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…
“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 wrightanglemarketing.com
VALERIO LAURI Senior visual designer www.linkboy.it
HARRY PEARCE Partner, Pentagram www.pentagram.com