Returning to Your Roots

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When deciding on the type of logo design that is right for a business, many people look to the future. What images and fonts will be ‘in style’ in the next few years? This is often the wrong way to approach the design process. A logo needs to communicate with your audience and compel them to choose your company over others. Sometimes this means looking not to the future, but to the past.

Town & Country is a popular magazine that has recently redesigned their logo with the past in mind. The magazine focuses on the affluent lifestyle, with articles on fashion, boarding schools and finding good help among other things. It has longer past than many, first published in 1846—and, no, that is not a typo. The magazine has on the coffee tables of the rich and famous for more than a century and a half.

The new logo design is a return to one used in the thirties and onward. For much of the last almost-century, Town & Country has used closely spaced sans-serif letters in all upper case. It is similar to the Optima font, but modified. The ampersand is not standard at all, but rather a thinner, curvier version that matches the mood of the type. It feels a little smooshed between all the letters with no spacing, but it is definitely distinctive and recognizable.

The last-used logo featured the name of the magazine in rounded letters; nothing to look at here, folks. The new one is very much the same, but with a change in case that will make it bolder and more eye-catching. This just feels like a logo design aimed at rich people. Although we are showing it in black and white, the letters will be colored to complement the front page of each issue, with no defined color scheme. This allows the magazine design department the flexibility to create rich and colorful colors on every cover. The letters will usually have alternating colors, which could be a little much.

The logo design will stand out especially on the magazine covers because the headlines will be written in more delicate lettering with serifs. This will provide an interesting contrast and make the logo look even bolder. The old covers were boring, and that does not appeal to anyone, especially the brand-sensitive affluent crowd.

When is a retro logo design the right choice? In this case, it makes sense. Town & Country has a rich past with no scandals, so there are no skeletons in the closet or negative associations. In addition, the magazine’s readership is traditional by nature. This does not feel like a cast-off logo design, but rather a vintage one. Think about finding a Chanel original in your local antique store; this is the feeling that Town & Country is aiming for with the new logo. A return to the past may not be right for everyone, but it is right for this brand and this brand’s market.