Monday, July 08, 2002

Arrow in FedEx logo actually makes a point

Ask a stupid question

By Mike Pulfer,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Question: “There has been a debate (over) the FedEx logo. There is an arrow ... between the (second) letter "e' and the letter "x.' The challenge has been finding if Federal Express intended to include this arrow in their logo or, as some people believe, the arrow is just a result of the font and spacing of the letters. Furthermore, some people say arrows aren't used to represent speed or promptness.”

        Answer: Little is left to chance in the world of marketing and advertising and, especially, corporate identity. The arrow, in this case, didn't just happen to be flying through some highly paid art director's studio.

        “The arrow was indeed intentional as a secondary design element,” says Federal Express Corp. spokesman Jess Bunn. “If the viewer sees it, it's a neat, interesting visual bonus. If the viewer doesn't see it, that's OK. It's still a powerful logo.

        “The arrow is intended to communicate movement, speed and thedynamic nature of our company,” he said.

        The blocky purple and orange, upper- and lower-case letters were created as the new company logo in 1994, “when we decided to modernize our entire look,” Mr. Bunn explained.

        “It was what customers called us anyway,” and “we could enlarge the logo in the same amount of space and create a bigger impact.” (The old logo required nine additional letters to spell out Federal Express.)

        “The vibrant colors — including plenty of white as a background color ... communicate our basic attributes . . . personal, certain, inventive, and ... we know how to connect our customers in the new global economy.”

       If you have a stupid question, send it to Ask a Stupid Question, Cincinnati Enquirer, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati OH 45202; fax: 768-8330; e-mail


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