Attack of the quotation marks
Price Attack (est. 1986) is a professional hair care retailer with over 75 stores in Australia which also double as salons. It offers hair care products, straighteners, other electrical products and hair colours; and services such as cuts, colouring, styling, extensions and beauty treatments. The company also provides franchising options and gift certificates. In addition, it sells its products online. (Bloomberg)
The new logo is part of a rebrand which it has undertaken to “stay competitive” in the hair and beauty industry.
The old logo was conceived in 2009, and this is what it replaced. It introduced a “PA” mark with the idea that the words “Price Attack” would be phased out over time. While those two letters were the foundation, the mark was abstract enough that you didn’t read it as such. I, personally, likened the twisty shapes to those hair colour samples you might find in salons – probably not the inspiration for the mark but a relevant connection nonetheless.
In fact, the letters appear to have been designed to look like curly quotation marks, as they were split apart and used to bookend headlines and phrases on various applications (in-store example here). It was a cheap way to increase the logo’s exposure, but it was odd to see phrases set off with these faux quotation marks (fauxtation marks?) when it wouldn’t be appropriate in regular usage.
The typeface for the name was Co, a cutesy sans with a soft, organic look that was warm and welcoming. The design of the stroke terminals echoed the curves in the mark and provided an individuality that made it easily recognisable in branded materials. Lastly, the choice of the pinky-red colour was striking and a suitable fit for the retailer which serves a predominantly female clientele.
The new logo retains the type but this time switches on the ligature for “tt” (which neither adds to nor takes away from the logo). The “PA” mark – if you can still call it that – is now unambiguously a pair of quotation marks, however I still don’t have any clarity as to why quotation marks are relevant to the brand. They surely can’t just be a space filler in applications. The new mark is not particularly unique in design and I don’t think it can carry the brand as well when devoid of the accompanying type.
On a positive note, the size relationship between the mark and the type is more appropriate and the more sophisticated colour palette of black and white (supplemented by a yellowy copper in communications) better supports the professional image that the retailer has developed over time. Overall, a passable update.