It simply never occurred to me that people didn’t see the world the same way I did, or that the way certain images, as I saw them didn’t affect others the same way they affected me. Also, when I was oh so very young, say about eight, it never occurred to me that very few people in the UK would have shopped in a Carrefour supermarket. In the town (suburban sprawl) where I grew up, Chandlers Ford, we had one of the first hyper-markets in the UK and it was a branch of French based chain Carrefour. Little did I know that other towns and cities didn’t have this luxury, and had more mundane UK based supermarkets.
Which also meant I never understood that most people in the UK had never seen the majesty of the Carrefour logo. Not that it would have occurred to me that other people didn’t see how majestic it is.
I still smile when I see the Carrefour logo, usually now peeking over the shoulder of a sportsman as a sponsor. It is one of the first logos, like the Star Wars logo, which had a great impact on me. Also, looking back my memory and passion for the logo probably underlined my future career. It is such a neat, well designed logo which fascinated me especially through its use of negative space.
At a mere eight years old this use of negative space amazed me, the fact that the C is there without being actually drawn in was awesome. I was impressed at how clever it was to be able to show something by its absence. Later I spotted the subtle diamond shape to the logo which also blew my prepubescent mind. Here was a shape which was a diamond without being a diamond, with a C in the middle which wasn’t actually there at all. I would spend time peering at it, making the ‘abstract’ shapes come in to focus, the diamond come in to focus, and the C come in to focus.
When I learnt later that Carrefour was a French brand I become even more impressed that as well as everything else the colours made up the French flag as well. The design is wonderful multi-layered, timeless, patriotic, clever and very well excecuted. Its funny how it still impresses me even now.
As far as I can tell the logo has only been updated once since Carrefour launched. The new version (not shown here as this is the one emblazened on my memory) has a lighter blue and has changed the typeface. That said it is very similar and it is even more impressive that Carrefour have kept pretty much the same brand for over half a century.