Dear Mr. Kroger,
I’m a loyal customer, and I have a beef with you.
By the way, since you’re a grocery celebrity, may I just call you K-Rog? J-Lo, A-Rod – it’s all the rage these days. OK, K-Rog it is.
Anyway, I’m truly confused about something. Actually, I’m confused about many, many, things; but this particular area of perplexity has to do with…your company face.
I realize that it may be odd to talk about the external appearance of the 5th-largest retailer in the world, with over 2,600 stores – but, in front of every one of those stores is your company face. And by that, I mean your logo.
Your logo pains me. Every time I drive by it, I sigh in dismay. And this is from someone whose family shovels hundreds of dollars into your coffers every month!
I know we’re not supposed to call anybody else’s baby ugly, but…really? We need to have a talk about that logo.
You’ve been around for over 130 years, and the typography of that logo design dates back to pre-World War 2.
You don’t sell crackers from 1939, do you?
You don’t want your workers continuing to punch in for 80, 90, 100 years, do you? After a good productive run, it’s time for retirement. It’s time for fresh blood.
Logos are like that.
Your food is fresh and high-quality (that’s why we shop there!) but this distorted letter throwback is stale and out-of-date.
I see this logo, and I think of shag carpet. Formica tables. Flappers.
Why are the “K” and the “g” doing that?? Typeface isn’t meant to be tortured that way. Nine out of 10 graphic designers have a seizure when they see it.
The tenth just had a stroke.
There are a few classics – just a few – that endure through many decades because they are so beautifully-designed, so meaningful, so memorable.
This is not one of those.
K-Rog, listen – with $93B in annual revenue, I know you can do way better. You don’t want to be a health hazard for those who have aesthetic sensibilities. (Helpful hint: please don’t follow the State of Tennessee, however, for the design of your new “visual identity system”).
Now, this is one element of my beef with your customer-facing image. But wait – there’s more!
We definitely need a clean-up on aisle 7, because, for some unfathomable reason, you also have a totally separate logo for your Kroger gas stations! And if this look has any relation to the parent logo, I for one, am unable to decipher it. Here is how the logo cacaphony looks down the road a piece from me:
Totally different typeface. Opposite-day backdrop (white, then black). Plus, a color-coded blob. Ummmm….help me out here, K-Rog.
What is that color-blob-thingie? I polled 879 random shoppers* to get their opinions on that symbolic mystery, and the answers ranged from melted-crayon spin art to a baseball diamond for Duplo-addicted toddlers. *(actually, I didn’t poll anybody. And, apparently, neither did the designer of that….thing.)
If there is some meaning or message in that ridiculous rhombus it is so well hidden that even Sherlock Holmes has given up and gone to Publix instead.
So, here’s the bottom line, K-Rog. It’s time. You’re good. We all know it. But your customers want to pull into your parking lot, look up at a nicely-designed Kroger sign, and say, “now, at last, we look a thousand times better than Food Lion!”