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Home Depot Ditches Lousy Old Logo for a Spiffy New Look - Not

  • UPDATE: Ouch. Home Depot has not updated its logo. Rather, I appear to have fallen for a rather elaborate April Fool's joke by the design blog Brand New. Check out the lengths they went to here (including a fake Nascar and a fake credit card reader!). Bravo.
The Home Depot (HD) unveiled a new logo today that is a rare example of a makeover that improves on the legacy brand -- but only because its old logo, in hindsight, was so terrible.

As Starbucks, The Gap and PepsiCo's Tropicana unit all learned recently, companies screw with their logos at their peril. Logos, especially those that have been in existence for years or decades, can hold deep reservoirs of consumer loyalty and affection. Companies often don't find out how much those trademarks mean to consumers until they take them away.

Nonetheless it is hard to imagine anyone pining for the old Home Depot logo. You probably didn't give much thought to its blocky styling and its stencilled typeface (the font turns out to actually be called Stencil). But now that's it's being replaced ... ecch! What a disaster! Unreadable from a distance or when reduced to letterhead size, the lack of thought that went into it subconsciously suggested that the company didn't care much about decor -- an odd positioning for a chain whose high-margin items are about just that.

The new logo drops the "The" from the company name. Business journalists will say a silent thank-you for this; many is the time we've had to torture our copy to work in the out-of-place definitive article that no one ever used in real life.

It also follows a recent trend of making the company recognizable to non-English speakers and illiterates. You don't need to read English to know that the big white H inside an orange box is the hardware store. More and more companies are abandoning names or words in their brands in favor of pictures or graphics that translate equally well in any language or, in the developing world, for people who can't read. About $7.5 billion in Home Depot sales comes from non-U.S. countries.


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