current writings on all things

Why RC?

YRC Logo


Yellow Transportation and Roadway recently joined forces and became YRC Worldwide. With most new ventures, a new logo is needed—hopefully something to communicate the core values of the combined businesses, or be relevant to the type of service that the new business provides. Unfortunately, the new YRC logo appears to have missed the mark on both accounts.


Representing the marriage of the two companies, the new YRC logo incorporates the Swamp Holly Orange from the old Yellow Corporation, and blue from Roadway. According to YRC, customers will be able to see familiar branding elements once the combined company identity is rolled out. While this is true with the orange and blue color scheme, the “swooshes” that incorporate these colors seem to have no relevance to either the old logo or the new venture. In what might be more relevant as a logo for boomerangs, these do nothing to build on existing brand equity, making the identity feel more whimsical than serious, which can be considered a negative when referring to a professional, multibillion-dollar transportation company. Lose the color “swooshes”, and the remaining gray shape is quite nice, as it evokes reference to the shape of the old Yellow logo.


The typography might be the greatest downfall of the new YRC logo. Typography in any logo should be legible, leaving no question about the company’s moniker. In this case, the “R” does not read well and the “C” does not match the width of the “Y” or the “R”. All three characters are severely modified and look awkward and clunky. If you asked Fred Flintstone to design a typeface for a corporation, it would look like this—not exactly the professional image a company of this caliber needs.


I have to wonder if this is an example of corporate bullying: did the executives of YRC push themselves into the lead creative role when developing this new identity? While there should be a balance between the client’s goals and desires for a project, and letting the creative agency utilize their expertise to establish a logo for a company, sometimes this line is compromised, which doesn’t always end in a good solution. If so, this could explain the final solution, which is eerily similar to the Dairy Queen logo. I would expect a better solution from one of the largest transportation service providers in the world.


Overall, the new logo says very little about transportation or shipping. Maybe the slanted letters are intended to hint toward a forward motion, with the swooshes indicating a start and stop point and a return to the beginning – shipping to and from locations. It seems that more refinement could have been made to show the true nature of the business. In comparison to a similar company, the FedEx logo contains a very clever arrow between the “E” and “X,” which speaks directly about what they do—transport with speed and precision. Unfortunately, the new YRC logo is something that the world has to look at, although it might be well worth the risk to closing your eyes while passing one of their tractor-trailers on the road.


—Justin Leatherman, senior designer