Clash of the Logos: Grocery Store Edition

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If you are like many people in the UK, there is a good chance that you visit a grocery store often. As modern people find more and more that they don’t have the time to run from butcher to baker to candlestick maker, the appeal of one stop shopping is obvious. Because there is so much competition in the grocery business, each company must come up with a logo design and brand that compel people to choose them. The following ten logos represent ten very different companies with logos of varying quality. Read on to find out who the winners and losers are.

TESCO

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Tesco is one of the most popular grocery stores in the UK, with a logo design created to appeal to the masses. A distinctly British red, white, and blue colour scheme is used to show the company’s dedication to the UK masses. The writing is bold, bright, and attention getting, as befits an industry leader. Although there is nothing in the logo design that suggests food or groceries, this may be due to the simple fact that there is no neat way of summing up such a diverse industry in a simple, attractive design.

ASDA

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ASDA’s logo design is even simpler than that of Tesco, with just one colour and no embellishment whatsoever. However, anyone with a background in logo design can see what is being communicated here. First, the green colour suggests that the business is natural and healthy, which is definitely a positive association in the grocery industry. Although the letters are bold, they are pushed together in a manner that makes them feel less imposing and formal. This logo design suggests a store with natural leanings, an industry giant that doesn’t think too much of itself.

SAINSBURY’S

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Sainsbury’s has a more upscale operation, but the logo design is youthful and even fun compared to the others. The orange colour seen here often gives viewers positive feelings and is generally associated with youth. Instead of bold, upper case letters, the business uses a mixture of upper and lower cases that is slightly less formal. Sainsbury’s has already built a brand emphasizing quality and upmarket leanings, so this logo was purposely designed to give a modern, approachable feeling.

MORRISON’S

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Finally we reach a logo with more than text, albeit not much more. Morrison’s uses the organic green we saw earlier, although in a deeper, more serious shade. The yellow circle is a friendly shape, but also the shape of a sun and thus suggestive of energy and warmth. The use of an M in the centre of the circle allows customers to associate the shape with the company name, adding recognition and helping to build the brand.

CO-OPERATIVE GROUP

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The Cooperative Group is supposed to be an alternative to traditional grocery stores, and the logo design shows this. The logo is a fine balance, between the thin and thick lettering and between cases. Using all lower case for the second word makes the brand feel more approachable, an effect that is underscored by the rounded, friendly writing. Blue is a calming colour that implies that shopping here is a more relaxing experience.

MARKS & SPENCER

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No grocery store in the UK market has a logo design more luxurious than Marks & Spencer. This logo could just as easily belong to a haute couture boutique or any other high street brand. The writing is extremely simple and thin, which would make the logo appear less substantial if the words were not in a large font that fills the space. Black and gold add to the upmarket image.

WAITROSE

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If you are noticing that green is a popular colour in food and drink logo design, your impression is entirely correct. Waitrose is yet another grocery store that gives the impression of being a natural choice simply by choosing this highly communicative colour. That friendly feeling that is so important in this industry is given by the prevalence of rounded, lower case letters in the logo design.

BEST-ONE

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Best-One uses almost all of the strategies that we have seen so far and more. Colour is used to communicate, with a soothing blue background complimented by natural green and eye catching yellow. This logo has an actual image, in this case a flower that gives another natural touch to the logo design, with the blossom formed into an inclusive circle. The use of lower case writing in italics adds to the friendly feeling. This logo is simple, yet says it all.

SUPERVALU

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Here is another simple, straightforward supermarket logo design, this time perhaps a bit too simple. The SuperValu logo is in a deep red, which is a common colour used in food service but one which doesn’t necessarily say anything. The letters are neither rounded nor angular, with the most recognizable aspect being the purposeful misspelling. A tagline is included, but it just isn’t enough.

NETTO

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The Netto logo design involved bold, thick letters in a basic black, which is very different from most of the logos we have looked at so far. The image of a dog holding a market basket gives a homey feeling. However, this image may be a little misguided as few people associate marketing with dogs. Regardless, it creates interest and makes the design less boring than it would be otherwise.

Who is the winner here? Before we declare one, keep in mind that we are not looking at which supermarket offers the best food, the best value, or the best service. We are merely looking at the quality of the brand and thus must leave other brand loyalties aside. Tesco, ASDA, and SuperValu have logos that speak very little about the brand, giving up a valuable opportunity to communicate to the customer base. Waitrose, The Cooperative Group, and Sainsbury’s have slightly more communicative logos, but they are still very similar to the many others in the field. Morrison’s, Best-One, and Netto both use images to add interest, but they cannot come close to the simple power of our winner: Marks & Spencer. This upmarket standard uses colour and lettering to get their message across, which is the whole point of a logo design.