New: Quark logo (a 'Q' symbol with
wordmark), and a signature green
September 9, 2005; died March, 2006 (see
Story in brief:
QuarkXPress, the flagship product of this private Denver-based
company, still holds the dominant share in publication design
software but is threatened by Adobe's InDesign, and handicapped by
the dominator's traditional problem of perceived insensitivity to
the customer. So this logo change is the signal that
"honestly, we've changed!"
As acting president Linda Chase puts it, “Quark has undergone a
major transformation to become more open and customer-focused (...)
Many people don’t realize how much we’ve evolved. Our new logo and
brand will project the significance of this change to our community
around the world.”
Quark's new ad agency got the rebranding assignment. Designer Chris
Wood emphasizes the importance of "Quark Green" (Pantone 368),
saying "I was looking for something that would take Quark in a
completely new direction (...) and represent so many things that
Quark has gone through: rejuvenation, growth and rebirth."
C.E.O. - Principal owner Fred Ebrahimi; acting
president Linda Chase
Identity design - Ad agency SicolaMartin, a Young & Rubicam
Granted, the old mark was ripe for refreshment. As a
wordmark, however, it had the advantage of capitalizing on the
strength of the powerful Quark name (unique, short and
appropriately appealing). So what strategic rationale explains
the distraction of a symbol? (And then what does this 'Q,' if
that indeed is what it is, signify?)
When you can brand with your name, you have a big head start;
why waste it?
In addition, the design community has quickly noted the
pronounced similarity of the Scottish Arts Council's 'A' symbol
(compounded by Quark's similar type treatment of its wordmark).
The similarity could be completely innocent on the designer's part.
But failure to catch it can legitimately be placed at the door of
Quark's intellectual property counsel.
I would enjoy hearing the two
designers debate how the mark can be an "a" for Arts and a "q" for
Quark. Not unlike the floor wax and dessert topping product in that
it doesn't achieve either goal very well. Jerry Kuyper
Quark's new logo just shows how an old company is trying to be
something they're not anymore. Their logo is a copy -- just like
they now copy the features in InDesign, in an attempt to regain
market share. It's sad...
It's the lower-case 'a' in the typeface GIRL designed by Dirk
catalogue. Eric West
Errol Saldanha submits this
link to an excellent review of the legal and creative issues,
Gable in Creative Pro.com
Update, March 2006:
Biting the bullet, a Quark representative (quoted in Macworld Daily News)
announced that “Quark has made a commitment to be closely attuned to
its customers, and we appreciate the feedback we received from the
design community in relation to our re-branding initiative.
“We have created a new logo that is both an evolution of our visual
identity and a strong representation of the new Quark. Since the
visual identity of the company represents our renewed commitment and
focus on our customers, changing the mark to avoid any perception
of similarity enables us to further define our unique identity.
We love our new logo and we are pleased by the response it has
received from our customers and partners.”
Per Glen Turpin, Corporate Communications director, "our internal
creative team designed the new logo and we received feedback from a
variety of outside consultants throughout the design process."
Comment: While I can tolerate the button (in this
button-happy category) I, for one, am viscerally uncomfortable with
the mutilated Q.
Update again, October 2006:
The 3D button is gone, and we're back to flat graphics; an
eyeball effect remains. (Thanks to Dragos Ristici for spotting
...2001, designed by Janice Kirkpatrick at Graven Images
March, 2006 redesign:
October?, 2006 redesign: