Good Design: New Winners storefront


Winners, Before and After

Winners and HomeSense have suffered from a lot of bad press lately, due to a security breach in January 2007 that resulted in the theft of millions of customers credit card numbers. Perhaps in response to their steadily worsening image, the fashion + décor duo have unveiled a brand new set of logos and store designs. While the overhaul might not restore the stolen identities of their customers, the company has done a great job reclaiming their own identity.

What is the new logo doing right?

  • Rejecting obsolete design conventions. The decorative W of the old logo seems to be trying to evoke twin pennants, those old flag-trophies for champion sports teams and their fans. These days, the idea of “pennants” is not often associated with winning, and using pennants in a logo definitely dates Winners.
  • Embracing a more timeless colour combination. Besides the turquoise colour that swept retail centre architecture in the early 90s, the purple and blue used by the old Winners logo is one of the most decade-specific colour combinations possible. With the old colours, it’s hard to imagine Winners being founded in any other decade than the 80s. This new storefront chooses a colour combination that will never go out of style: white and black. It’s simple, it’s classy, and it’s bound to stand the test of time.
  • Avoiding tacky retail clichés. Illuminating a storefront sign with flickering fluorescent lighting not only hurts your customer’s eyes, it hurts your image, too. By choosing to go lighting-free with the new storefront, Winners smartly steps away from a 15-year-old retail cliché that is still so common in cheap stores and grungy malls everywhere.
  • Using a more culturally relevant font. The old logo employs a thick serif font that seems more “frontier” than “fashion.” Its odd shape would be at home on an Old West “wanted” poster, which makes it seem all the more out of place at the entrance to a clothing store. The new storefront does away with the old, and introduces a stretched, thin, sans-serif font that feels refreshingly chic and tasteful.

The bad news is, these logo overhauls are likely a one-off, and it’s unlikely the changes will be rolled out across all Winners stores anytime soon. The store pictured above is located in Calgary’s Beacon Hill Centre, which is a brand new shopping centre at the end of Sarcee Trail NW. We suspect that the developers (Trinity Development Group) have put an emphasis on building fronts that have a unique, upper-class flavour, and that the new designs will be restricted to these kind of locations.

  • brian

    Hi, just stumbled on your post. I was a part of the team that redesigned the Winners and HomeSense logos. Just to set the record straight, the rebranding process was started over a year before the scandal, and it is indeed rolling out nationwide, albeit very gradually.

    Thanks for the positive feedback!


  • kevan

    Hi Brian,

    Thanks for the clarifications! It’s always exciting for us when [a member of] the team behind a piece we reviewed gives us some direct feedback. That’s great to hear that the new identities will be all across Canada, as they definitely deserve to be seen.

    We had a chance to check out your website, too. It’s clear the Winners logo was not a fluke — you’ve done a lot of great work.

    Thanks again,
    - kevan