Direct Factory Outlets, abbreviated as DFO, is a group of discount shopping centres in Australia owned by Vicinity Centres. They are large-floor warehouse buildings containing partitioned stores where a mix of local, international and luxury fashion outlets sell excess or previous seasons’ stocks at reduced prices. Some centres also have an expanded offering comprising furniture and homeware stores. The first centre opened in 1997 and there are now five centres across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, with a sixth due to open in Perth this spring.
The original “shopping bag” logo was kind of hideous with its absurd colour palette. The letters weren’t centre-aligned within the “bags”, and for some reason the letter O was taller than the other two letters. I think the idea was that you’d “bag a bargain” at these outlets, so it looked appropriately cheap, if technically flawed. As such, it didn’t quite reflect the increasing range of luxury brands available.
More recently, a black and white version had been in use, primarily in online and digital applications. It looked a little more respectable but the issues with the letters remained.
The new logo drops the bags and the spelled-out name and focuses on those three letters that people have come to associate with discounted fashion. As before, the letters are set in a condensed sans-serif, this time with a more sleek and sophisticated appearance. I would speculate that the F has been customised to echo the curves of the other letters, and it works nicely.
A logo is one thing, but having the right support in applications is another. In posters and banners (as above), the typeface used for headlines conflicts with the logo; its size, proportions, weight and contrast are all too similar. It should be something more visually distinct, so that the differences look more like a purposeful choice.
Overall, a much-needed update that better reflects the more premium offering and looks to improve the street appeal of the centres.