An "A" for effort
Amart Furniture (formerly Super Amart) is a chain of furniture, bedding and outdoor retailers in Australia. It was founded in Brisbane, Queensland in 1970 and has a network of 53 stores nationwide. They offer everything from dining tables to beds, outdoor settings, storage, homewares, lounges, sofas and office furniture.
Amart’s products are at the cheaper end of the market, and their closest competitors would probably be Fantastic Furniture and IKEA. The company revealed a new name and logo by Next Thursday as part of a recent boost to its promotional activities.
When I see or hear “Amart”, I can’t help but think of Kmart, the discount department store, which, funnily enough, was founded only a year prior. (Fun fact: “Super Kmart” was actually a thing back in the 80s.) It’s a pertinent association, given that both chains sell products at low prices. Just like Kmart, too, the old Super Amart logo had an oversized initial letter. But rather than being stylised like Kmart’s, it was simply scaled-up in the same font as the other letters, exaggerating the difference in stroke widths between the two parts. The word also had a unicase thing going on with that “M/m”, but it was consistent with the squareness of the other letters so as not to be jarring. Additionally, the letters were too close together for comfort.
The word “SUPER” looked like it was an afterthought, set plainly above “AMART” and potentially causing the logo to read as “AMART SUPER” to the uninitiated. The dark blue holding shape which followed the angles of “AMART” then created an uncomfortable void in the top-right of the logo, and I wonder if that could have been alleviated by simply upsizing “SUPER” to better fill that space.
In a way, the old logo kind of looked like a sticker, like something I might have seen stuck on a plastic patio chair. It succeeded in having an el-cheapo feel, so given the brand’s positioning, it wasn’t far off the mark.
The new logo sheds the holding shape and features a new sans-serif typeface. The letters have subtle rounded corners and the words are now in title case for a friendlier feel.
There must be some equity in the enlarged “A” as it makes a return here. Its stroke widths aren’t quite the same as the other letters but the difference isn’t as ridiculous as before. Thought has been given, though, to the crossbar of the “A”, which lines up with the baseline of the subsequent letters. The drop shadow also adds some interesting depth to the word.
As I can’t identify the typeface, I’m not sure if the lowercase “a” should have an open counter by default. It could make the name come across as “Amort” from a distance, but I think the man on the street is discerning enough to read it correctly. I’m just a stickler for readability.
The word “Furniture” looks fine; it’s a good size, its slant matches that of “Amart”, and the left edge of the “F” lines up with the middle stem of the “m” above it. The colours of the logo are also fine, remaining almost exactly the same as before.
Overall, this is a good refresh which shows restraint and consideration for alignment and proportion. Plus, by removing “Super” and adding “Furniture” to the name, the company feels less like a supermarket or warehouse and more like a serious contender for your household furniture dollars.