Rolling out the blue carpet

New logo for Carpet Court

Carpet Court logo before and after
Logo before and after

Carpet Court, founded in 1973, is Australia’s largest flooring and blinds specialist with over 200 locally owned and operated stores nationwide. It sells – and installs – carpets, blinds, rugs and tiles, as well as timber, hybrid, laminate, vinyl and bamboo floorings, in a wide range of colour and finish options. The company regularly aligns with popular Australian renovation shows like The Block and House Rules to position itself in the minds of renovators, DIYers and home owners across the country. (Bloomberg)

Old Carpet Court logo
Old logo

A critique of the old logo is as much a critique of Gill Sans, the typeface in which it is set. Gill Sans was created in the 1920s, when sans-serifs were just beginning to become popular, and has since been described as “the Helvetica of England“. Its design was an attempt to bring the style, craft and legibility of classical Roman letterforms to the sans serif genre. Gill Sans emulated features of these letterforms designed for maximum decorative effect, such as the extended leg of the R. While charming in lighter weights, as in FLOORING CENTRES, it looked clumsier as letters got podgier, as in CARPET COURT.

Other elements such as the drop shadow and yellow line were not particularly necessary, but nor were they particularly intrusive. In fact, I think the main problem with the logo was not its details, but that there were no other variants. It was always set against that blue background in applications, whether it was on the website, brochures or store signs, and the words were never stacked. While this made it more recognisable, it wasn’t able to adapt very well in contexts that demanded a shorthand version, such as icons and circular profile pictures. By 2019, the old logo was looking rather antiquated and reeked of that old carpet store smell.

New Carpet Court logo
New logo

The new logo is bare-bones in comparison; no more drop shadows or descriptors or persistent background fills. It is set in Brother 1816, a typeface which mixes geometric architecture with humanistic style. Details such as the vertical terminals of the uppercase C allude to Roman type, as did Gill Sans before it, while features like the pointed apex of the A have art deco influences. But the face avoids appearing overly classical by exhibiting more contemporary stylistic choices in other letterforms; the R here, unlike Gill Sans, has a rather compact leg to use space economically.

I’m still not a fan of the blue that’s been carried over from the old logo, but given that it’s already splashed all over the stores, it’s easier – and probably makes financial sense – to work with the existing store environments rather than completely revamp all 200 of them. Overall, a fine and much needed update that at last sweeps the old logo under the carpet.