Art Imitating Life

Recently, a friend and I were trying to think of the most successful company using a “bad” logo. After a lot of debate, we settled on Sysco, which – if you are not familiar – is a company that provides wholesale food products to restaurants and other food-serving facilities, such as hospitals, etc. As seen in the image above, this chunky, rather generic logo, includes two elements: a) the letters of the word “Sysco” deformed to create the shape of a box, and b) a terrible, serifed, all-caps, font which reads the name of the company.

And then it occurred to me. This isn’t a bad logo. It’s the perfect logo for this company. After all, Sysco provides boxed food “products” to establishments that aren’t concerned with Michelin stars or local farms; these are places that are merely attempting to feed the masses. So, the generic logo represents the generic product. A perfect match, even if it’s inadvertent.

A few months later, Sysco would update their logo to this:

The new logo, an attempt to brighten and freshen their image, is certainly cleaner and more contemporary. But if the products haven’t changed, can we really say that this logo is a better fit?

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