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The world of fast food and quick-service restaurants has evolved and so have consumers. With heightened expectations around quality, taste and nutrition, Subway sales were suffering due in part to brand perception around those metrics, encroaching competition, and in part to a visual system and restaurant environments that had gone stale. Subway, ranked as the number one franchise, operates over 44,000 locations globally. Traditionally more focused on its franchisees, Subway had begun a transformation of business strategy to focus more on the consumer across all aspects of its operations, and to modernize the brand through technology and updated physical locations. Our brief was to create a relevant, inspiring expression of the brand through the refinement of core visual assets, the creation of ones that hadn’t existed previously, and a cohesive visual identity system.
We needed a visual identity that convincingly communicated the fact that Subway created the idea of order customization and choice for the consumer back in 1965, a model that is widely copied today. We needed to make this story relevant to consumers through an empowering and engaging identity system. We also set out to reframe what freshness means for the brand in a world where that ubiquitous word is nothing less than an expectation. The goal was to act fresh, and look fresh without verbally claiming it —all with the confidence of a brand that invented the submarine sandwich category.
We started by addressing core brand assets: introducing both a new logotype and symbol called the Choice Mark. The iconic new logotype looks to the future while beinganchored in the brand’s history. It stands up tall, is bold and confident, and has been specifically designed to stand the test of time. The Choice Mark acts as a visual shorthand of the logotype, and signifies consumers’ choice between healthier options and more indulgent ones—between 6-inch and Foot Long sandwiches—a symbol that empowers customers to enjoy Subway in any way they choose.The color palette, inspired by sandwich ingredients, hasbeen optimized to live and work in a wide variety of media. Vibrancy, usability and taste appeal are at the heart of the new sandwich imagery—intentionally art directed to avoid current trends in the category.We also created a library of narrative ingredient imagery to convey different brand messages.From fitness to breakfast, from jalapeño ballerinas to half-awake avocados—wekept the produce in its natural state.The iconic new system, which started rolling out in Spring 2017 is brought to life across all touchpoints including packaging, uniforms, signage and has inspired new designs for menus, the website, app, social media, digital ordering and environmental design of the restaurants (restaurant design by FRCH).