Rebranding your business is a big commitment and can be a lot of work for even the smallest of companies. A great deal of thought goes into even just the seemingly simple decision to go for a rebrand. Tungsten, a company that offers rebranding services, lists rebranding prices for startups costing as much as $15,000. As in: you’re not going to have a rebrand just for the heck of it. This article gives you 10 popular companies that have gone through a recent rebrand (some more talked about, others less so) and a brief summary of each transformation.
As mentioned in one of our previous articles on Instagram’s new logo, plenty of opinions arise when a brand introduces a new image, and plenty more arise when it’s a popular company; add on that their popularity exists particularly on the Internet, and you’ve got yourself a modern-day perfect storm. A lot of times, many of the loudest opinions either come from emotion after closely identifying with a specific image for so long and refusing to accept change, or from designers (or people who think of themselves as designers) who sometimes forget to look at the bigger picture of design aiding in branding. And then, of course, there’s everyone else. Often people forget that someone had to put thought into this new label. Though, this is not to say that some rebrands happen without much thought… or worse, the wrong thoughts. The important thing to think about while looking through these transformations is as follows:
- As someone who holds an emotion towards a specific image representing a brand, think just how powerful and/or useful an image can be.
- As a designer (or someone who thinks themselves a designer) think how you might feel having the weight of a redesign on your shoulders and how creative critique is far different than straight up bashing and negativity of a design? ‘It’s so ugly’ is not a creative critique.
- And lastly, as anyone else on this spectrum of critiquers, think how even the slightest changes of a logo can make a huge impact on the personality of the brand.
It would be hard to come up with a rebuttal for revamping your old logo to Google. This more than an Internet search engine company knows a thing or two about technology and design. They recently, before the redesign, came out with resources and teachings for a design style of their own known as Material Design, aimed to make designing for multiple screens and devices easier. The reasoning for their new logo design followed the idea of making things simpler. And thus, the clean and simple Google logotype was born.
The Verizon logo, old and new, has always gotten a lot of flack from designers. After Verizon acquired AOL, they thought it was time to go simpler. New look, new purpose, right? That’s how Verizon felt anyhow. They thought that in an industry of frustration and disclaimers the simplicity would be appreciated, and of course, that the universality of the checkmark (‘getting things done’) wasn’t so bad either. Unfortunately for Verizon, a couple of weeks after the new reveal and no one was defending the new logo—designers especially still don’t seem to be happy about it. Luckily, there have been so many other popular company redesigns in the past couple of years they’ve fallen far out of the judging eye of the Internet.
They’re no YouTube or Vimeo, however, Dailymotion is a fairly popular video site with a good amount of traffic (even before the rebrand). This rebrand is one of the more extreme of the list thus far. The company who executed the redesign started with helping Dailymotion articulate their story. The result was a clean, bright font-based logo. The design principles of this logo could be easily applied across multiple parts of the platform and appear consistently.
- The New York Times Magazine
This magazine has been around since the 19th century, an impressive feat as is. Even more impressive, though, is being able to keep up with the times and keep your identity when it comes to branding. The more dramatic changes in the recent rebrand had to do with the content and pages inside the magazine; however the new logo, as small of a change as it is, creates a dramatic difference, adding a bit more modernity to the iconic typeface. With this adaptation of modernity, they also released a short-form icon for things like social media.
What could a modern company such as Facebook do to make its logo even more modern? Another subtle, yet distinct change on the list of recent logo designs is that Facebook changed their font. The change is so subtle you might’ve not even noticed it, especially since the iconic ‘f’ remained all but identical. However, when you take a minute to notice the change, you can see how much of a difference it makes. Facebook didn’t make a big deal out of the change and let it quietly take place. Reasoning for this more modern take? More friendly and approachable, the minds behind the design say.
The only change to the new Spotify logo was the color. But boy oh boy does color make all the difference. The boldness of the new logo transcended across all their new advertising pieces. A place where you can listen to such an eclectic collection of music deserves a logo that reflects that. Spotify decided to align themselves with the music industry instead of the tech world with the new logo unveil. And so far, it seems to be working for them. The brand they want to be is more easily conveyed through the personality of the new logo color.
Back to the balance for any brand as old and iconic as Guinness: keeping your well-known identity, yet staying relevant. The new Guinness logo unveiling was one for the books. Surprisingly enough, with all the expected criticism the Internet offers, this logo redesign brought more positivity than negativity, which just doesn’t happen too often, if at all, in the redesign world. The team who was in charge of the redesign really put in the effort and research, and it shows. This logo also managed to become more modern without the use of a flat design. We’d say they’re good to go for a couple or more decades before having to even think about considering another rebranding effort.
One of the most recent on the list, Instagram, really got the Internet going when it unveiled its newest logo. The redesign consisted of a new main logo, an updated look of 3 other apps (Layout, Boomerang, and Hyperlapse) and a new image-focused user interface. The lead designer says the new logo reflects the growing diverse community of Instagram. In other words: the platform evolved and changed so the logo needed to change with it. A more in-depth conversation on the redesign can be read here.
Another logo that warranted a lot of backlash upon its release was Uber’s latest. Apparently, this redesign had been on the mind of Uber’s CEO for more than 2 years, which is quite the time to think things over, no? The founder acknowledged before the unveiling that a change so different from the original will take some time for the public to accept, but that they’ll eventually come around. The new design was made to be the same across the many different countries in which Uber exists, yet also very specific to the country (as far as colors go). A wildcard in this redesign is that the man entrusted with the project is not a designer...he’s an engineer!
Quite possibly the most dramatic change on the list is Tribune Publishing, which has become tronc with a lowercase ‘t’. The new name stands for ‘Tribune online content’, which is a huge shift away from the typical newspaper. The redesign only recently happened, however, there hasn’t been as much online discussion about it as some of the others on the list (maybe demographics matter with this?). But there has been some reputable news sources writing up their opinions on the matter, such as The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and New York Times. The redesign might make sense; they are trying to shift not necessarily away from the classic newspaper, but towards more online content creation. Only time will tell how all of this will work out for them.
There is something to be learned from each and every logo redesign and rebranding; what the Internet often seems to forget about in the unveiling of a new design, though, is just how much thought and consideration actually occurs on the backside of a redesign—which more times than not is a lot. Keeping an open discussion on these new designs is healthy, if not fully necessary in order for designers from all around the world to really readily consider, and even improve upon their work.
Thoughts, comments, and/or critiques on this article or any of these popular logo redesigns and rebrands? Leave us a comment! We’d love to hear what you know.
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