Quark "Deja Vue" - They've Re-branded Again!

Quark Xpress have rebranded their rebrand! Due to the new "make over" Quark is attempting to portray, they re-branded from their old black lozenge logo in September 2005.

Old Quark Logo
The result was a simple shape (similar to the Attitude Logo - “I did mine before they did theirs!â€) with a new type face. This was launched in September 2005. See below.
Quark Logo 05
When first viewing this logo I thought it wasn't a bad attempt. My only problems were the way in which it was presented - poor typography, seemingly "cramped" design, giving this whole "new look", in my opinion a bit of a bad impression. This e-letter that Quark send out ("Quark Particles") helps to illustrate this point .The typography is all wrong - very cramped and difficult to read. Some of the imagery looked like someone had just discovered the "multiply" effect in Photoshop and the whole thing was presented in a poor light. Most of all however is the space the new logo gets - its right on the edge of its white area and needs, in my opinion more breathing space.
Quark Particles
After a time of considering the new logo I decided it did have its bad elements of its own - the "squashed" typeface and its similarity with many other logos (The Scottish Arts Council is almost exactly the same except its blue!) were definite mistakes which meant the logo was not as well received as I think Quark would have liked.However I do take my hat off to them. They did research after the new logo was released (of which I took part) and declared that they were ready to listen to designers. This declaration took a long time coming and its sad in my view that these corporates have to be facing being kicked out of the market place before they do anything about what the end user really wants. So they researched and they have listened - hence they have rebranded again. They sorted the issues that had worried me and I think the result should be commended. The result of which is seen below.

Quark Logo 06
Its not a total rebrand as it still keeps the positive green and the typeface (although they've made it "unsquashed"). I do think that it in an improvement. I personally love the treatment of the "Q" as I think this is really original and defiantly stands out. The style is very button-like and I don't think that's a bad thing seeing that it is software that they sell. It has much more depth and scope than the previous design.However the problem I fear, will still be in its presentation as their website still reflects the down points that we have pointed out earlier. It might be worth pointing out that a brand is not just a logo. It is everything about the persona that the company itself gives off. At the moment Quark have got a good strong message and a nice logo, but what I would say to them is "work on the presentation" - "don't be afraid of space, it brings impact and strength".

Besides all of this it is my view that Quark, despite this new rebrand, will not gain the market share it has previously enjoyed. The reason - because for the price you pay for Quark you can get Indesign, Illustrator and Photoshop from Adobe - all of which can be used to achieve exactly what Quark does (and a whole lot more). If they want more customers they need to review their pricing. I speak to alot of printers and it is generally accepted that Quark is much better than Indesign from a technical viewpoint. From a design perspective though I think the money will influence the end user. A whole new generation of designers are coming through from the Universities with negative views on Quark as they will not have used it (due to the Universities opting for the cheaper Indesign) and will not like the look of its price tag.

So nice idea but no matter how much branding and marketing you do and how well you do it, if your product is priced badly, you could be in trouble...

*****UPDATE 11 APRIL 2006******
Quark New Brand
Just received this from Quark and all they have done is swapped the logos. The presentation is still awful, the typography is everywhere and the colors don't really compliment each other - if this is supposed to impress designers then I don't think its going to have the desired effect. If I hadn't seen quarks new brand on their website this would have been my first meeting with the new logo. Hmm.. presentation is everything...


I agree. In my humble opinion, Quark is falling behind not only in terms of their design, but in terms of technology as well. The far superior integration that InDesign offers has most of my instructors convinved that it will become the de facto standard before I even set foot in the industry.

Personally, I like Quark. I remember using it in high school Journalism class years before InDesign was even conceived. However, Adobe is the Microsoft of the design world, and when they flex they flex rather hard. I wouldn't be surprised if InDesign CS3 nudges Quark out quite handily.