A&P Logo

A&P LogoA&P Logo PNG

The logo of A&P is quite concise. The grocery supermarket decided not to experiment with its visual identity, limiting itself to a simple set of elements that made its logo recognizable. But the unique design, which manifests in small details, adds a certain zest.

A&P: Brand overview

Founded: February 17, 1859 – November 30, 2015
Founder: George Gilman, George Huntington Hartford
Montvale, New Jersey, US
A&P was a U.S. grocery supermarket chain that went bankrupt in 2015, with a chain of stores in the U.S. and Canada. The company’s full name sounds rather grandiose, The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company. But this level the company reached under the management of J. Harford and his sons (1878-1917), who created a network of 16,000 stores. And in 1859, the story began with the sale of tea and coffee by mail order (Gilman & Company), then George Gilman’s 70 stores (Great American Tea Co.). The company got its present name in 1970, gradually moving from selling tea to a wide range of products.

Meaning and History

A&P Logo History

Over the years, the company has used many different emblems, each containing the A&P symbol in different interpretations, fonts, and elements that express the company’s values and goals. But despite many updates over the years, the A&P logo is fairly consistent and concise. These are two letters with an ampersand on a rounded background.

What is A&P?

A major U.S. grocery retailer whose heyday was in the 1915s and 1975s. One of the first grocery supermarkets in the country. It ceased to exist in 2015.

1920 – 1921

A&P Logo 1920

The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company used the A&P brand for some of its products. The packages of these products featured a dark circle logo with a light-colored inscription. The designers embellished the letters with semi-circular club-like elements and complemented the “P” with two protruding spikes. The ampersand looked like a figure eight with crossed lines at the bottom. The stylish badge symbolized progressiveness, modernity, and innovation, which was important for A&P at that time.

1921 – 1925

A&P Logo 1921

This emblem appeared presumably on September 1, 1921. The company’s initials were in a white circle with a multi-layered ring frame. The letters were dark, with light outlines, and the black color was not uniform but with chaotic gray patches. The designers have balanced the thickness of all inscription elements, adhering to the Art Nouveau style, which was popular from the late 19th century until the First World War. It featured grace, organic shapes, rounded lines, and nature-inspired patterns. Such semi-circular projections and spikes, like those of the glyphs “A” and “P,” were one of the hallmarks of this design.

1925 – 1926

A&P Logo 1925

The white initials of the company were complemented by the phrase “THE SEAL OF QUALITY,” divided into two parts. The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company was one of the first in the United States to use such a seal (as early as 1906) to show customers that its food products were trustworthy. The inscription was placed in a dark circle and surrounded by a thin white ring.

1926 – 1935

The black lettering “A&P” inside a white circle with a dark outline was complemented by the phrase “ESTABLISHED 1859”. At the bottom was a rectangle with the phrase “WHERE ECONOMY RULES” reflected the company’s marketing strategy of selling products at low prices. After all, A&P was one of the first retail chains in the United States to use technological innovation to reduce the cost of goods without sacrificing quality.

1935 – 1936

A&P Logo 1935

The inner parts of the circle and rectangle became dark. The black brand name stood out only due to the wide white outlines. The year of the foundation of the company has been increased.

1936 – 1946

A&P Logo 1936

Inside the white circle were still the inscriptions “A&P” and “ESTABLISHED 1859”. But the phrase “FOOD STORES, appeared in the lower rectangle,” consisting of bold black letters without serifs.

1946 – 1953

A&P Logo 1946

The emblem looked like a copper seal. The circle had an interesting texture in the form of many concentric rings. At the same time, black shadows created a three-dimensional effect: the figure seemed to have a three-dimensional rim, and the inscription inside rises slightly above the plane. Curly glyphs were simple, elegant, and easily recognizable.

1953 – 1958

A&P Logo 1953

The designers made the logo more contrasting: they thoroughly whitened the letters and darkened the shadows inside the circle. Such changes allowed to enhance the visual depth and emphasize the effect of a metallic sheen. It seemed as if a bright light was falling on the emblem. This version appeared on April 23, 1953.

1958 – 1972

A&P Logo 1958

In July 1957, A&P customers saw the new logo. It differed from the previous one only in a smaller number of shadows and a change in the gradient. Thanks to this, the concentric rings became more distinct.

1972 – 1976

A&P Logo 1972

The founder of the company passed away. Until then, Hartford had run A&P under a partnership agreement. He had purchased the chain and turned the business over to his sons six years later at age 74.

The new management wanted to bring a note of freshness to the logo. The gloomy black background was removed, replacing it with a bright and eye-catching red. It conveyed the idea of large-scale development and distribution and the desire for importance (the Hartford Brothers had grown from their father’s 1600 store chain to 16,000 outlets, taking the lead among U.S. stores and starting the conquest of Canada).

A round red sign was visible, encouraging customers to stop by.

1976 – 2006

A&P Logo 1976

By the 1970s, A&P had many more modern competitors, and stores were losing customers. So in 1975, the owners brought in outside specialists (Booz Allen Hamilton) and updated the stores. This gave a temporary boost.

The management rebranded it. The visual sign expanded the color scheme, got rid of the circle, a symbol of completeness, and got the idea of movement.

The new emblem is a triple oval (red, orange, yellow) with the same lettering but in a modern font. The figures were arranged one after the other, consistently moving forward: orange is further than red, and yellow is further than orange. The composition symbolized the renewal of the network:

  • A passing past with an aggressive distribution policy (red).
  • The renovation of the network’s premises has become friendlier and closer to customers (orange).
  • New stores with Family Mart pharmacies (yellow).

Ampersand changed slightly and resembled a half-opened teapot, with steam coming out. It created a homely feel and was a tribute to the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company name.

The company referred to the visual sign as a “sunrise.” But the change for the better was short-lived. So Hartward’s descendants sold a stake in the company to Germany’s Tengelmann Group, specializing in retail (1981).

2006 – 2009

A&P Logo 2006

Brief improvements with the new owner ended in decline. Hoping to save the brand, the Tengelmann Group (38.5%) shared ownership of the chain with Yucaipa (27.5%). The arrival of a major shareholder was reflected in the logo.

The sunrise idea was set aside. The logo was reduced to a single red oval, a symbol of a burning desire to stay afloat and move forward. However, the saturation of color was lowered, reflecting the sell-off of assets, the reduction in the number of stores nationwide, and the shift from number one in the U.S. to number 28.

2009 – 2015

A&P Logo

In 2009, the visual mark was updated after the sale of the entire Canadian business. The logo reverted to its former round shape, hoping to replicate the heyday experienced by the Hartford family. The reduction in diameter symbolized the reduction in the number of stores. But the rich red color demonstrated the concentration of strength for the future “leap.”

However, in the country came the economic downturn, and instead of developing, A&P went bankrupt after a year (in 2010). A further change of ownership and a small movement culminated in a second bankruptcy in 2015. All stores were closed and sold.

Font and Colors

A&P Emblem

Throughout history, the company has stuck to the basic classic combinations:

  • White and black. White sugar and black tea. Honest “white” prices without big markups and a wide selection of products worldwide. A powerful, reliable company.
  • White and red. The combination was like a road sign. In the interpretation of supermarkets, he reported: “Attention, fresh and safe products.” Love for your work. Rapid development.

The first variations of the typeface used very interesting trefoil-shaped decorations on the ends of the letters. They resembled the Christian cross and foreshadowed the company’s existence for centuries, as they were considered to mark the past, the present, and the future. Another interpretation of the three semicircles is the sides of the world. The United States is washed by three oceans: the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Arctic. Two of them are crossed by ships bringing tea, coffee, and other products for the company’s stores.

A&P Symbol

Over time, the logo font became more modern. It resembled the Banda Nova XBold with unusual protrusions to the left side, indicating the company’s essential past and symbolizing a trail of forwarding motion.

A&P color codes

Maximum Red Hex color: #d71921
RGB: 215 25 33
CMYK: 0 88 85 16
Pantone: PMS Bright Red C