Image: Zara

1. I studied thousands of logos. Here’s where branding is headed next: We’re also seeing two opposite trends that hearken back to the best of the 1970s. Wordmarks with big fat fonts came out roaring this year (think bell bottoms and afros), perhaps as a counter to the minimalist sans serif aesthetic we’ve gotten used to the last five or six years. At the same time, there are a lot of ultra-minimalist vector images with clean positive/negative fields that may have resulted from a desire to return to clarity and simplicity. – Read More on Logo Lounge (via Fast Co.)

2. “Homogenous,” Instagram Apologies Raise Questions About Modern Brands and their “Mission-Centric” Branding: It is also impossible not to wonder whether these utterly-Instagrammable apologies are merely the latest efforts by brands to not only save face (and save their bottom-lines during an already-difficult time) but to attempt to bolster the “mission”-driven nature of their operations. – Read More on TFL

3. Bankrupt Retailers Stand to Pocket Millions From Unused Gift Cards: About $2 billion to $4 billion, or up to 4%, of gift cards typically go unused every year in the U.S., according to research and advisory services firm Mercator Advisory Group Inc. The coronavirus is complicating matters. Shoppers might opt to stay home rather than go to a store due to worries about contracting a potentially fatal virus. “It could potentially be a windfall for the company that is in bankruptcy.” – Read More on WSJ

4. A perfect storm for fashion marketplaces: “For an off-price business, you need demand. January and February were difficult for us, but now business is doing well: we are getting more and more brands as they have a lot of stock—new customers, new offers. But there is a big question mark on how this will evolve.” – Read More on McKinsey

5. Zara Owner Built a Post-Covid Retailer Before Virus Came Along: The unorthodox blend of local manufacturing, nimble logistics and aggressive embrace of e-commerce has helped Inditex weather the fallout from the global lockdown better than many other retailers. It’s also helped recalibrate operations for a future of shopping where face masks, limited store access and distancing stand to push consumers online in ever greater numbers. – Read More on Bloomberg

6. Selling Luxury Goods Will Change, or Will It? While the Coronavirus may be swinging the consumer preference pendulum towards online shopping right now, it remains to be seen if this is a secular trend across all consumer segments. LVMH’s carefully calibrated expansion strategy very much suggests that each acquired brand will not be micromanaged, actively incurring the risk of alienating design talent and high-end customers. – Read More on Forbes