Dick Smith Rebranding

Dick Smith recently changed their identity and branding, going from a dated logo that relied on the founder himself, to a more modern and streamlined logo.

Dick Smith

Quoted from You Don’t Know Dick on Brand New:

Given that the literal image of its founder was so central to the branding for Dick Smith Electronics, the choice to remove his grinning, omniscient head is a little strange. Admittedly, the old logo looked a little dated and cheap, but this newer logo, while more contemporary, seems unresolved. The typography is unbalanced, and even though I can see the idea behind the speech bubble “d” working well, it doesn’t fit with the rest of the typeface—it feels a lot thinner, particularly when compared with the ascenders of the other letters. The difference in sizes across the counter forms creates a logotype that feels unfinished. The use of what looks like an unmodified version of The Sans, combined with stacking it under “Smith” only serves to unbalance the logo even further. And what is going on with that “s”? The type does express the technology angle of the store well, but the tag line is just too questionable; I keep getting stuck on how I’m meant to pronounce it. It appears as though the tag line was crafted before the logo, and that the designer was told to integrate their design with it.

In spite of these criticisms, I think the redesign makes sense — the company has appeared dated for a long time and was overdue for an update — though I can’t help but feel that some of the qualities that made Dick Smith unique have been lost.

The text below is quoted from A Missed Design Opportunity for the Dick Smith Brand on Truly Deeply.

That a brand could throw away it’s heritage and a true personality and mentor to the brand, amazed me. I understand he is no longer associated with the company and there may be some issue with using his face, but throwing out an Australian Living Treasure just seems irresponsible.

My real pain comes from the missed opportunity to use those iconic glasses – how on earth could they miss it! The opportunity to ‘reframe’ the brand yet keep the heritage, own a visual device that across the world is a cue for intelligent, cultural, alternative and technically adept. Everyone who wears the glasses becomes a clever Dick! Never mind talking to the Techxperts, Talk to Dick!

What do you think?  I know I would have liked to see those big black glasses used in the rebranding, but I do like the new look regardless.


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Jen Leheny

Hello! I'm the owner, blogger, designer, photographer, maker at Red Instead in Canberra, Australia. I also have a photo portfolio at Jen Leheny Photography and there's some work info at jenleheny.com. I like to design and make things in my spare time, which I sell at the Red Instead Shop and at Trove Canberra. And in my other spare time, I rollerskate!