LOGOS + REBRANDS | Bye, Bye Bay; Hello Hudson
Morgan’s was purchased in 1960 by the Hudson’s Bay Company … In 1964, the stores in Ontario were converted into the new name, the Bay. At that point, the previous Morgan’s logo was replaced with a new logo with a similar design to the Bay’s logo for the Quebec stores still operating under the Morgan’s name. The Quebec stores were converted in 1972. The Morgan’s flagship store in downtown Montreal has been a Bay store ever since Morgan’s was absorbed into the Bay.
1965 – 2013 : Lippincott & Margulies
2013: Wordmark > Lipman NYC | Coat of Arms > Mark Summers
a timeline of words, pictures and history
The HBC logo has become a national icon, sustaining years of historical significance while allowing creative change to reflect new phases in the company’s saga.
The pre-1965 logo:
Pre-1965, Black Letter script represented the Hudson’s Bay Company’s identity. In a time before the digital era, this now definitive logo was one of the most commonly used. HBC developed a highly recognizable and distinguished name, transcending time and upholding a devout following.
The 1965 – 2013 logo:
A movement to modernize and an expansion into Québec motivated the next phase of branding toThe Bay in 1965. The Bay, with the B boldly emphasized, designed by Lippincott & Margulies, was part of a “folk-friendly” transformation after consumers began referring to Hudson’s Bay Company by its short-form name. The signature logo spanned more than three decades as the symbol for Canada’s longest-standing company
It was based on a calligraphed B that appeared in the headline of the original HBC charter from 1670. It read: “Charles the Second By the Grace of God”
The new, streamlined wordmark, launched in 2013:
The new, full-dress logo, launched in 2013:
Sources > Marketwire | Globe and Mail
EXCERPT > Q&A: PATRICK DICKINSON TALKS HUDSON’S BAY NEW LOGO
18 March 2013 | Kristin Laird | MARKETING
Is it your hope that people will now refer to the store as Hudson’s Bay?
There will always be a short form of Hudson’s Bay Company. Hudson’s Bay Company in and of itself is a short form of our formal title, which is The Governor and Company of Adventurers of England trading into Hudson’s Bay. I think it’s a sign of affection and a sign of comfort. I’m sure people will always call it the Bay. People call Bloomingdale’s “Bloomies” and Saks Fifth Avenue “Saks.” This is just a nicer and more contemporary piece of design to hang in our stores and on our packaging materials and our marketing, and we think it speaks to where the brand has evolved over the last couple of years.
At any point did you consider keeping it the Bay but changing the word mark/logo?
We looked at all options. I certainly felt strongly that getting back to something that was more traditional at least in terms of its roots would help people get over the fact that we were changing the logo. So the name went backwards but the logo went forwards. I think that was the best of both worlds in terms of this change.
Hudson’s Bay is known for the stripes. Are you going to incorporate colours into the word mark?
We don’t plan to. That’s not to say that at some point there might not be some novelty kind of uses where we might look to utilize the stripes, but we’ve been playing with the stripes for a long time now and looking at how they work and how they don’t work. Where it really works well is in product, where it’s going to be used subtly or as a very dominant design element. When you take those primary colours and try to wrap it into a logo or word mark, they’re pretty bright and they don’t necessarily sit well. We had stripes in the background of a simplified version of the crest and we just felt it was probably not doing service to either of those two things to mash them together.
Patrick is right – the stripes look silly in a logo application. And on shopping bags.
The Company last tinkered with its logo in 2009 when it dropped the HBC acronym and updated its original crest with stripes inspired by the iconic Hudson’s Bay blanket and coat (above).
NRDC Equity Partners, which purchased the Hudson’s Bay Co. in July 2008, tasked Toronto-based Arcade Agency, the agency designing the retailer’s Olympic apparel, with the corporate rebrand in 2008.
from Marketing (2009):
“The problem with the old logo was that no one knows what HBC meant and what that represented,” said Arcade’s creative director, Pablo Mozo. “Was it a TV station? Was it a bank?
“We figured that the branding of this company has been around since 1670, and that there was no reason to completely reinvent the wheel, since people are so familiar with the brand whether they know it or not,” he said.
The new logo uses a modernized version of the Company’s original crest, with stripes inspired by the iconic Hudson’s Bay blanket and coat, said Mozo.
Instead of running across a black background, as in the previous logo, the four emblematic colours—green, red, yellow, blue—now run across a white background, reminiscent of the cream coloured blanket and coat.
“It’s [the logo] definitely steeped in tradition, in terms of stripes and the crest, but made clean and modern to show that it’s still relevant today,” said Mozo. “It’s taking the heritage and updating it without reinventing it.”
The country’s oldest retailer is moving away from its HBC acronym and returning to the “Hudson’s Bay Co,” which now appears in a sans serif font, below the new crest.
VPL 85188 – Hudson’s Bay Co. on West Georgia at Night, 20 March 1982 Photo > Daniel O’Neill
CVA 99-4565 – Hudson’s Bay Company tea dance at the Georgian Restaurant
CVA 99-4070 – Hudson’s Bay Company – interior of store at 674 Granville Street
VPL 31061 – Hudson’s Bay Company dining room interior
New > Vancouver
I’m going to miss the old golden ribbon logo and I’m not sure that I’m going to start calling the Bay “Hudson’s Bay,” but in general designKULTUR commends the direction “Chief Adventurer” Bonnie Brooks has taken the Company. It’s all good, especially for Vancouver (love the restored windows with real views to … the outside reality!).
I also like Mark Summers’ revitalized coat of arms for the Company:
The HBC motto is “pro pelle cutem,” which may have a clever double meaning. One interpretation is that it means they wanted the skin, cutem, for the sake of the fleece, pro pelle. The other is that it means “for the pelts which we collect, we risk our skins.” They believed they were taking a risk with their money by going into the business. For the traders in Canada, the risk could even more real: weather, accidents, animals, or hostile traders could kill them. Source > canadiana.ca
The brand’s new typeface/wordmark, however, is a bit too déjà vu-ish for my taste:
My guess is that within a few years the ribbon logo will have acquired that retro-vibe thing and will join the HBC stripes as icons of good design. The Lippincott & Margulies logo served the Company for nearly half a century – it’ll be back.
And, to get the ball rolling, here are a couple of patterns from designKULTUR:
The original flag of the Hudson’s Bay Company and the new corporate logo of HBC, parent company of Hudson’s Bay (formerly The Bay), Home Outfitters and Lord & Taylor.
Brand New | Blackletter by the Bay
The Canadian Design Resource | Competing Claims
Wikipedia | Hudson’s Bay
Strategic Objectives | Hudson’s Bay Celebrates its Past, Present and Future with Modern New Logo
The Department Store Museum | Morgan’s
canada.com | Hudson’s Bay launches a new old branding: The 343-year-old department store chain no longer wants to be known as The Bay
Lippincott | “The Bay” logo from 1965
Retail Insider | Vancouver’s Hudson’s Bay Company Skylight: Hugo Boss Worthy
The Globe and Mail | Gallery: The changing look of Hudson’s Bay
Marketing | Patrick Dickinson Talks Hudson’s Bay New Logo
Marketing | Hudson’s Bay Gets New Logo (2009 version)
Marketing | High Fashion Expert Hired to Lead The Bay (2008)
About this entry
You’re currently reading “LOGOS + REBRANDS | Bye, Bye Bay; Hello Hudson,” an entry on designKULTUR
- 2013/03/24 / 13:50
- ADVERTISING, CANADIAN DESIGN, CITIES | VANCOUVER, CORPORATE IDENTITY, FASHION, GRAPHIC ARTS, LOGOLANDIA, RETAIL DESIGN, SHOPPING BAGS, TYPOGRAPHY
- Arcade Agency, Bay Days, Bonnie Brooks, Compagnie de la Baie d'Hudson, Daniel O'Neill, Georgian Restaurant, HBC, Hudson's Bay, La Baie, La Baie d'Hudson, La Baie Montréal, Lipman NYC, Lippincott & Margulies, logs, Lord & Taylor, Mark Summers, Mon Magasin Mon Style, Morgan, Morgan's, Nordstrom, Pablo Mozo, Pro Pelle Cutem, Scratch & Save, Skin for a Skin, The Bay, The Bay Vancouver, The Hudson's Bay Company, Tony Smith