The new logo, designed
by Landor, tries mightily to integrate two disparate
commercial images. Kinko’s old logo didn’t
have enough structural similarity to its new parent’s
identity, so FedEx had to start fresh.
Several noteworthy touchstones can be found in
the graphic element. The use of existing FedEx
colors for the new icon nicely ties the parent
company’s numerous services into Kinko’s
visual presence. The light blue continues the
FedEx trend of introducing muted secondary tones
to complement its trademark purple. Most importantly,
the star contains in it a right-facing purple
triangle—a delightful nod to the allusive
arrow in the original FedEx logo.
Simplifying the word “Kinko’s”
to a thin sans-serif font is FedEx’s way
of maintaining the brand name without encroaching
on the master identity. Putting “Kinko’s”
in the FedEx font would detract from the main
logo, while keeping the original would not mesh
as smoothly. FedEx clearly wants people to associate
Kinko’s stores with FedEx, but it wants
to maintain the brand equity of the chain it bought.
Yahoo! performed a similar logo revision when
it pulled Hotjobs into its master brand (see before
and after ).
The new FedEx Kinko’s logo is not without
critique. There is no apparent justification for
the use of a sans-serif font for the additional
text while the text add-ons to other FedEx logos
(Freight, Ground, and so forth) use a serif one.
Perhaps the old font can’t sit full-size
next to the master brand, but the continuity is
lost. The light blue in the icon represents one
equal portion of FedEx as a whole, but it doesn’t
seem to play a strong-enough role in defining
the image as Kinko’s. And the asterisk (is
that what it’s supposed to be?) doesn’t
ring true as iconography: no other FedEx logo
has a dingbat to call its own, so why does Kinko’s?
Still, the design succeeds far more than it fails.
A quote from the FedEx brand FAQ sums up the initiative
The icon represents the collection of the three
kinds of FedEx services available at these locations—orange
for global express shipping, green for ground
shipping, and blue for the new retail business
service centers. At the heart of the icon is purple,
which is shared by all FedEx companies.”
Without a doubt, the new logo serves its purpose,
and serves it well.
By David Wertheimer