Yesterday’s Brands, Today: Part two of four
This week, our designer has taken on two of the UK’s most recognisable high-street stores of eras past: Happy Shopper and Rumbelows. Looking back, the pair were far from chic in terms of branding, but we’ve done our best to drag these two brilliant businesses of Blighty into the present day.
The inimitable Happy Shopper was a brand of local convenience stores based on its own product lines, which popped up across the country back in the 1970s and 80s. While its in-store goods are still circulating in a number of corner shops on a much smaller scale, the branding is now completely unrecognisable, and the name is nowhere near as prominent as it was in its heyday. Looking back, it may be for good reason.
The bright orange and yellow corner shops of old combined with chunky Cooper Black-style typeface and a thick brown drop shadow to merge three garish hues, but at least you didn’t confuse the brand for something else. To top it off, a blond-haired boy with piercing eyes communicated the shop’s titular happiness.
To return the brand to its roots, our designer first ensured that the colour palette would remain – though in not too bold a manner. As you can see from the new colours, they have been toned down to match a softer modern palette favoured today.
Our new brand complements the original smiling face of the old logo, but with a newer, smarter typeface and a more symmetrical shape, save for the character’s time-old quiff. The old face was just a little too close to that of Jack Nicholson’s Joker; the red lips are now a thing of the past, as the new mouth can work with just one colour.
The designer’s top priority was to make sure the emblem worked across a wide range of food and drinks packaging, and now the Happy Shopper face can be used without the logotype on anything from bags and bottle caps, as well as online as a company avatar or app icon.
Rumbelows, unlike Happy Shopper, was quite simple in its approach with its logo back in the 1970s and 80s, though it too didn’t age well. This electrical retailer, which once rivalled Currys, Dixons and Comet on the high street (but, incredibly, never posted an annual profit throughout its history), was better remembered for its memorable TV campaigns and slogans such as “Don’t pay any more, Mrs Moore”.
Rumbelows’ previous brand consisted of a button-style layout, with each letter of the logotype corresponding in alignment to icons commonly used on white goods and electricals of the day. Some were more recognisable, such as play and stop, while others now look more like icons used to decipher a code in Tomb Raider II.
For the rebrand, the first port of call was to adopt a new typeface. Using the recognisable Gill Sans – best known for its use in retro train posters from British Railways – the new marque feels at home in the modern era and reflects the simplicity of today’s most up-to-date technology and appliances.
This new logo removes almost all of the outdated appliance-related iconography apart from one: power, a universally-understood icon that’s still used today on pretty much every one of the world’s most popular devices.
A modern palette was chosen to coincide with our fresh approach, and the power symbol was directly included in the word “Rumbelows” to represent how technology and appliances have become a central part of daily life.
This direction also allows the power symbol to be used as a standalone emblem, making it ideal for use in digital applications and websites – and hopefully reminding people of the company when they’re turning other devices on and off.
In this concept for Rumbelows’ new online store, our mobile-friendly shop uses a vibrant colour palette. App iconography would appear throughout the site, and the power symbol is always legible no matter the size.
As a nod to the brand of old, Rumbelows’ classic iconography approach could also be used to promote more fun promotional materials, packaging or sale items. Naturally, we would have to update the iconography to coincide with more modern or recognisable symbols of today, such as cloud computing or WiFi.
Is this the treatment that Happy Shopper and Rumbelows deserve? Share your thought with us here, or via our Facebook and Twitter accounts!