Still a Good Neighbor, State Farm Updates Its Logo
December 17, 2011
Source: STUART ELLIOTT, NY Times
The new logo, which will be introduced Jan. 1.
The current State Farm logo.One of the most familiar brand logos, unchanged since 1953, is getting a new look in the new year.
State Farm plans to introduce on Jan. 1 a refreshed version of its venerable logo, intended to give it a more contemporary appearance that will be easier to spot in digital, mobile and social media.
The new logo is also meant to signal that State Farm has expanded beyond its traditional realm of selling insurance.
The redesign is to be unveiled on Thursday afternoon by State Farm executives in Bloomington, Ill. The new logo was designed by a corporate and brand identity consultancy in New York, Chermayeff & Geismar.
The new State Farm logo keeps the basic design of the current one. This is not one of those changes when a vintage logo is replaced by a radically different version centered on some strange symbol like a glyph. And State Farm is sticking with its longtime ad slogan, "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there," with the accompanying jingle, updated in some commercials that are aimed at younger consumers
The current logo features a pyramid of three ovals, each labeled with a type of insurance sold by State Farm: "auto" on the top and "life" and "fire" underneath. Those three ovals are inside a box with the words "State Farm" at the top and "Insurance" at the bottom.
In the new logo, the box is gone, as are the words "State Farm Insurance." The three ovals remain, but they are larger and there are no words inside them.
"Auto, life and fire are still the big offerings from State Farm," Pam El, marketing vice president at State Farm, said in a phone interview Thursday morning as she offered a preview of the redesigned logo. "But we now have a bank; we sell mutual funds and securities. This allows us to talk to our customers about a broad range of services."
The similarity between the current and new logos is intentional, she added, because "we've refreshed our logo, not reinvented it."
The goal is to retain the high recognition of the State Farm logo that exists among consumers, Ms. El said, but present it again, "particularly in this mobile and digital world."
The new logo will appear on Jan. 1 on various Web sites, including the company's own, she said, adding that it would be introduced to the general public via numerous television commercials that day during programs like football games.
The new logo will also be provided to State Farm's 18,000 agents in the United States and Canada, Ms. El said, who will begin changing their materials in the first quarter.
"It's a great time to refresh our look," she added, because 2012 will be the 90th anniversary of State Farm.
The current logo was produced by a Chicago design studio named Whitaker Guernsey, according to Joe Strupek, assistant vice president for public affairs at State Farm.
In 2007, the words "State Farm" in large letters were added to the 1953 brand logo. The State Farm name will remain in the new logo, which makes sense since the words "State Farm Insurance" are disappearing.
Asked about the cost of the redesign and the ensuing replacement of current logos with new ones, Mr. Strupek and Ms. El declined to be specific. Mr. Strupek said, "We look at it as a strategic investment."
At Chermayeff & Geismar, State Farm worked with Ivan Chermayeff, Tom Geismar and Sagi Haviv.
The State Farm logo has long played a role in the brand's advertising. In TV commercials of the 1960s, a car horn honked three times to signify the auto, life and fire insurance sold by the company as a jingle informed viewers that they could save "10 dollars, 20 dollars, 30 or more on car insurance, for careful drivers."
How times have changed.
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