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Ashley Furniture Brand Misses the Mark

July 11, 2010 - 1:59 pm

At first look one might not expect that this brand signature represents the #1 furniture seller, retailer, and manufacturer in the world. Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc. of Arcadia, Wisconsin was founded in 1945 in Chicago, targeting middle market, value-conscious consumers. They offer their product through independent furniture retailers as well as over 400 Homestore outlets across North America, Central America, and Japan.

The inverted orange chevron in the mark no doubt references the “A” in the Ashley name, though it could also represent a pitched roofline vaguely implying house or home. Unfortunately, this image could easily be construed as a roofing contractor or homebuilder brand if it weren’t for the small descriptor text beneath the mark. Also, the angle of the upside-down “V” bears no relationship to the angle of the letterforms in the name which when viewed together seems incongruous and off-kilter.

One could argue that the text treatment and typeface used in the mark feel, well, dated. The ‘solid gold’ double gradient bars across all caps (modified ITC Élan Black?) reads very 1989. Presumably the slight drop-shadow line was added to shore up the visual lightness of the gradient. Ouch.

For the Ashley Furniture Homestores lockup, the chevron and text are stacked together and reversed out of a clunky navy ‘homeplate’ polygon stroked with orange. This approach is surely designed to execute in signage, but the slightly tilted ‘Homestore’ script reads as non-committal, poorly kerned, and slapped-on. Its placement underneath the too-thin hairline divider is not well thought out.

The Ashley brand as applied to an exclusive bedding product line in one-color black. The gestural silouette obviously references the Tempur-Pedic brand mark, though it also looks like a graffiti moustache drawn above the hyphenated and awkwardly overlapped logo.

As is the case with many companies, Ashley Furniture has been very successful despite their brand identity, rather than because of it. With no offense intended for the good folks at Ashley Furniture Industries, when you’re the #1 of anything, eventually you have to elevate your game or someone else will come along and take your spot. If there’s not a current effort underway to update the Ashley brand identity, there sure should be.




March 5, 2012 1:59 pm

Ashley has a strong presence in the furniture market and I question whether an impressive logo could harm their standing. I like your criticism style though. Leaves me feeling like I learned something about logo design. Thanks

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