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Albertsons logo and signs

Contributed by Stephen Coles on Oct 24th, 2014. Artwork published in
circa 1980
.
    Albertsons logo and signs 1
    Source: https://www.flickr.com Jeffrey S. on Flickr. License: All Rights Reserved.

    Albertsons, based in Boise, Idaho, is the second largest supermarket chain in the United States. The company’s corporate name was Albertson’s until 2002, when the apostrophe was removed.

    I grew up with Albertsons in Salt Lake City and was fascinated at a young age with the odd, goopy lettering in the logo. The mark is based on Art Nouveau-inspired typeface Introspect, with some minor adjustments and rounded corners. Albertsons was founded way back in 1939, but they must have adopted Introspect sometime in the early ’80s. (Here’s what an Albertson’s sign looked like in 1959 and 1978.)

    Over the years — perhaps due to repeated tracing over photocopied originals — it seems that the official wordmark has gotten increasingly soft and mishapen, the letters like gummy bears left to melt in the hot sun. Maybe they should get a copy of URW’s digital version of the font and start over.

    Introspect’s designer Phil Martin, had this to say about Introspect in his 2004 e-book Design for (a) Living:

    Which leads me to my Introspect series, probably my second best.

    I had this crazy idea, can I design a face where some of the lowercase letters touch themselves in places where they are not supposed to? A colleague said, “If you can do that you might want to name it ‘Bad Printing.’ That’s what happens in bad printing, you know.”

    I stuck with my idea and released Introspect in 1971.

    In some way that no one will ever be able to explain, the design said “food product” to package designers. I soon came to call it my supermarket face. I rarely walked down the isle of a supermarket without some package on one side or the other, flashing its product with the name set in my Introspect.

    “Buy me and eat me,” spoke Introspect throughout the food stores of America and beyond. Fulfilling for a designer, don’t you agree?

    Even today the Albertson chain of supermarkets and liquor stores carry their logo and other copy in a slightly modified version of Introspect.

    Albertsons logo and signs 2
    Source: http://idahobusinessreview.com Patrick Sweeney, Idaho Business Review. License: All Rights Reserved.
    Albertsons logo and signs 3
    © Albertsons LLC. License: All Rights Reserved.
    Albertsons logo and signs 4
    Source: https://www.facebook.com © Albertsons LLC. License: All Rights Reserved.
    Albertsons logo and signs 5
    Source: https://www.flickr.com “Navymailman” on Flickr. License: All Rights Reserved.

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    1 Comment on “Albertsons logo and signs”

    1. Eddy says:
      Jan 29th, 2018  6:24 am

      I had an annoyingly slow gas pump at an Albertsons gas station which gave me time to kill. I started looking closely at their logo on the building and realized the logo type looked like it was derived from a magic mushroom trip. As a corporate graphic designer I can’t imagine ever having the guts to submit a concept with that font today. But maybe that’s why I’m not rich and famous.

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