Girl Scouts logo gets bangs and nose job for more modern look

By T.L. Stanley on Mon Jul 19 2010


The new face of the Girl Scouts has bangs, and she seems to have had some work done on her nose. It is 2010, after all. The girl-power organization is nearly 100 years old, so you can understand why it wanted a little nip/tuck, can't you? Its well-known green-and-white icon, from legendary designer Saul Bass, hadn't been changed since it launched in the '70s. This tweak is meant to make it look more modern. It's part of a brand overhaul that's also aimed at boosting membership, which has been lagging in recent years. There's millions of dollars' worth of (donated) media coming, including online, traditional print and broadcast, and out of home; $10 million will be devoted to the Hispanic market. The goal is to let current generations and their parents know that the Girl Scouts are about more than cookies. (Mmmm, thin mints.) It's always tricky when a famous brand tinkers with its logo, though the rationale here may be rock solid. Tell us what you think of the new, more angular Girl Scouts icon. I'm partial to the groovy '70s original, but that's just nostalgia and my old merit badge sash talking.

Your favorite NBA team's logo, soon to be available on a pizza

Posted on Wed Jun 2 2010


I'm gearing up for Thursday night's playoff game between my beloved Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics, and boy, I could go for a giant pepperoni pizza with my team's purple-and-gold logo seared into the middle! I'll have to wait, but eventually fans like me will be able to spend an extra $5 to have an edible NBA logo on some of our game-night snacks. (The term edible is used somewhat loosely, judging from the ingredients: sugar, starch and food coloring. Maybe with enough beer it'll be tolerable.) The NBA, reeling from a drop in licensed merchandise sales, has made a deal for about 1,200 independent pizza parlors to offer the colorful logos of 30 teams on their pies, starting next season. The league won't stop there, and is planning licensed toasters (already the province of Hello Kitty and tons of kid entertainment properties), panini sandwich presses and more. What, no vending machines?

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

Painter looks at American fast food in the Middle East landscape

Posted on Fri Apr 30 2010


It's been 48 years since Andy Warhol demonstrated that an ordinary American food brand could be worth thinking about other than when you're hungry. Now, Eric Robert Parnes is up to much the same thing, albeit with work that's a bit more provocative than a can of Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup.
  In his paintings, Parnes, a 31-year-old Iranian American artist, portrays brands like McDonald's, KFC and Starbucks open for business in Middle Eastern countries. Each of his canvases features a group of women in chadors, their backs turned, regarding the fast-food outlets with thoughts that are anyone's guess. Parnes—whose far-ranging work also includes gold-leafed artillery helmets and nudes equipped with gas masks—says his intent was not to be critical of American fast food's presence in Muslim countries but to "explore … the dynamics involving Western and Eastern cultures." And for better or worse, Western "culture" these days usually means fast food.
  "Aside from the American flag, people identify the United States via our products' visual logos," Parnes tells BrandFreak. "These brands have become visual representations that elicit an immediate response of recognition. It really doesn't even matter that Domino's or Starbucks is spelled out in another language. All we need is a logo to recognize the company."
  So, good news for all you fast-food marketers out there: Your logo works just as well in Riyadh as it does in Rochester.

—Posted by Robert Klara


Just looking at fast-food logos makes people anxious and foolish

Posted on Mon Apr 19 2010


It's not bad enough that fast food is blamed for everything from obesity to heart disease and hypertension. Now we find out it might be messing with our minds as well. New research from scientists in Canada suggests that people who are shown fast-food logos become increasingly impatient and are less inclined to save money, preferring immediate gratification over greater future return. The Toronto University study (PDF link here) looked at the behavior of 57 volunteers, some of whom were shown logos from fast-food chains like McDonald's and KFC. In one test, the speed at which participants read a passage was measured before and after looking at the logos, with readers speeding up after an eyeful of the Golden Arches. Another experiment asked participants if they wanted a small amount of cash immediately or a larger sum in a week's time. Those who saw the logos opted for the smaller amount served up immediately. If the mere sight of a logo creates such results, I'm not sure I even want to know what effect all those new espresso-based drinks at McDonald's are having on customer behavior.

—Posted by Noreen O'Leary

Need a good logo at a decent price? Try

Posted on Tue Apr 13 2010


Excuse the cliché, but social media really is changing everything, including the basics of marketing that used to take weeks if not months to execute. Like logo design. That's why caught my attention. It's a social-based service that designs one logo a day, for one company a day. Then the logo is promoted via social networks and the company's blog. Here's how works: It started offering its services for $2 on March 1 and has been increasing by $2 every day, through next Feb. 28, when the price will be $730. Co-founder Dana Severson says the service uses social media as its "vehicle for building relationships and extending the logo design for clients into so much more than building a brand." So, are brands buying into the idea? Seems so. is booked into May, according to Severson. Some initial clients include charities, a professional soccer player, an actress, a documentary film, a radio station and various other smaller companies/brands that have a small marketing budget to work with.

—Posted by Elena Malykhina

A victorious few prevailed in BrandFreak's second logo contest

Posted on Thu Sep 10 2009


Brandweek Logo Contest No. 2 was a bit harder than the first. The average was probably eight out of nine letters right. It was the K that tripped a lot of people up—many thought it was from KFC. The second "e," from Lee Jeans, was another puzzler. Still, out of all the entrants, we picked seven who got it right. They are: Jennifer Hohn, Laurie Steele, Dawn Susa, Joellen Sarmast, Vipul Tripathi, Adam Meller and Jim Darling. Congrats to all the winners, who will now receive some worthless tchotchkes wonderful gifts from the Brandweek archives. Watch for more logo contests here, and thanks again for playing. And now, the answers:

= RC cola (old logo)
= Audi
= New York Times
= Dove
= Warner Bros.
= Dell
= Lee jeans
= Trek

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

BrandFreak logo contest No. 2: Can you identify these 9 brands?

Posted on Fri Aug 28 2009


OK, BrandFreak's last logo contest may have been a little easy, but let's see how you do with this one. Since it's late summer and Labor Day is coming up, we'll give you until Wedesnday, Sept. 9, to figure it out. If you think you know the brand logos from which each letter above was taken, e-mail brandfreakcomments [at] gmail [dot] com and put the words "logo contest" in the subject line. Winners will get some (literally) priceless Brandweek paraphernalia, as sported below by one of our happy winners of last month's contest, Tatum Hawkins (at left, seen with Heather Tien on the right) of Boost Mobile.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman


Kraft's colorful new logo reminiscent of another recent redesign

Posted on Tue Feb 17 2009


According to executives at Kraft Foods, the logo that the company introduced today is designed to better compete with private label. But which supermarket's private label in particular? We ask because the colors of the new Kraft logo bear a striking resemblance to the visual treatment that Stop & Shop rolled out back in August. In truth, Shop & Stop did use a somewhat deeper purple.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Anyone else want to try out a red, white and blue circular logo?

Posted on Thu Feb 5 2009

Fourlogos copy

Perhaps Pepsi didn't rip off the Obama logo after all. Korean Air, established in the 1970s, has its own Pepsi-ish logo, a play on the lovely and balanced red-and-blue circle on the South Korean flag. Pepsi's latest campaign brought forth a new uber-shiny and more lopsided version of the logo developed and redeveloped since the 1950s (umm, check out the Studebaker motor company symbol, too). Actually, the new Pepsi logo looks less like the Korean Air mark than the old Pepsi logo did. Thanks, Pepsi. Now, when I take a sip, I won't worry that I'm being whisked off to Asia.

—Posted by Yana Polikarpov



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