Last Friday, when the eyes of the world turned to Rio for the Olympic opening ceremony, sandwich chain Subway hoped to distract a few of those eyes with a new ad campaign. Two spots introduced a refreshed logo for the new chain, "because the best way to stay fresh is to never get stale".
The new logo is a return of sorts to the old "classic" subway logo with its wonky letterforms. It was used with some changes since the founding of the firm until 2002. The refreshed version comes with a new supplemental mark that combines the classic colours, the arrows and the letter S.
The new logo stands up tall, bold and confident, capturing the essence of the brand in a fresh, contemporary look. The core colors have been optimized to live and work across all channels. And the symbol, a new asset for the brand, distills the iconic arrows into a powerful and simple mark. Capturing the essence of the brand in a smaller footprint, the arrows symbolize the choices SUBWAY® provides its guests. - Press release
Someone will inevitably claim that the new arrow-S looks a lot like another logo. In particular, it bears more than a passing resemblance to Chermayeff & Geismar's classic Seatrain logo from the mid-60s (seen in the middle of the picture below). But that doesn't necessarily mean it was plagiarised.
Combining arrows and letters has been a trope in logo design for fifty years and many designers have spent their days contemplating what letters could be turned into arrows. The dynamic shape of the S is particularly intriguing, which means every nice-looking combination of S and arrows has at some point been turned into a logo.