A Better Logo for Better Homes and Gardens
The magazine adds an ampersand to make its logo more adaptable to digital and brand extensions.
Better Homes and Gardens has a new logo for the first time since 1965. Starting with its January 2017 issue, “and” is replaced with a stylized ampersand, and the long-standing three lines of text are truncated to two.
The new identity system and refreshed logo, while aesthetically pleasing, also solves a practical issue, Stephen Orr, editor-in-chief since 2015, tells Folio:. Fitting the 51-year-old logo to digital avatars and brand extensions, like Better Home and Gardens Real Estate, has proven difficult.
“They were really just thinking about the print magazine,” Orr says of the magazine's mid-century editors. “But brands like BH&G are comprehensive brands. We needed something that was more flexible.”
Now, the social avatar stacks “BH” over “&G” with white text inside of a black circle. This will replace the magazine’s current digital logo, a red background with “BHG” centered in a white, bolded, sans-serif font.
The ampersand, while fresh in its design, is not new to the magazine. Better Homes and Gardens first launched in 1922 with “and” written out, but from 1931 until the late 40’s, the logo contained an ampersand along with its ever shifting typography.
Better Homes and Gardens is the largest brand at Meredith, and Meredith is the second largest consumer license brand in the world. This means the new logo will be seen on a lot of different products — from homeware sold at Walmart, to cookbooks, to real estate. The magazine also claims 40 million readers, with a verified rate base of 7,600,000 for its print issues.
Due to the scale of use, the brand decided to partner with Lippincot, a creative agency that redesigned the Starbucks mermaid, as well as the Meredith corporate logo. The process took almost 10 months, Orr says, and involved over 75 different versions.