Say it ain't so Jack!

Uncategorizedon April 11th, 2009Comments Off

Jack in the Box is a west coast fast food chain. I’m based in Orange County, California and I happen to have one that is a block from my office. So yes, I go there somewhat regularly (usually after surfing) and their food has gotten significantly better over the past 10 years.

Like some other big brands, Jack in the box has just completed an overhaul of it’s visual identity.

Here’s the old logo:

Old logo

Old logo

Now here’s the new logo and adaptations:

New logo on a cup

New logo on a cup (photo: flickr user: danielgreene)

New logo on building (photo: flickr user dlassotta)

New logo on building (photo: flickr user dlassotta)

My gut feeling about this new logo is that it feels so….generic.

That’s not really a compliment.

Let’s take a look. The script text is pleasant. I keep studying the “k” in Jack to see if there is a face in there somewhere. The tail of the k definitely looks like a smile but then I run into a dead end looking for a brilliantly hidden eye – but find nothing. Maybe I’m just missing it? What ‘s strange about this is that there is no continuity from this smile (if that’s what it is) and the great brand ambassador “Jack” from the commercials. His is a smiley face smile that is very geometric. So there’s a disconnect.

Jack from TV!

Jack from TV!

The part that bothers me the most is the forced integration of the “in the box” underneath, or in some cases beside, the logo mark. It looks like an afterthought and that they struggled with a place to put it. On the building sign above they were forced to create another box (the grey box) to contain the logo and the “in the box.” So it ends up being a box within a box.

In the end, the brand has always been “Jack in the Box” and has not been abbreviated naturally by customer usage. Like how McDonalds is now Mickey D’s to some people. Jack, the commercial spokesperson, is meant to be the personification of an actual jack-in-the-box toy. Brought to life as it’s confident corporate ambassador. As wonderful and effective as this TV personality is, it will one day run out of juice and the public will grow tired of it. Like the McDonalds clown, whom we kept getting force-fed even though he’s creepy and outdated. This logo is now focusing on the personality “Jack” and away from the full name “Jack in the Box.” This feels like a logo solution that will have a short shelf life.

As usual, my 2 cents! :-)


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