Three cre­atives give opin­ions on John Lewis’ uni­fi­ca­tion with Waitrose

In a bid for uni­fi­ca­tion, Pen­ta­gram has re­branded the John Lewis Part­ner­ship and its sub­sidiaries. Three cre­atives weigh in…

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“The new ‘Bran­d­lines’ lo­go­type is in­spired by an orig­i­nal Peter Hatch pat­tern cre­ated for the John Lewis Part­ner­ship in the 1960s. Ap­plied across both this wider par­ent brand and its two trad­ing brand iden­ti­ties of John Lewis and Waitrose, vari­ants of the logo can be used de­pend­ing on the de­sired ap­pli­ca­tion.

The pat­tern can be in­te­grated and soft­ened with prod­uct im­agery through blur­ring, giv­ing an im­pres­sion of depth and di­men­sion­al­ity in film. Colour can then also be in­tro­duced to the pat­tern where nec­es­sary, en­hanc­ing the sense of prod­uct in­te­gra­tion.

The re­sult is a flex­i­ble and dis­tinc­tive visual lan­guage that re­lays the full spec­trum of ac­tiv­ity as­so­ci­ated with each of the Part­ner­ship’s re­tail busi­nesses both sep­a­rately and to­gether. To sum up, we have de­vel­oped a ty­po­graph­i­cally con­fi­dent style that will be used in tan­dem with the pat­terns to cre­ate im­pact­ful cam­paigns for all three brands.” “The new brand is slick and stylish, with plenty of crisp lines and strong con­trasts. For me, it’s the flat colours and bold lines that en­sures that the brand­ing can stand out from the crowd.

The lines and colour pal­ette nicely cover all the part­ners un­der the John Lewis

Part­ner­ship brand um­brella, but al­lows for enough va­ri­ety for the part­ners iden­ti­ties to still shine through in­di­vid­u­ally. The black and white con­trast for John Lewis al­lows their prod­ucts to pop through the brand, and the green for Waitrose evokes the high qual­ity of their food. For ac­ces­si­bil­ity the cap­i­tals are harder to read, and I feel like I’m be­ing shouted at. But I do like the font, par­tic­u­larly the round O and the way in which the straight lines fit with the bar­code ef­fect of the pat­tern.

The pat­tern and colours have been in­spired by the his­tory of the com­pany, and Pen­ta­gram have brought it right up to mod­ern day with a flex­i­ble yet con­sis­tent new iden­tity.” “The so­lu­tion made by Pen­ta­gram for John Lewis and Waitrose is well done for sure, but from my view­point it lacks cre­ativ­ity.

In all fair­ness, the chal­lenge they faced was pretty hard: to em­bed two of the most recog­nis­able English brands within one unique and con­sis­tent new visual iden­tity.

The out­put is a mod­u­lar and clean so­lu­tion but I feel both brands have ex­pe­ri­enced a loss of char­ac­ter, es­pe­cially on the Waitrose side, which now looks more like a fash­ion re­tailer. And in­deed, in a ref­er­ence to the com­pany’s her­itage, the re­design works around the line pat­tern, a nod to founder John Lewis’ ini­tial be­gin­nings in hab­er­dash­ery.

My sen­ti­ment can be per­fectly summed up by adam&eveDDB’s cam­paign launch spot. Christ­massy event, kids, the usual cosy and emo­tional John Lewis stuff you ex­pect. It’s a classic ex­am­ple of high-level visual iden­tity that doesn’t want to dare too much…”

RE­BECCA MCAUSLAND-HEALEY So­cial me­dia, Wright An­gle wrigh­tan­gle­mar­ket­

VALERIO LAURI Se­nior visual de­signer

HARRY PEARCE Part­ner, Pen­ta­gram www.pen­ta­

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