The Philadelphia Inquirer’s logo has changed many times since 1829, when the first edition published under the flag The Pennsylvania Inquirer.

Every incremental tweak or major redesign has been an attempt to modernize The Inquirer brand to keep pace with our changing region and the greater media landscape.

With The Inquirer’s journalism being published and shared on more platforms than ever, it was time to again update our logo in a way that represented the brand’s past, present, and future. Here are four things to know about the change:

Why Was an Update Needed?

“We wanted a logo that would capture the life of our brand, speak to new audiences, and integrate seamlessly into all of our products,” said Sara Pfefer, an Inquirer graphic designer. She was part of an in-house design team that worked on The Inquirer’s first logo change in decades.

After more than six months of research, analysis, revisions, internal feedback, and reader focus groups, Pfefer’s logo design emerged as the best choice to represent The Inquirer.

“We like that the new logo maintained the unique characteristics of the original, iconic design, but made subtle yet recognizable changes for a better experience across all formats," said Jen Strauss, Associate Director of Design at The Inquirer.

What’s New?

The new design preserves the visual connections to its original typeface, while being optimized to work across digital and print platforms. These small changes will have a big impact on the way the brand is represented on Inquirer.com, mobile apps, social media channels, in print, and throughout the Philadelphia region.

This illustration shows how the lettering of the new Philadelphia Inquirer logo compares to the old. The major differences include adjustments to the P and I, with smaller changes to the T, d, p, and q.
Inquirer
This illustration shows how the lettering of the new Philadelphia Inquirer logo compares to the old. The major differences include adjustments to the P and I, with smaller changes to the T, d, p, and q.

What was the Biggest Challenge?

As the company looks toward its digital future, it was important to create a logo that will function well not just on the top of the newspaper, but also on icons for apps and on social media.

One of the biggest obstacles with the original logo design was the ambiguous look of the “I” in Inquirer. The team focused significant effort on making the “I” more readable so it could stand alone as an icon.

What Do the Experts Say?

When the design team had developed a handful of strong logo options, they brought in an expert with deep connections to our brand: Matthew Carter, a world-renowned type designer and MacArthur Fellowship recipient, had digitized The Inquirer’s previous masthead in 1997.

“Matthew’s inclusion was no accident,” Strauss said. “He helped us identify all the issues around making a recognizable capital Gothic letter I. He acted as a catalyst to energize our team to find a solution that worked for us now and well into the future."