A shopping bag collector could have a filed day at Woodies. At least four or five different kinds of bags are being used by the department store chain these days, as it cleans out its supplies of old bags.
A jingle fan, on the other hand, might note an all-too-familiar ring to the Woodward & Lothrop radio commercials. It's been months since a new jingle has been commissioned, admits William McDonald, vice president for sales promotion.
The chain's familiar delivery trucks are looking a little shopworn too, awaiting somewhat overdue paint jobs.
Putting off painting, delaying new commercials and using up old packaging are three of the things being done to prepare for the new corporate identity at Woodward & Lothrop.
Following the lead of the Hecht Company, which opted for the smipler "Hecht's" a few months ago, Woodies is launching a corporate rechristening.
Starting sometime next month, the ampersand in the familiar trade name will be replaced by a vertical bar and on the radio the stores will start calling themselves "Woodward Lothrop."
The corporate name is still Woodward & Lothrop, and that name will continue to be used in some advertising along with the nickname "Woodies."
"We didn't want the public to lose 'Woodies'," explained McDonald, who with other top executives began the new identity program last fall.
By now they've spent upwards of $1 million painting and printing the new name and a new graphic system and color family that goes with it.
McDonald won't talk about what's been paid to Anspach Grossman Portual Inc. of New York for the new design. But graphics consultant wouldn't touch a job as comprehensive as this for less than $100,000.
To work that kind of an expenditure into the budget takes some juggling. McDonald admits. That's why the singing commercials have been on long enough to become golden oldies and trucks are praying for panit.
The year-long effort will begin showing up in the next few weeks. A sign with the new logo is already up on the store at Lakeforrest Mall in Gaithersburg that opens this fall and scattered throughout the downtown store are hints - signs in a new typeface that utilizes sold letter "o's" with colored-in dots.
The new corporate colors are blue, plum, sage green and terra cotta, worked in patterns of dots and diagonal lines that, hopefully, will become as recognizable as the name.
The Woodies system utilizes a greater number of graphic elements than that chosen by Hecht's. Hecht's basic burgandy and tan (not to be confused with plum and terracotta) are used mostly in a small scale pattern of the company name on a plain background.
The Hecht design was done by Ivan Chermayeff, the New York graphics specialist who designed the bicentennial logo and has long done the graphics for Hechinger's.
Meanwhile on the corporate identity front, Drug Fair has won an award from Graphics USA magazine for its new rainbow logo, designed by Sclame Design of Boston.
Drug Fair has another innovation going. It says it is the first in the chain drug industry to use in-store television advertising. Sets scattered throughout some Drug Fair units will show shoppers commercials for national brands and in-store specials.