Brand Story


1957 to Early 1970s

1970s to Early 1980s

1982 till Present

Evolution of Brand's Visual Identity

Logo: Metro
Year: 1982
Company: Metro Pte Ltd
Designer: Landor Associates

Metro, one of Singapore’s most successful department store company was first started by Ong Tjoe Kim 王梓琴 in 1957.

The name was inspired by his passion for the silver screen and the famous Metro Goldwyn Mayer movie studio.

Back in 1957, when the first Singapore flagship store was opened in High Street, the logo was simply the name spelled in very basic typography. A pair of Chinese calligraphy words 美羅, written by the founder’s brother was also used. These 2 words in Chinese, pronounced as ‘Mei Luo’ not only sounded like ‘Metro’ but carried a deeper meaning in Chinese which means ‘beautiful textiles/clothes’ (美丽的绫羅绸缎)and “has everything /all embracing” (包羅万象) – it reflected department stores of the old days which sold not only clothes, but also textiles and every conceivable lifestyle needs then.

The evolution of the logo began in the early 70s. The inspiration of the first logo came from the ancient Chinese seal and the pair of original calligraphy words,美羅.

Today, the company has a logo that is distinctive and fashion forward. The modern day logo, designed by Landor Associates in 1982 includes the graceful, calligraphic ‘M’, custom, hand-lettered Metro wordmark in English and brush-lettered calligraphy Metro wordmark in Chinese. The bars framing the ‘M’ and the stylized M is a creative representation of a seal and reminiscent of the first logo seal. The new logo has an ‘east meets west’ influence and is a reflection of its Asian heritage infused with an international and modern appeal. The use of red as a primary visual identification continues our longstanding association with the Chinese colour for good fortune.

The 1982 logo is still being used today and has become so recognizable here in Singapore and in the region. This has helped the company because the logo is more memorable due to its unique Asian touch as well as its simplicity.