“Come C What’s Inside”
Started in 1953 as a food-buying club in Seattle, WA, with 15 families participating to buy food directly from farmers and ranchers, PCC Community Markets is a food co-op — owned by its members who own an equal part of the co-op — in Seattle with more than 56,000 members and 11 locations making it the largest food co-op in the U.S.. Recently the co-op changed its name from PCC Natural Markets to PCC Community Markets — PCC, by the way, stands for Puget Consumers Co-op — and introduced a new identity designed by local firm Wexley School for Girls.
The old logo had the right ambitions and looked the part of a natural grocer but the execution existed in that bad mediocre limbo where it’s not terribly bad but trying hard to be good but isn’t. The new logo is clearly better crafted and much more expressive with a giant middle “C” that houses vintage engravings of food and animals. The larger “C” emphasizes the new “Community” name even though that middle “C” stands for “Consumers” based on the company’s original name, but I doubt many of today’s members or shoppers are aware (or care that much) what PCC stands for — visually, the “C” achieves its goal.
I like the rhythm of CONDENSED-WIDE-CONDENSED and I like how “Community Farms” fits within the “C” but it obviously works better with the vintage illustrations inside it. The hearty color palette of dark blue and orange is way better than the medicinal green and purple combo of before.
The simple applications of the logo in its type-only version and the interplay with larger illustrations are charming and enjoyable.
I wish the packaging for their private label were a little more ambitious or interesting but I can also appreciate the economy of aesthetics to not make the packaging feel too precious and like the co-op is using its money for extravagancies like over-designed coffee bags. Still, a contrasting typeface — there is such a thing as too much Brandon Grotesque — (or proper centering of the stickers) wouldn’t hurt.
The billboards have a nice dynamic going on with the large illustrations on one side, the large logo on the other, and some ho-hum copywriting in between. They look both elegant and earthy and are much nicer than 90% of the rest of the billboards so I’m sure they stand out around the city. Overall, this is a nice evolution that adds a sense of craft to the co-op and elevates the experience of shopping there.