What do you think about the new Belk logo? | CLT Blog
belk_bag

What do you think about the new Belk logo?

Posted on 4 Oct 2010 by Justin Ruckman

What do you think about the new Belk logo? The old scripty mark is a local staple for me, and while outdated, has a certain quirky southern class I think they could have embraced a while longer.

To me the new logo is just another generic Avant-Garde–inspired, transparent-color-based mark that if anything, robs the brand of any individuality it might hope to retain.

I’m not saying its bad, it’s definitely got some elegance to it. Just kind of … meh.

Old

New

The most visible change for the 122-year-old Belk chain will be the company logo, which will abandon its traditional script font for a new modern, all lower-case version. The last time the chain changed its logo was 43 years ago.

The new logo will begin appearing on stores next week. The Triangle will be one of four markets — with Charlotte, Birmingham and Atlanta — to see the new signs first.

Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh will be the first Belk in this area to get a new sign, which will be unveiled Oct. 12. The company’s other six local stores will receive their signs within days of the Crabtree store.

One of the things we’re trying to do is eliminate confusion,” Pollack said. “We’re trying to go market by market.”

In all, 60 of Belk’s 305 stores will receive new signs by Nov. 1, Pollack said. The company plans to add new signs to all of its stores within about a year.”

The above excerpt is from a great writeup on the change and Belk’s history by Sue Stock at the News & Observer.

Update

Thoughtful comment by StevenRocks over on Urban Planet:

The original 1968 Lippincott & Margulies-designed Belk & Leggett logos were an exceptional effort. They were distinctive, elegant, and went totally against the typical corporate logo trends of the times. The Belk font was custom designed and was rendered beautifully across multiple media. It signaled a revolution in the way Belk thought about its stores and image and served the company very well.

It’s easy to find the faults in a 42 year old logo, but at least consider the significance of what’s being criticized.

With that said, I like this new design, but to me it doesn’t say “Belk.” The logo feels kind of ‘70s. The flower is interesting, and the tagline is decent, but the logotype is a ripoff of Bloomingdale’s with a side of Macy’s with the flower positioning. It’s too “me too.” One of the posters to my Facebook page likened the flower to a logo on a feminine hygiene product.

The Belk cartouche was theirs! They owned it, and there was nothing else like it. It was especially handsome back in the Seventies when they still filled in the parts with various colors and had the bags with the overprint in all the shades. Even the “All For You” period wasn’t especially bad design-wise.

I should have known the end was coming when they cheapened the logo around the time of the Parisian takeover. That simplification ruined what was arguably their best visual identifier.

The worst part, I think, is that this is the end of Hudson Belk and Matthews Belk, the last two links to the old partner names. That’s the part that irks me the most, because their interpretations of the Belk logo were especially beautiful.”

Update

Armin Vitt of the venerable logo critique blog, Brand New, weighs in on the new Belk logo:

I don’t know what the new corsage appended to the wordmark is meant to be or represent other than a pretty looking flower kind of thing. The optimist in me wants to think that it’s a nod to the flourish in the old “B.” It does give the brand a younger, happier personality but perhaps a little too much of both? At a cost of $25 mil for all store signs, it better make the Belk brothers happy at least.”

Comments

  1. airgate 4 Oct 2010 at 10:37 AM

    I like it. And that was after looking at it for about a minute. At first glance, I didn’t like it…but it shows an evolution from where Belk was and where it needs to go in order to compete in the marketplace.

  2. rusty triebert 4 Oct 2010 at 10:39 AM

    I like it. Like the author I’ve known the original logo all my life, but it’s time for a change. The stores are not what they were when my mom would drag me through them as a child in the 50s and 60s.

    • Avatar of Justin Ruckman
      Justin Ruckman 4 Oct 2010 at 10:47 AM

      Now *that* is very true. The stores are nowhere near as cool as they used to be back when department stores like that were more relevant. So maybe the logo reflects the brand getting knocked down a few pegs?

      • tozmervo 5 Oct 2010 at 11:06 PM

        I think the new logo had a nice mod-retro feel to it, recalling when department stores used to be cool. still don’t plan to shop there anytime soon, but it at least makes Belk seem less stuffy.

  3. Andy 4 Oct 2010 at 10:47 AM

    I think it looks stupid They at least should a used a capital B.

  4. Mike 4 Oct 2010 at 10:52 AM

    That old logo was definitely due for a change but this new one is a big logo fail. Didn’t they notice how much this new logo immediately looks like a copy of the bp logo? They’re both overlapping leafy petals of semi-transparent color shades. Just bp is mostly green and belk went with light blue. And the first letter being a thin straight lowercase b isn’t helping the similarities either. I guess they were watching a lot of the gulf oil disaster on the news when they came up with this one, and who doesn’t want to be reminded of suffering pelicans when shopping for clothing. Fail.

  5. randy 4 Oct 2010 at 10:54 AM

    It’s ok, but rather plain and unassuming. As a master architectural signage fabricator, it would be cheaper to manufacture this logo compared to the previous one. But it looks a lot like the JC Penney logo. Just saying.

  6. chris 4 Oct 2010 at 11:10 AM

    at first i thought it looked vaguely familiar, then it hit me

    the B looks very much like the bloomingdales B

    innnnnnnteresting

    other than that, for some reason when i look at the new logo i think of an airline

  7. Bobby 4 Oct 2010 at 11:55 AM

    I quite like it, the old one was nice but it was beginning to look a bit dated.

  8. jennifer 4 Oct 2010 at 12:01 PM

    It looks like the bloom grocery store logo…almost exactly to me

  9. Kumar Reddy 4 Oct 2010 at 12:46 PM

    What else can I say ? I wish them good luck with the new logo. Are there any instances where changing the logo revolutionized the company.…..

  10. Joe Bauldoff 4 Oct 2010 at 12:52 PM

    I may have overlooked this somewhere in the articles, but does anyone know the firm responsible for the rebrand, or perhaps this was done internally?

    I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t over-analyze things like this [inhales deeply]. The logo does seem to only emulate the same style of so many other brands before it (as mentioned several times in the comments above), already making it feel a bit dated to me. My other reflex-opinion is that it seems as though the weight given to that nondescript organic leaf-mark undermines the potency of the Belk name, no?

    They certainly have an opportunity to gain some freshness/innovation points later on, in how they spill the brand out into their collateral, though!

  11. Jennifer 4 Oct 2010 at 3:06 PM

    I like that the logo is becoming modernized, but the icon to the left of the ‘Belk’ name is reminiscent of a grocery store logo — it doesn’t evoke a department store look to me.

  12. Roger 4 Oct 2010 at 4:40 PM

    I think the new logo will definetly be easier to identify their stores. The old logo, while having it’s own character, was not good as a sign. The new sign shows progress of an established company that needs to move it’s identity to the 21st century. All good things do change.….eventually! Bravo to the manufacturers for a job well done!

  13. Marie 4 Oct 2010 at 5:42 PM

    I do not like the new logo because the old Belk logo has CLASS and CHARACTER. I think this is a mistake to change it.

  14. Julie Dodd 4 Oct 2010 at 5:43 PM

    I am a Charlotte native, and have shopped at Belks my whole life, and have worked at Belks and think that the old logo is classy and the symbol that most southern woman have come to recognize as where we love to shop, and can expect the best clothes and great prices. The new logo is saying that Belk cares more about being modern and trendy than continuing being the place we can count on for great service, and great sales. Why change something when it ain’t broken? I say don’t do it!

  15. Diane Hendrick 4 Oct 2010 at 7:44 PM

    It has no character…It gives the impression that Belk is trying to impress a much younger crowd…How many teens and twenties spend their money at Belk (or should I type belk)? If you change your merchandise as you have your logo, I’m history!

  16. Helen Glenn 5 Oct 2010 at 2:34 AM

    Since I am a bit older, I still like the old script better. It is a landmark logo.

    • Helen Glenn 5 Oct 2010 at 2:35 AM

      I agree about the no character.

  17. adam 5 Oct 2010 at 8:56 AM

    so generic. feel like i’ve seen this treatment a million times already. give us something new!

    • ladyblink 13 Oct 2010 at 9:52 AM

      Yes, I agree. There is something so overdone or overused about it. the “modern feel” reminds me of a cold machine, not the “classy” and comfortable logo they had before.
      I like it once I see it applied on the bags, however their marketing material that I have received in the mail just looks like the old marketing photos/ads for clothes with the new logo slapped on it.
      The blue doesn’t necessarily remind me of clothing or say department store either, and its the same for the flower.
      I personally think they could have done something cool with the old logo’s “B” flourishand modernized it gradually somehow.

  18. Judy 5 Oct 2010 at 9:38 AM

    I LOVE the new sign and the updated modernization of an established, old store that literally had not kept up with the changing times — I am 57 and can remember when it seemed like everything was geared for older women & men. This is a beautiful sign, very well manufactured. In my opinion it reflects that Belk is modern — southern — & fashionable in every way! Just go check out the new Belk and you’ll see and feel the difference! I LOVE it now!!! Viva le change!!

  19. Shannon 5 Oct 2010 at 9:49 AM

    My vote is that this sign looks SUPERB and I look forward to the new fashions in a store that I have loved and shopped at for many years!! Way to go Belk — times are changing and Belk is smart enough to change with them! A new, fantastic sign is a GREAT way to catch the public’s eye & it says “Come on in Southerner’s & check out the new Belk modern, updated fashions”!
    I love it — it was way past time for a change in an old, outdated look!! Way to go Belk!!!

  20. Bobby 5 Oct 2010 at 10:49 AM

    It doesn’t have character, no, but that’s a big ask of something that was just made. Give it time.

    It does look like bloom though, but I like bloom’s logo.

  21. "Trixie" 5 Oct 2010 at 11:33 PM

    I feel like this logo looks like a lot of the other major department stores’ logos. Look at Bloomingdale’s & Macy’s typefaces — this looks almost identical! I mean, it looks cool…but no originality :-/

  22. aburtch 6 Oct 2010 at 11:44 AM

    It looks like the Microsoft MSN logo with the petals. While it’s definitely more modern than the old fashioned logo, why can’t anyone use capital letters anymore?

  23. S. 6 Oct 2010 at 12:38 PM

    Growing up with the old logo, I will sorely miss it. With that said, I welcome the change. But as Steven wrote, it will be the end of an era for Matthews-Belk and Hudson-Belk, very sad changes indeed for those staples in Gastonia and the Triangle.

  24. Kim 8 Oct 2010 at 2:37 PM

    I think it was time to update for sure .… but it reminds me of an old logo from Kotex, only blue not pink!

    • Julie Riley 25 Nov 2012 at 1:19 PM

      I so thought/saw that as well. The new has grown on me, but there will always be a certain recognizable class about the “B” in the old one .

  25. missy 9 Oct 2010 at 1:18 AM

    I work for Belk.. and let me just say, best case scenario, most people aren’t going to care what this logo looks like. I mean who cares really. I know I have already heard lots of complaints from the older customers who Belk claims to be the “most important”. I could take or leave the logo, pretty generic if you as me. Point is… really 25+ million dollars? While they are still raising the Sales per hour rate for associates and cutting out pay! If you don’t wanna pay us, use the money to update the 1985 computers your using!! Instead you get a generic blah logo. Whewho! Hope you get your $25 mil from it Belk!

  26. Jon 9 Oct 2010 at 9:20 AM

    Not sure where y’all get the “it looks like the Bloom logo” thing from. While Bloom does use lower case letters in its word mark, the logo itself couldn’t be more different.

    As for my like or dislike of the new Belk typeface and logo, well, it looks as if they ripped off Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s for the typeface; the logo, however, has kinda grown on me. The color it contains will make it stand out on otherwise bland shopping mall exteriors.

    The one thing that I do absolutely love about the change is the tag line: “Modern. Southern. Style.” Regional identity has taken a back seat for most retailers as regional brands have disappeared (Marshal Field’s, Dayton’s, Thailheimer’s, Bullocks, etc). I think it’s great Belk is embracing the fact it’s a Southern company that serves Southerners.

  27. george 9 Oct 2010 at 11:12 AM

    The new logo is terrible.
    The design to the side looks like a feminine napkin design.
    Great for tampax or Kotex but not Belk.
    Small b really.
    Southern guess that means they will always be a small southern store.
    John and Tom are looking down just shaking their heads !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. steve 9 Oct 2010 at 11:13 AM

    Not a fan !

  29. charlie 9 Oct 2010 at 11:16 AM

    Tom and John are looking down shaking there heads.

    Small letter B Really !

  30. CBCreative 10 Oct 2010 at 7:39 AM

    I don’t like the logo at all.… One, it doesn’t convey what the store is/sells… It honestly looks like a Bath Product company. Two, the letters are not balanced at all. Yes, I’m a designer, so I notice these things. And Finally, I don’t think it’s a issue to give your “brand” a facelift, but this was like giving a 90 year old the face of a 20 year old.… WAY TOO MUCH and sadly it has lost any originality.…

  31. rebecca 10 Oct 2010 at 2:18 PM

    Looks like Bloom Grocery logo. Worth the $70M cost???

  32. Brian D. Miller 10 Oct 2010 at 9:50 PM

    Bad, bad, bad idea. Companies that are sure of their identities have retained the same logo: Look at GE (pre-1900), Coca-Cola, the New York Yankees. Belk’s was a standard–shame, shame on them for the faulty notion that a new logo will bring in new customers. The 1968 logo did much to unify the stores, which previously used various signage (and that was ok, too!) Dropping the Hudson-Belk in Raleigh, NC and the Matthews-Belk in Gastonia, NC is an unforgiveable slap in the face to those local markets. I like what was said earlier–Belk’s had its own signature signage and copied no one. The new logo might spell “Belk”, but it definitely does not mean “Belk” to me–the Belk’s I cherished was a traditional institution proud of its identity. I now live in the Raleigh area and frequented Hudson-Belk; I grew up in the Gastonia area where generations of my family went to Matthews-Belk. I imagine I will still be a Belk’s customer, but I will make credit payments to “Matthews-Belk” and will stubbornly correct the receipt issued to me in the Raleigh or Gastonia store every time.

  33. Erika 12 Oct 2010 at 9:21 AM

    I don’t like it. The B was prettier the old way!
    Why waste all that money on a new logo when you could make the customers happier by lowering some of the prices.
    Belks is such an expensive place and they would get a lot more business if they would do some price changes.

  34. kyle 12 Oct 2010 at 6:58 PM

    It looks like the partrige family logo to me. It sucks bigtime

    • M. 14 Oct 2010 at 12:10 AM

      I agree with Kyle, it does suck bigtime. I hate it. I like the old, more robust and curvier design vs the newer modern, ultra skinny version. ugh

  35. DW 15 Oct 2010 at 4:13 PM

    My wife and I saw the new logo on the Belk near our house and we both commented that it looks like a discount retailer logo. If I had never been to a Belk before, it wouldn’t make me want to come in. The old style with the scripted B was much better.

  36. Margie 17 Oct 2010 at 10:46 AM

    The new logo is just awful. It looks like it was made for some discount store and not like the wonderful old Belk stores. Ofcourse Belks has changed over the years I have shopped there and they are not as clean and professional as they were in the past so this may reflect their change in attitude toward their customers. The nicest Belks I have been in lately is in Jacksonville Florida. It was like the old Belks I remembered with lots of designer clothes and lovely sales associates. Everyone of the Belks stores should copy that and they would have happy customers.

  37. Becky Fowler 19 Oct 2010 at 6:54 PM

    I do not like the new logo. It is not for us Southern Ladies. Why not leave well enough alone. The new logo looks like a discount store.

  38. Teri 24 Oct 2010 at 4:18 AM

    I do not like it. It’s cheap looking. The old logo was much more high end. But, I shopped in a Belk today and was appalled at finding 3 different womens clothing pieces that were mirror images of items I had previously seen in a Cato store for a lesser price. The labels were all that had been changed. How do I know? I own one of the blouses and a pair of the blue jeans. Cato quality in Belk. I suppose the new logo is a perfect reflection of who they have become. They are not doing a good job of making those of us who lost Parisian to them feel any better.

  39. Robert 25 Oct 2010 at 5:48 PM

    The new logo is absolutely the biggest self-inflicted disaster this great company could have inflicted upon itself, perhaps worse than any recession or even depression could cause. The people who have shopped for generations and have come to know Belk as the premier department store in the Carolinas and elsewhere, identify with the old logo, as this logo is the symbol of excellence,class,and style for the whole family at an affordable price. The Belk shopping experience for generations has been like comfort food for those who value something uniquely found only at home, i.e the Carolinas. The old logo is a huge identifier for those who seek that connection. During a recession when sales are already slumping or at least far below normal expectations, this is a very poor judgement and risky gamble on the part of Belks management. They have sought to redefine the brand with a logo that unfortunately is all too common in todays world of marketing, a bland, non-descript, computer-generated logo, designed by an advertising firm that employs young ‚bland, non-descript generation “me” individuals who most likely have never even been to a belk store and are better suited at shopping on ebay and spending their time socializing on facebook and twitter. Belk seems to have an identity crisis at a time when they should focus more on sales and other marketing techinques. You do not give up the throngs of customers that have identified with this brand logo for generations just to attract a few young computer geeks that identify with companies that have these “no personality ” generic looking logos.
    I sincerely hope that Belk did not pay more than a few dollars to have this logo designed because that is exactly how cheap this new logo looks and now belk is as generic and blah as dillards and other boring department stores. Its not too late to reverse the impending damage to your image and customer base !!!

  40. linda Bailey 8 Nov 2010 at 7:17 PM

    I love the new logo. It is modern and bright. I really like the flowers. Can you e-mail me the kind they are? I would like to use them in my background. But I really am impressed with the new logo.

  41. Ron Hyatt 9 Nov 2010 at 9:54 PM

    traveling along theres a song that were singing
    come on get happy
    a whole lot of loving is what we’ll be bringing
    we’ll make you happy
    we’ll make you happy
    we’ll make you happppyyyyyy

    Not.

    Also

    The design to the side looks like a feminine napkin design.
    Great for tampax or Kotex but not Belk.”

    That was what I was thinking, but couldn’t quite put into words.

  42. Brian Baker 25 Nov 2010 at 12:13 AM

    The old Belk logo went away for the same reason that daytime soap operas are being gradually cancelled on TV: the people that like to shop at Belk are slowly dying out and their children and grandchildren aren’t interested in shopping where Grandma and Grandpa shop for their Easter dresses and Sunday suits. Just like the women who watch soap operas are dying out and the audience is shrinking because younger women are at the office on weekday afternoons when the soaps are on TV. The previous logo was about the same age as I am (I’m 39) and thus was the only Belk logo I knew. I was so sad to see it go and the new logo makes me less likely to shop at Belk in the future. Remember how Gap changed its logo recently and so many people hated it that they switched back almost immediately? Are there enough people out there who hate the new logo enough that perhaps we can all gang up on Belk and force them to revert to the old logo?

  43. macy 30 Nov 2010 at 9:33 PM

    to me, the new logo is tacky. i get what they are trying to do, though. they are going after a younger audience and trying to fit in with the new “hip” and “modern” society. i think the old logo was simply yet classy, while this one is simple and not well thought out. the curvier logo stood out from the rest, and attracted me to the store. this new logo just looks horrible and almost looks like a walmart logo (no offense to walmart, hehe). my main point here is that they should stick to tradition, like PEPSI should have.i always preferred pepsi, but i now drink coke because of the logo change. Belk, please change your logo. and this is coming from a 15 year old, that should say something. even my friends don’t like it…there goes your audience.

    p.s.- one major part of logos and getting the consumer’s attention is memories. this may sound idiotic, but it is true. for example, many people buy coca cola only because of their memories they have as a child. they may like pepsi, but when the consumer sees that familiar logo with a certain memory, they go after it. this is the only belk logo i have known, and it is the only one i would go after. enough said.

  44. Jim 11 Dec 2010 at 8:25 PM

    What can I say? I offer the following adjectives:
    Tacky
    Boring
    Generic
    Uninspiring

  45. Jack 21 Dec 2010 at 3:14 PM

    Yah… unfortunately, whoever did this logo blatantly ripped it off from my submission to a national logo competition site from a couple years ago. Funny enough I didnt win the contest but someone saw it there. Same colors same curvatures ect.. I saw it in the mail and overlayed it on mine and it fit exactly without any change!!! Seriously who did the new belk logo?

  46. CoffeeIsMyCrack 22 Dec 2010 at 12:21 AM

    @Jack Then certainly you have this saved somewhere, no? You should post it for all to see. It’s already been “ripped off.” What’s the harm now?

  47. Zee 23 Jan 2011 at 3:46 AM

    Professional logo designer here. New logo is great. Old logo is great, but has lost its relevance.

  48. Pingback: Belk’s New B « AdArt

  49. suzzie 25 Sep 2011 at 9:56 PM

    I think that it is cheap looking. My family and I are huge shoppers of Belk and i can assure you that the quality of the store in general has gone down.… It makes us sad becuase it used to be so classy when it was still Parisians. Thats when we stared shopping there, when the store changed to Belk. But the no look of the sign is also less classy. It looks awful. I have started to shop at other stores. So this should not bother me anyways.

  50. Art Minded 22 Apr 2014 at 3:04 PM

    I agree it was due for a change but it looks like the bp logo and the bloomingdale’s combined. Even with the redesigned font. It doesn’t look like a a department store logo. I’ve been doing design work for years and I could have come up with something a lot more creative than that. It’s way too generic and boring. Of course marketing geniuses always ruin a graphic designers great ideass.…..