The strategic considerations are obvious: The long established individual names will remain (temporarily?), but will step back behind a common, rather neutral brand, which, although not exactly brand new, is at least a little younger than the two big Ks. It remains to be seen whether »Galeria« with its 90s charm is the best possible choice for a German department store group of the future, but the name is there and already quite well established, so it was a comprehensible decision – because a new name development would of course have been additionally expensive. At least not a completely artificial name like once Arcandor.
In the long term, it will probably result in Karstadt and Kaufhof disappearing from the logo, at least officially, even though both names will probably live on in everyday language for a long time. The current name construct »Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof«, on the other hand, will naturally never find its way into our vocabulary in the first place. The merger of the two established brand colors is also understandable according to a »best of both worlds« logic, as neither of the two parties (and their workforces!) should feel cheated and a certain continuity should be expressed.
From a design point of view, one has to assess that probably only a compromise was possible here in which much – perhaps too much – had to be reconciled. A real signal for the start of a new era looks different. The preservation of the two colors is understandable on the one hand, but ultimately backward-looking, especially since gradients naturally also pose production-related challenges. The idea of the shopping bag handle – unmistakably close to the DER tourism logo – is a social anachronism, since on the one hand plastic bags are ostracized and on the other hand younger customers in particular probably associate shopping in the age of online commerce more with boxes than with shopping bags. Typographically, the word mark is somewhat unbalanced because a special characteristic is found only in two (G and R) of the seven letters and is even completely missing in the subline with the two original brands. All in all, it also appears somewhat heavy and not as elegant as the name supposedly suggests, even though relatively strong capitals are very much in vogue in the fashion world at the moment.
Author: Sebastian Becker
Published (in German) by Horizont/horizont.net, Friday, 29 March 2019
Truffle Bay is an owner-managed, integrated strategic brand consulting and design agency based in Munich. With clarity and creativity we help ambitious companies and entrepreneurs to discover, define, design and bring to life their unique identity – to create strong brands as the compass and catalyst of entrepreneurial change processes as well as attractive and differentiating brand experiences to win and retain customers and employees.
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