change is not always for the better...

Hey baby, I hear the blues a-callin',
Tossed salad and scrambled eggs

city bikes is changing their logo or should I say city bikes has changed their logo

change is not always for the better

changing a corporate brand or a corporate identity?
I am neither economist, advertising agency, nor designer
I am just a guy off the street with an opinion on anything and everything
in my less than professional opinion I am not so sure that these things always work
actually... I am not so sure what they are trying to accomplish

my feeling...
the logo is the logo...
leave the logo
the logo is sacred

it took me a long while to understand the City Bikes logo
I eventually came around
now I understand it...
now I love it...
now it is changing to something I do not care for

years ago when owner Phil told me that the city scape is the view from his Adams Morgan office...
I started to look at the logo different

then another time some years ago the other city bikes owner Charlieflipped up his welding mask and referred to the old red logo as being Calder-esque
well at this moment... this logo took on new dimension for me

when Coca Cola came out with New Coke in 1985...
it did not work
they had to rethink things and return with Coke Classic
which is now just plain Coke

in the same way
I just do not see this logo change as an improvement
sure I can see that the city identifies Washington DC... but... City Bikes is an urban bicycle store
not a bicycle rental shop on the mall
the monuments and the pseudo city scape do not mean that much to the locals
these are a draw for the tourists
(I love the monuments and I ride by them nearly everyday... but... the monuments are just part of the urban landscape... but do not define the city as much as the city itself)

the new logo is soft and feminine
which is a bit of a switch from the raw feel of the original City Bikes Logo

will a change in logo boost sales?
I am not sure
if they wanted to boost sales they could have a meeting with their sales managers and tell them to sell bikes
they could have them attend seminars on sales and sales techniques
they could offer sales incentives

a few weeks ago I was at the City Bikes location in Chevy Chase
my wife lisa and my older son dean were out test riding two new bikes that we were purchasing that day
while I watched them roll around the parking lot from the front door I listened to another child comment to his father about the "city bikes picture" made of a bicycle chain hidden in the clear resin welcoming mat
I looked down and shared the word "logo" with the boy of five or 6
then the boy rephrased his comment to his father... "dad... look at the city bikes logo made out of bicycle parts"

the shop is sacrificing their corporate brand that is recognizable to so many people of so many ages all over the area
and yes....
all over the country

I prefer the old logo
I say... if you are going to change the logo... at least improve it

this new logo has a weak font... it seems feminine
the washington monuments in the cityscape... sophomoric
the color change... unnecessary

the New and Improved City Bikes Logo is attached to a shop that is neither New nor Improved
City Bikes is Tried and True
sure... any business has room for improvement
but I am not so sure that this is where the changes need to happen

I can not get that darn theme from Fraiser out of my head
hold on!
that is a different annoying theme that I can not get out of my head


Darren said...

I like the Old Logo, but it might be cause it matches my Red Bike :-)

rdeleyos said...

That's it, YOU'RE OFF DA TEAM!!!!

Surly Rider said...

I HATE the new logo. I do not LOVE the old logo as a logo per se, but I am attached to what it "means" for me. The new logo looks awful, and has no meaning in DC. It is true that the CB logo is known nationwide.

J said...

While I thought that the old logo was beginning to look a little dated, it was defintely better than the new one.

I don't mind the monumental cityscape part too much, but that new font is way too soft and really doesn't look very good (in my opinion, anyway...).


Graham said...


Maybe if the new logo were black it would be a little better.

It is simpler...and simpler is often better...but it's something about that font. I think you nailed it.

the lesters said...

Gotta say I with you on this...not such a great new logo. The typeface is not good, and you're right--there is much to be said for consistency (nevermind the fact that the old logo is just plain BETTER). Ah well.

Beakerz said...

The blue one. Definitely

gwadzilla said...

that sounds like multiple votes against blue
with one lone vote for blue

in talking with the folks on my mountain bike team
there was a general concensus that the old logo is much better than the new logo

change happens no matter what public opinion feels

Anonymous said...

the red 1 looks as tho it could be worn as a belt buckle. the blue 1 ,nah ,i don`t think so....
(for whatever it`s worth)????