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New JCPenney logo designed by student

UPDATE: See the new JCPenney logo introduced January 2012.

If you watched the Oscars, you might have noticed a new logo in the commercials for JCPenney. But you probably didn’t—it looks darn similar the old logo.

Here’s the new JCPenney (or, I beg your pardon, jcpenney) logo:
New JCPenney Logo

And here’s the old logo for comparison:

The old logo is very ’80s—it reminds me of the Twin Pines Mall. The new logo solves this problem with as little effort as possible. It’s an update, but it’s still set in red Helvetica, and will be recognizable to everybody familiar with the old logo. It’s a shame they didn’t try for something more radical, but we’re talking about Penney’s—they play it safe. The biggest change is the introduction of a knock-out box and the banishment of capital letters. Copy editors take note: It’s jcpenney, not JCPenney. Annoying, right? (The formal name of the company remains J. C. Penney Company, Inc.)

It’s worth noting that the logo was selected as part of a contest, and the winner was a student. Per a press release:

Participants included the Company’s associates, several design agencies and two art schools – University of Cincinnati and Rhode Island School of Design – that collectively submitted over 200 designs for consideration. The winning design was provided by Luke Langhus, a third-year graphic design student at the University of Cincinnati, who chose to reintroduce jcpenney’s iconic red box – a symbol he has long associated with the national retailer.

Congrats, Luke!

Typically a brand of jcpenney’s size would hire a design firm to do this work rather than inviting submissions from students. It’s tempting to accuse them of pinching pennies (see what I did there?), but it’s unlikely this move saved them much money. When you have as many retail locations as jcpenney does, there is no cheap way to rebadge. Think of all the signs they’ll have to replace.

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Related post: New NBC Universal Logo eliminates space

— By Daryl Lang. Filed under Logos

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