As a graphic designer, I can’t help but cringe at the onslaught of criticism that The Hershey Company is facing after unveiling a new, minimalist logo this week. One of our favorite design blogs, Brand New, covered the global confectionery powerhouse’s new corporate identity.
Designed by Hershey Global Design led by Ron Burrage, Sr. Director Global Head of Design and Cincinnati, OH-based goDutch with a custom font by New York, NY-based Alexander Design Associates, the new system is centered around a new logotype paired with a modern take on its iconic Kiss candy as complimentary icon.
“Our guiding principle during the design and development process was to stay true to the rich Hershey legacy, while at the same time, signaling the company’s evolution from a predominately U.S. chocolate maker to a global confection and snack company,” says the Hershey design team, according to Brand New. “Central to the visual identity system is the new logo – built upon the globally recognized HERSHEY logotype used on its famous Hershey’s chocolate bar and a fresh and modern interpretation of the beloved KISSES icon.”
Personally, I love the new look for the logotype with beautiful typographic treatment (as Brand New points out: the negative space between the “R” and “S” is quite elegant), and the choice to drop the bevel effects on the letters creates a flat web-graphics look that reflects an ongoing graphic design trend toward minimalism that I appreciate.
So, can you guess the sources of the controversy? The design community and public alike are weighing in on the resemblance of Hershey’s Kiss to the shape of another familiar cultural symbol…
On second thought, the new Hershey Kiss logo *does* kinda look like a steaming pile of.. pic.twitter.com/wI78Bz10rP
— The Logo Factory (@TheLogoFactory) August 28, 2014
I’ll never look at Kisses the same way again! As a designer, you have to be prepared for criticism for your work (and corporate logos always seem to be an easy target), and I wonder whether these designers anticipated the ridicule of their new logo. While you can build a case for the design decisions that went into the creation of the iconic Kiss mark, you can’t overlook powerful cultural symbols that influence the general public’s opinion of your brand (like poo, for example). When placed in context of actual business systems– packaging, stationery, the company’s website – you hardly notice anything but Hershey’s sweet delectables.
See more photos of the company’s new brand identity applied across various mediums below: