It seems that Sears is the latest brand to throw their hat into the mediocre re-branding ring as they have launched a new variation of their word mark logo. I’m not going to say that the previous version of their logo was brilliant design but since it has been used since 1984 there is a lot of equity built up into just how recognizable it was. This new logo is yet another collection of design cliches like the gradient color fill, drop shadow and sloppy kerning of a typeface devoid of any personality. To make maters worse Sears has said that the new word mark will be used only in digital and TV leaving the old version of the logo in retail applications and on physical collateral.
I don’t understand this new trend in brand design where you turn your brand into a design eunuch. They castrate it with forgettable typography, over worn design accents and strip the brand of any personality or visual impact. If I had to guess I would say this new movement is a result of too many marketing departments being populated with people who came up through the organization and were moved into that marketing by management who thinks that familiarity with the organization is the same as thing as marketing expertise. They think they are making a change that will revitalize their brand but I see a change that is an act of desperation by companies who don’t know how to effect real change in their business so they go for the easy answer. Hopefully this trend, like the Gap logo, will die a swift and public death to stop other companies from thinking this is a good idea.