Co-op restructures, rebrands and revives 1968 logo

How the Co-op went back to its roots and worked with North on a new look while restructuring the business to reward its customers in a new way.

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The Co-op has rebranded, dusting off a logo from 1968 amid a major restructuring of its membership scheme.

All of the Co-op brands will be affected including Food, Funeral Care, Legal and Insurance, which will now take the Co-op name and ditch the Co-operative.

Co-op has always been a membership organisation and is the UK’s biggest mutual. A new business plan has been set out, which aims to hand back £100m a year to Co-op members by giving them 5% reward on any purchases they make on own-brand products and services. A further 1% will benefit local causes.

“A radical act”

The rebrand has been two years in the offing and was partly triggered by the new membership offer.

North has led the rebrand by creating a modernised version of the 1968 cloverleaf logo, which has been designed as a visual reminder of the company’s roots.

North partner and director Sean Perkins says: “Returning to the familiar can be a radical act, but it is the timeless quality of this iconic logo that makes such a move possible – it is distinct, recognisable, approachable, and dynamic, giving us the opportunity to signal a shift back to the ideas that made the Co-op special for its customers.”

Redrawn from archive material

It has been redrawn from archive material and a new colour scheme has been introduced to enhance the original 1968 Co-op colours, while a new typeface has been introduced to work across all print, digital and in-store touch points.

The full roll out is expected to take three-to five years as the Co-op says it wants to be prudent with its members’ money. It will also include signage, shop environments, packaging, uniforms and vehicle livery.

Seven food stores have already been rebranded and by the end of the year there 500 will have changed. In store more than 600 food products will carry the new branding.

Building in-house design team

Co-op group design director Ben Terrett leads a small in-house team and has worked with North on the project since he joined six months ago.

He says: “With the new membership offer our own brand products become more important than ever and this new look brings a simplicity and helps them stand out more.

We want all our products and services to be simple and user focused and this is an essential part of that work.

Terrett also says he wants to build a “world class design capability” in-house and is “looking to expand it”.

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Comments
  • Dominic May 30, 2016 at 9:11 am

    Shouldn’t the 1968 logo’s designer be acknowledged?

  • Chris Wood May 31, 2016 at 10:02 am

    A super logo, well worth revisiting. It comes from a time when good contemporary graphic design was starting to make its mark with the general public – remember Elf petrol? – and the fact that it was overtly ‘modern’ when it came out won’t do it any harm today. It’s not retro: it’s just a very attractive example of a well-designed corporate identity.

  • Roger Fuller December 16, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    I think I may be correct in remembering that the original logo was designed by Douglas Kelley, possibly whilst he was head of the Raymond Loewy consultancy in Paris. MAYBE before 1968. I worked for him for a couple of years in London when he relocated around 1967/8.

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