Thursday, March 28, 2013

Worst ever logo-to-be

Never mind the monopolistic implications: The merger of OfficeMax®™© and Office Depot©™® portends the worst logo yet created.

Just look at the parents:

OfficeMax©®™: Never the best name to begin with, succumbing as it did to the unfortunate '90s business trend of adding "Max" to common nouns (does it still have Copy Max©®™?)

So of course, make the name worse by setting it in off-the-shelf American Typewriter font (because who doesn't think "typewriters!" when shopping for inkjet cartridges?). The rubber-band ball is added, I'm guessing, to compete for cute with the Staples' Easy button (see below). OfficeMax®™© tied it to coverage of the world's largest rubber band ball. Remember? Me neither.

Office Depot™® fares a bit better, with a more lucid name (similar trend with "depot," though, and the rise of big-box stores) and what appears to be a custom type treatment. Why "Depot" is set in small capital letters, though, is not lucid.

Office Depot©®™, though, used to look like this:

Similar typewriter font to Office Max™©®, though oblique (slanted, a poor cousin to italics typeface).

Oh yeah, Office Depot©®™ has a stopwatch logo-ish/animation thingie. Did you know that? You would if you even so much as looked at an item at its online service: You would be sure to get an annoyingly loud, unstoppable Office Depot™®© commercial the next time you look up Flock of Seagulls™ on YouTube™©®.

Please tell me some creative agency made millions and millions on these designs. That would be justice.

Office Depot™® and Office Max™©® now join forces to compete with Staples™©® … economically, if not graphically.

At least Staples®™© shows a measure of clever with its double-entendre, the staple-y "L" and off-the-charts use of Helvetica.

But the logo as it has evolved makes me think the folks at Staples®©™ are afraid of you and your ability to appreciate double-meaning. Could they be very far away from renaming the chain "that was easy™®©?"

Staples in Canada adds to the confusion:

What do Canadians look at? The slab-serif (looks like Rockwell) "Business (all freakin' caps!) DEPOT™®?" that literally looks stuck on? Poor Canadians.

Sometimes in Canada Staples is known as:

I'd go to a place called "BUREAU EN GROS™®©" just to shout it once I learned the proper pronunciation.

But to shoppers, it's all the same experience no matter what happens: Relaxed, peaceful perusing for your item in empty aisles — because everyone else in the store is waiting in a long line at the one open register, where the clerk will ask if you need printer ink.

The OfficeMax™®©/Office DEPOT©®™ merger could reach stratospheric heights simply by using Garamond for the font. Or making the logo blue; red already seems to be well in hand.

But the result, I'll wager, will be red and black, typeset in typewriter-y font, and called Office DEPOT Max™®©. It's gonna happen.

(I'm gonna wild-ass guess more people
buy these useless Staples©®™ buttons than the
practical OfficeMax™®© rubber-band balls.)

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