Finding that perfect balance of refresh and homage is a real challenge for designers. Solving design problems such as awkward shapes that don't work well, colors that go out of fashion, or showing a company's change and modernization are all real reasons for a branding refresh, but sometimes it does appear as though a change was never really needed in the first place.
While some logos look "undesigned", appearing like the "just rolled out of bed hairstyle but it actually took 30 minutes to accomplish." Other logos are a departure from their tried and true self. What defines why logo redesigns need balance? What do you think of these logo changes from 2015?
#15 LA Clippers
One of the few on our list that changed their logo away from flat design, the Clippers abandon their retro look. The curved lines could resemble the seams in a basketball, or the mad/squinty emoticon to show you how tough they are. With a stylized acronym, inside a ball, sitting on top of lines, on a title, on other lines - it's really a logo in a logo on a logo, but, when you hold a design contest for a new logo, we never expect a good result. Dear Designers, please never particpate in a design contest! When you do, you devalue your worth and every designer on the planets' worth. The poor Clippers trying to get by on their shoe-string budget. Don't do it people!
#14 Best Western
Also not using flat design, Best Western goes a completely different direction. They removed all interest and color contrast, and since designers are taught how to make a shiny glass ball in their first semester at school, this design looks like they landed circa 2003 with someone using the generic trinity of Photoshop blending modes: drop shadow, bevel, and gradient. What, no stroke or lens flare?! #blahfailuninteresting
#13 Microsoft Edge
With Microsoft now ditching most support for their earlier versions of its mainstay browser Internet Explorer, the attempt to rebrand their new browser, Edge, could have used a few more revisions. Some people will argue that Microsoft is hanging on to the familiarity of the "e" shape to help their classic users find the shortcut icon and click, but we think that in order to prove to the rest of the world that something dramactic has changed they should have embrace an entirely different design direction. Although very professional, this logo is safe and too convienent to ignore.
So yeah, it's pretty easy to improve on the old logo, but while the new shape is probably much easier for their designers to work with, and the heavier font will read easier on mobile devices, it really fails to have any interest, imagination, or make any statement about the company. Unless what they are saying is: "we are a thick lowercase company that's absent of color, red check." Our thoughts are that they think their brand is so recognizable and solid enough that it only needs to have minimal design applied; we'll have to wait 10 years to find out. Stay tuned!
Welcome to flat design! Oh, Spotify. We're not sure there needed to be any change at all. We love your program, but not your new (fashionable?) color. Don't be surprised when this logo changes again this year, it's not easy being this color of green.
Here's a brand that is looking to its history with veneration, and it's turning out quite fun and gloriously simple. Although here we are only comparing the old and new marks, the entire branding and packaging has received an overhaul using large red striped bars, flat design, plenty of negative space, and a nice oversized font. Blending the best of what is great now, with what was great then, makes it feels solid, secure, and trustworthy. Read this review to see more details about their rebrand.
#9 Johnnie Walker
Maintaining their classic main dandy character, Johnnie Walker desperately needed an update to their scripted font. The handwritten fonts just don't work at the smaller sizes required by mobile devices nowadays and their new all caps serif is working splendidly. Some might be concerned about adding more details to the 5th major variation of the Johnnie Walker illustration, but we think it shows that there are fine details to crafting a product with quality. The older version was too anonymous for our times, similar to the old Apple iPod silhouettes.
Once again the new overall shape is much easier to work with and the heavier font will make the brand much easier to read on mobile devices. While the color red is notoriously used to make us hungry, and this brightened version of red is lighthearted and candied, we are slightly confused by the logo shape. Are we looking at the top of a wine bottle with the cork off to the side? Is it a bullseye? Or is it just a big "O"?
The new VR lens logo definetely moved in the right direction. The all-black is a bit bland, but we do understand how it fits the sleek non-descript aesthetic they are creating. They're allowing what the product does to be the life and color of their brand and the new mark looks like their product, so, BONUS!
#6 TV Land
When everyone is switching to all lower case, we like the fact that TV Land is switching to ALL CAPS! Since TV Land is appealing to Gen Xers who grew up with them, the maturity of the entertainment and the branded look needed to keep up as the old logo was too young and whimsical. The new flat banner shape adds interest, while showing upward movement on a slight angle. The new color is definitely cultivated, but, more like a color to paint your living room than an eye-catching logo. We wonder if they will play around with the color in future uses? Nice job!
#5 Coors Light
One of the best examples of the shift to flat design on our list. They held onto their collegiate Coca-Cola script but cleaned it up and flattened it out adding a killer new font for the "Light", much better! This is quite a big move and somehow feels exactly what you think the brand to be, that's a strong balancing act right there, kudos! Though we are not sure we agree with cutting off the "C", it does look great overall.
"Turn your frown upside down!" Another good example of a shift to simple, flat design. We do love the fact that they are not taking themselves too seriously. They are saying that they are a clean, family-friendly, fun place to enjoy a meal. The old font still works nicely and getting out of that trap of a rectangle helps to make it feel open and light-hearted. FYI, take note that the International House Of Pancakes first started using the acronym IHOP way back in 1973. OMG!
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Hungry for more? Read the top 8 logo changes from 2014.