If you have known me for a long time, then you know that my favorite ice cream is from Baskin Robbins. Nothing fancy. I am actually very basic. It is just that BR serves the right amount of chips on their chocolate chip ice cream with the right texture and consistency that I find very pleasing. I love that ice cream. I used to eat a pint of ice cream in one sitting and call it dinner. Those were the days!
Last week, we visited our local Baskin Robbins for our weekly treat. This time we had family in town visiting, so we sat back a little to relax and chat. But, being that designers can’t help but to analyze every visual thing in front of them, I proceeded to observe and think about the visual materials BR uses in the store.
I was particularly interested in the seemingly miss match between the look of their logo and the look and feel of their in-store promotional materials. I took some pictures. Now, I have never been a fan of BR’s logo. I find it lacking in sophistication and though I get they are trying to play up the idea of the 31 “hidden” on the BR, I feel it is a forced relationship. See below.
I would prefer seeing just the words. I understand the need for a simple lockup version using just the BR, but really, do we need to force that relationship? Or maybe just using 31 would be enough? After all, this is what they became famous for in the first place. I realize I am going against the majority here. This logo has been praised in many sites as a clever logo with hidden meaning. See some posts:
- Here is what the logo used to look like: http://www.famouslogos.us/baskin-robbins-logo/
- Here is an article titled 20 Clever Logos with Hidden Symbolism: http://twistedsifter.com/2011/08/20-clever-logos-with-hidden-symbolism/
- 21 Famous Logos with Hidden Messages: http://14clicks.com/famous-logos-hidden-message/
- 30 Famous Logos that Have A Hidden Message: http://diply.com/auntyacid/30-famous-logos-that-have-a-hidden-message/51540
“…being that designers can’t help but to analyze every visual thing in front of them, I proceeded to observe and think about the visual materials BR uses in the store.”
The thing with the logo and signature is that their treatment and style do not match their hipster posters and banners. I find these materials use typographic hierarchy and visual punctuation to create a family of posters. They look the same but in looking at them closely, one can see how they move some elements around here and there to add some variety. I think this is done very well. The posters of course, need to rely heavily on photography to sell the desserts but nonetheless, the typographic elements cleverly frame the photos. The typeface is Neutra, which is a beautiful typeface, a sans serif, looks very modern, and displays a pointy apex on the A and on the terminals. The poster looks gorgeous. The title, Pumpkin Pie nicely frames the photo and gives the poster a certain visual strength. But the logos feel out of place here. See below.
Here are other examples of the excellent use of typographic hierarchy and visual punctuation to entice the client.
But yes, in my opinion, the logo clashes with this look. You can read more on the history of Baskin Robbins here.
What are your thoughts?