As the end of 2022 approaches, it’s essentially a truism that coronavirus-inspired closures devastated many small businesses. For a brief period, the unemployment rate was as high as 14.4% (the rate in April 2020), a condition on par with the peak of the Great Recession, but it got there much more quickly this time around.
“Don’t be so humble. You’re not that great.” ~Golda Meir Ever come across a business that seemed to go out of its way to hide its presence? One that didn’t announce itself prominently from its front entrance, but instead seemed to downplay its own name, its logo, its fundamental identity? It’s hard to understand why
It should come as no surprise that a successful brand, once vindicated through repeated growth and revenue amidst expansion, should explore its opportunities in other countries. This tendency is such common knowledge that it influences global consumer culture almost unconsciously. Long gone are the days where we might have pondered, “[McDonald’s] is everywhere I go
If First Lutheran Church, the subject of my previous blog post, seemed like familiar territory, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Here the once-mighty retailer Sears Roebuck and Company—AKA Sears—for at least the tenth time. I first started featuring this retailer over a decade ago, back when Sears was a staple in most middle-tier malls. Even
Red shingled roof: even when detached from the brand, we know what it was. But why is it what it is?
Some companies embed their brand into the very architecture of their locations. Prominent ornamentations or physical features on the structures assert themselves, almost as their own logo. Sometimes they ascend in importance to become the logo. After all, the famed golden arches of McDonald’s didn’t always simply hint at the letter M atop a pole-mounted
Some animals are just more opportunistic than others. In most cases, it cannot help but serve as a survival tactic. Bears are notoriously omnivorous and remarkably clever at finding ways to access nutrients that accommodate their diverse palates. It is for this reason that many National Park must use trash cans of a durable material
As I fine-tune and finish up a much longer blog post, I wanted to fill this dry spell with some amusing content that serves as a follow-up to an unexpectedly popular blog post from about a year ago. I noted last spring the strange, recent proliferation of bumper stickers (magnets in actuality) alerting passers-by of
Amidst the broader cultural polarization and the ensuing moral panics (or perhaps the moral panics that have prompted the cultural polarization?), we’ve witnessed far more people announcing their political loyalties than in the past, often through overt displays in their front yards. While one can find these sort of signs just about anywhere in the
It’s been over a decade since I wrote about the fish, chop, and steakhouse known as Kincaid’s, a chain with a location in Carmel, Indiana (an Indianapolis suburb) that, based on my fleeting observations, was doing everything it could to downplay its very chainy-ness. And that was the point. The interior of Kincaid’s included
Coming from a family that worked in the advertising industry, I cannot help myself by focusing occasionally on the use of lettering, symbols, or other carefully positioned typographic strategies to help galvanize an advertising logo into a widely successful brand. More importantly, I can’t help but focus on the non-successes—those examples where, even if the