Back in 2012, JCPenney’s (former) CEO made a dramatic shift toward rebranding the company as “jcp” and took a bold step toward minimalism on behalf of God-fearing Americans everywhere:
This same CEO had crazy ideas like “Maybe we should just stick to one price and not pretend to have sales every week,” an insanity that was clearly doomed to fail. When he left, the Powers That Be decided this new design went too far and scrapped it for something more familiar:
Today, I’d like to consider a radical idea. What if JCPenney’s move toward patriotic minimalism didn’t go too far enough? It’s time to take this highway to the danger zone.
Nothing Costs a Penney!
My core problem with the un-rebranding is that the original move to “jcp” just makes sense. I’ve been to the store, and literally nothing costs a penny. Now, you may be thinking: “Wait, isn’t Penney some guy’s last name?” I understand your confusion, so let’s review the facts.
You have to remember that JCPenney was founded during the gold rush to sell comfortable-but-durable St. John’s Bay® polo shirts to miners. In those old-timey days, they added e’s to everything. Old was “olde”, a penny was a “penney”, and the letter Y was spelled “ye”, as in “ye olde penney” (which literally translates to “Why, old penny?”). When the Great Depression arrived and the cost of vowels skyrocketed, this spelling convention fell into disuse.
Here’s my question – why include the “p” at all? It’s time to take this all the way and just be “jc”. It doesn’t hurt that a certain deity’s only child conveniently shares those initials. Look, I’m not saying that Jesus actually shops at JCPenney, but if people choose to believe that, who are we to argue?
Maybe the whole American flag part is a little too obvious. Plus, that big white space in the middle just doesn’t work for me. Let’s weave our national pride into the brand a bit more subtlely. How about we abstract it a touch more:
Remember when I said the original rebrand didn’t go far enough, and then I went and did the opposite? You do, because it was like 15 seconds ago? Crap. It’s a bit uninspired, so let’s get a little more America in there:
That’s better, but the squares just aren’t working for me. Plus, if I end this post now, what will become of my legacy?
Aye Aye, Captain!
Let’s lose the rectangular flag notion altogether and take this to its natural conclusion. First, we’ll convert it to concentric circles:
I think any fan of the Marvel Universe can see where this is going…
I can almost taste the marketing crossovers – Thor: The Dark Khakis, Cast Iron Man Cookware, Nick Fury 800-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets. Ok, I kind of ran out of steam on that last one.
You’re welcome, JC. Just remember: with great logos comes great responsibility.