Trader Joe’s supermarket chain is proud of its low prices and rich historical heritage. Its structure includes over 530 stores, many of them decorated in an exotic style and located in unusual places. For example, the outlet in Cobble Hill occupies the building of a former bank. The company is now owned by the heirs of Theodor Paul Albrecht, who bought it in 1979. Even earlier, the owner was Joseph Hardin Coulombe, the man who stood at the origins of this business.
Meaning and History
In 1957, Joe Coulombe started a project called Pronto Market. It was assumed that the stores would compete with 7-Eleven. But something went wrong, and in 1966 it was decided to liquidate them. Instead, Coulombe bought the Pronto Market brand from Rexall to completely change the concept.
As you know, at that time, there was practically no unemployment and inflation in the United States; many families lived carefreely and often traveled. The network’s new owner focused precisely on this stratum of the population, taking the popular marine theme as a basis. The name Trader Joe’s is also associated with exotic motifs because the word “Trader” has a touch of South Seas romance. It was once criticized for being confused with Trader Vic’s. And it’s not just a coincidence: Coulombe wanted his stores to be associated with popular restaurants because they were also decorated in tiki style.
Going to open the first outlet, the team of creators carried out a full-fledged work on branding. First, they looked at the list of all registered trademarks and found out that no one occupied the name Trader Joe’s Market. They could only find one Trader Joe’s in the phone book, which sold old hubcaps in a small California town.
Secondly, the entrepreneurs turned to Fred Schroeder to help make the logo. This man became famous for his signs created for the restaurant Marie Callender. Ultimately, he came up with the stylish red “TRADER JOE’S” lettering that still adorns stores today. It first appeared above the entrance to the first Trader Joe’s, which opened in 1967 in a former bottled water factory. The trading floors were full of nautical artifacts, Hawaiian music played loudly, and all the employees wore Bermuda shorts and had ship ranks.
Over time, nothing has changed – the grocery chain retained its name, visual image, and logo, although it had to modernize the interior design slightly. Perhaps it is because of this commitment to tradition that it has become more popular than Trader Vic’s. Now the word mark “TRADER JOE’S” is the only thing that decorates the shops. The brand owners thought that it looked bright and did not contain anything extra, so it does not need to be improved.
In addition to the main version of the logo, where the name of the trademark is located in one line, there is a variant with a divided inscription. In this case, the words “TRADER” and “JOE’S” are lined up in a center-aligned column. They are adjoined by two red semi-arcs (one above and the second below), which makes it seem that the text is placed against the background of the circle and divides it into two parts.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The brand’s name is styled according to the exotic motifs of the tiki culture. It is written in curly letters, so the word mark resembles signs of coastal taverns and hotels. Of course, the emblem lacks the traditional nautical symbols, but it is still associated with the islands in the Polynesian Triangle. And now, after 50 years, it is associated with quality and affordable products that are sold at Trader Joe’s.
Fred Schroeder came up with an unusual inscription for the logo when he was designing the sign. It was inspired by the tiki-style – exotic motifs, seascapes, and Aboriginal traditions. Initially, it was an individual set of glyphs. Later, based on the original text sign, a font called Road Jester appeared. Its author is Harold Lohner.
The red color of the inscription conveys the atmosphere of a cheerful holiday. The bright color attracts the attention of potential buyers.