. I find that it is a dull and boring font and that it has been overly used lately by a lot of other companies. I don't think that it helps Quaker look unique in any way and I actually find it to be too blocky and uninviting. It also doesn’t seem like the designers paid much attention to the kerning of the letters either. Look at the space between the ‘a’ and the ‘k’. Doesn’t it look off? I hate to say it but I just don’t see this logo design carrying as much weigh or being as memorable as the old Quaker logo design. Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m being too old-fashioned. I was just hoping for so much more.

What do you think?

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