Today California Tortilla begun to officially reveal a new logo as well as a new, updated branding for the popular Maryland-based Mexican restaurant. Below is the letter I wrote to “CalTor” about my opinions on their new logo (seen below). I might “geek out” a tad with my “expertise” in Graphic Design, just to forewarn you. But it is the field in which I work and have studied, so I saw this as my calling to comment on.
I was just at a CalTor yesterday for lunch and the new logo caught my eye. I kind of wasn’t really sure what was going on. As a Graphic Designer, I feel it’s necessary to give you my input on the new look. Sure, the old look was extremely outdated and reminiscent of the glorious 90s, but I will give it credit for the fun, warm, bright colors the old logo had. I guess my biggest problem with the old logo was that I was never really sure what that yellow triangular shape was supposed to represent. Was it a jagged edge tortilla chip? A bag of chips? A tortilla of sorts? So yeah, the old logo was perhaps a little vague in its representation.
So the new logo is an avocado. Quite frankly, I am a huge fan of avocados. They are amazing. But have you considered that people might now start calling the restaurant, “California Avocado”? Shouldn’t the new logo kind of maybe resemble California, a tortilla, or at least something you produce more of like a taco or burrito? Maybe it’s just me. I just sort of feel like the new logo might better be for an avocado selling company. Do you catch my drift?
As for the text and the new fonts, I like that it’s just as “fun” looking, but it could perhaps be a tad too “cutesy.” I feel like “spunky” and “cutesy” are definitely different things, and I always associated CalTor with being spunky, not so much cutesy. I think you could have at least brought in another color to the logo to (pun intended) heat things up. Maybe the text could have been orange or yellow as a sort of homage to the last logo. Just because you’re updating the logo, doesn’t mean it has to look completely different, no? Because maybe a more gradual change would be better for the company.
I’m just putting it out there. And don’t get me wrong- the new logo isn’t awful. It just didn’t really make sense to me. And even though I do Graphic Design for a living and it’s kind of my life (if you couldn’t tell), do not fret- my uneasiness with the new logo, is not going to hinder my continuation to eat at California Tortilla!