Orchard Supply Hardware got itself a new logo and is now calling itself “Orchard” or “Orchard Supply,” depending on the version of the sign on the actual store fronts. In contrast, here is how the company’s stores used to announce themselves:
I think this logo-change is a product, or symptom, of how mainstream the “green” and “organic” movements have become. These are no longer fringe ideas and lifestyles: a great number of “mainstream” Americans of the class that can afford to shop at Orchard, I’d venture, consider themselves sympathetic to these concerns and inclined to buy organic everything-they-can. The dissent of these intertwined movements has officially been commodified* to the extent that it’s mundane and expected that people are living “green” lives. Now, marketers have decided/realized that the majority of potential consumers associate positive things with “nature.” With “traditional” farming. Even the font nee’-OSH has switched to bespeaks a kind of small-towny, family farm type-face used on crates of apples and the like.
This new logo relies on a chain of associations that consumers are expected to make upon seeing the sign. In no particular order, here are a few that came to this consumer’s mind upon first seeing the new logo: orchard-apples-farming-organic food-green living-old timey letters-Americana-main street-small towns-family farms-barn dance-fresh cut wood…the new sign is a veritable red-and-white-stripped jacket, cane-carrying, straw-hat clad carnival barker:
All this good nostalgic stuff can be found HERE, folks! Come inside and get in touch with your American roots. We sell no real food, but we DO have mulch and stuff that can grow it. And light-bulbs and ladders and–Uh…organic! Just look at the sign. Reminds you of rows of trees, doesn’t it? See, we here at Orchard are in touch with your idealistic lifestyle. Come here to turn these ideals into a reality!
Yeah, right. Does anyone else ever get tired of living in such a sham of a world?
*See “Why Johnny Can’t Dissent” by Thomas Frank. 1997. The Baffler Literary Magazine.