See How They’re Different: Quark Radically Revamps Its Image

New-look logo, type font and palette designed to project image of new-look Quark Inc.

New Quark Logo

It’s not your father’s Quark.

Today Quark rolled out a fresh, new look for its logo, website, and brands. The familiar water-lily has been banished. Gone are the warm golden tones and the sedate look of its old sans-serif headline type. From one end to the other the site has been given a new fresh look to go along with the corportion’s new attitude.
Regardless of how one feels about Quark, where it’s been, where it is, or where it’s going, the new look is worth a look. It will get a reaction. It already has gotten several, not the least in the Quark Forum’s “Sofa” Threads where discussion is typically very lively and opinionated.

Quark's New Web Home
The new web face of Quark, Incorporated

The look seems to be going over in the positive so far; at the time of this writing the majority of the votes in Quark’s poll at its online Forums were split between “I like it” and “Not sure, but willing to give it a chance”.

Vadim Litvak, principal of easternBlock Design:

Think we can expect seasonal changes from Quark now? A fall forward line of packaging and Xtensions perhaps? A slimline case for the Installation CD in the Spring? Maybe they’ll next take the Abercrombie & Fitch route by photographing production designers dressed in bikini tops and board shorts at their workstations in the Summer?

I can’t wait!

I am thrilled that QuarkXPress, the aging stalwart of the page layout scene, has donned some new garb and seems to now be looking into a cleaner, prettier, more designer-friendly (both fashion and page layout) future.

Continue to see more screenshots of the new look of Quark and more on what goes into it.

QuarkXPress Home Page
QuarkXPress’s Home on the new-look Quark Site

The new face of Quark projects a new dynamic attitude that gives the impression that they are fit, trim, and more than ready to tackle the Adobe insurgency. Bright primary and secondary colors and bold, assertive type characterize a clear, more easily navigated interface. The design is very clean and ordered, with the new “Q” logo in the upper left corner in all pages, upon which a click returns the user to home page.

Big Design Guns Brought To Bear, and Quark Goes Green

When you go gunslinging on the main street at high noon, you bring quality irons. Names matter: Winchester, Colt, Smith & Wesson. No less so for Quark’s new look.

The new signature stylized Q, for instance, was developed by SicolaMartin, a unit of Young & Rubicam Brands, who saw the chance to rebrand Quark as a peak opportunity.

Steve Martin, SicolaMartin Senior VP and Executive Creative Director, as quoted by Quark in its press release, put it this way:

This really was an incredible opportunity for us, as an agency. We specialize in high-tech clients, so usually we”™re doing work that speaks to IT professionals. To get to actually target designers, art directors, and creative professionals was a really fun challenge for us. Not only that, but to have the freedom to re-brand such a well-known company as Quark “” and to create a new logo for them, as well? We were excited

An addition to the new look is a lively yellow-green which colors the Q and is found throughout the new design. You knew this as Pantone 368, but Pantone has given it a new name: “Quark Green.”

QuarkXPress Home Page
Quark Forums Home Page

Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute and renowned expert on color psychology was quoted by Quark it its press release:

PANTONE 368 was the perfect choice for an innovative company such as Quark. This yellow green, a symbol of growth, is invigorating and revitalizing, and breathes new life into a brand, in addition to drawing attention to it. By embracing this color for its new logo, Quark is giving its customers the connotation of the continuing growth of ideas and concepts, and that it is on the edge of new technologies.

They’ve Got a New, Visual Attitude

Identity redeisgns can go a long way toward freshening an old brand, making it seem new in the eyes of a market that is very (sometimes, too) familiar with a company and its services; it can be like a badly needed breath of fresh air.

Quark’s image makeover is both timely and appropriate. In contrast to the ‘trying to hard to be hip’ attitudes the Quark postcards famously projected, the new logo and identity exhibits a knowing hipness, and the use of color and type make the company’s old web presence seem almost monotone in comparison. The company brought big guns to bear, making an interesting, fresh new mark.

You can read Quark’s press release here.

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15 Responses

  1. Bill Hendricks says:

    Where’s the beef? Packaging is one thing… What does Quark really have to offer that is new?

    Bill

  2. Bill:

    Your comment comes up with a valid point.

    There are, I think, two ways to look on Quark, as they defend their turf and thier remaining market share against Adobe. One way is by what they announce and what they produce. The other way is by how they announce.

    Quark wants to appeal to designers. Designers (just for the sake of saying this-I’m sure I don’t need to tell you this) are seen as a hip, “with-it” group, in tune with fashion in some essential way. If your image is seen as dated, your credibility suffers and there is an air of tiredness about you.

    Quark’s graphic presentation, up until now, struck me as quiet, composed, and “same”. The graphic treatment was one they had been using for years, and was doing so at the time they were hinting at exciting new features and acknowledging the challenge of InDesign. I think they were looking for a relevant, edgy angle–that’s why we had the Postcards.

    The Postcards missed the mark, remarkably. My take on this is that they have, if not learned the lesson of the error of the message, at least learned the lesson of dialing it back a bit. This new presentation works on the cool and hip level. I, who have announced by bias more than once, find it appealing and refreshing.

    Of course, public face is one thing. Now they have to follow up with actual results. Whenever XPress V7 is rolled out (whenever that may be), it’s got to be a credible contender against InDesign. No matter what it offers, those offerings have got to not only hang on to the waverers (those thinking of moving to Adobe), and not only make its loyal customers feel justified in maintaining thier investment, but also make satisfied InDesign refugees from Quark think twice about that decision.

    A rebranding such as this makes it more doable for Quark. But they still have to deliver on the promise that is V7.

    This new look may turn out to be lipstick on a pig, or it may turn out to be the jewelry on a beauty queen. That depends on V7. but as a design evolution it, in and of itself, is a breath of fresh air to Quark’s look, timely and needed.

  3. Rick says:

    I’t nice to see they are designing the site with good markup, but that menu is terrible. I hate it when companies build menus with dropdowns that are hard to get to. I do, however, like the new design. The green Q looks really cool.
    Still… I hate Quark, and I really wish it would go away.

  4. http://www.macmerc.com/article.php?sid=2628

    Visitors to Quark’s web site yesterday got a bit of a surprise. Quark has changed its logo, changed its web site and, well, that’s about it. Everything else is the same. Except that, as reported on MetaFilter, Quark’s new logo looks just like the one for The Scottish Arts Council.

    http://www.scottisharts.org.uk/

  5. Sam you said that Quark’s revamp is both timely and appropriate. It certainly is appropriate, but I don’t think it is very timely. Quark should have done this long ago and they should release QuarkXPress 7 quite fast before too many people switch to InDesign.

    I have heard many people saying they are making the switch from Quark to InDesign, yet I heard none saying they are switching from InDesign to Quark.

  6. Skyline says:

    Good point Elisabetta. I have NEVER met or heard about a SINGLE PERSON who even thought about switching from InDesign to Quark.

    The next version of Quark is going to have to be more than an equal of InDesign, it is going to have to be light years ahead of it. Otherwise, Quark is burnt toast. It’s already toast, it will be BURNT toast.

  7. Elisabetta:

    I see and acknowledge your point. Quark is late off the blocks in a great many ways, from upgrading to Mac OS X to finally versioning up the application.

    I ought to qualify what I mean by timely. The way I see it, Extreme Makeover:Quark Editionâ„¢ is timely, but only insofar as the context they are working in…that is to say, considering they haven’t upgraded thier image along with the application, and given that the release of V7 is contiually intimated as being ‘imminent’, time was ripe for an updating of thier image. Better late, as they say, than never.

    In the greater context of the last few years of design software developments, though, they are very late on this image update, and in that wise I quite agree with you.

  8. Joe Reil says:

    Publishing leader Quark further wows customers and silences critics with a new font

    DENVER – September 16, 2005 – There’s yet another new symbol of the friendly new Quark. In addition to the new logo announced late last week Quark has selected a new font for use in the application menus and user manuals for it’s upcoming Quark 7.0 release.

    “Quark has undergone many changes, starting with our innovative new logo,” said acting president Linda Chase. “We are proud to follow that success up with the selection of a new font to further identify and solidify the Quark brand in the hearts and minds of our customers.”

    Quark Funnies
    In support of the launch of Quark’s new brand identity, TypeWhereHouse Inc., the global authority on fonts and the leading font foundry for the design industry, has redubbed “Comic Sans” as “Quark Funnies.”

    According to Beatrice Wiseman, executive director of the TypeWhereHouse Font Institute, renowned font psychologist, and author of thirty-five books on fonts, “Comic Sans was the perfect choice for an innovative company such as Quark. This font, based on the lettering in daily comic strips and monthly comic books alike is a perfect symbol for the new Quark in the eyes of it’s many customers, critics and supporters. As a joke in it’s field.”

    Beatrice went on, “Comic Sans just screamed Quark to me. I was looking for something that would take Quark in a completely new direction — a font that was friendly and inviting, while also being exciting and dynamic and further something that would clearly and solidly identify Quark in the market. “The more I looked at the font, the more it came to represent so many things that Quark has gone through: rejuvenation, growth, and rebirth and finally to it’s status now as a joke in it’s own industry. It just seemed to work.”

  9. Joe:

    Beautiful. You have the press release tone down so well that I almost believed you at first. By the end I was laughing out loud.

  10. maxfinis says:

    Joe & Samuel:

    That was so well done, I was actually googling typewherehouse before I realized what an idiot I am.

  11. Joe Reil says:

    Thanks for the comments and glad it was enjoyed. I did use the actual press release for inspiration and a lot of what is in mine is just subtle rewordings of the actual press release… Names changed to protect the innonence of Quark. My only regret is I couldn’t think of a better name for the “new” font. ;)

  12. Sam, you said:

    I ought to qualify what I mean by timely. The way I see it, Extreme Makeover:Quark Edition™ is timely, but only insofar as the context they are working in…that is to say, considering they haven’t upgraded thier image along with the application, and given that the release of V7 is contiually intimated as being ‘imminent’, time was ripe for an updating of thier image. Better late, as they say, than never.

  13. Sorry, I had a problem with the comment form. I meant to say that I see what you mean with the part I just quoted with the previous comment.

  14. Pancake says:

    The Flat version works well but the beveled nightmare of a logo version is one of the worst I have seen. Seems like somebody just recently discovered the bevel tool in photoshop. They need to stick with the flat version.