There are many reasons why a multinational company or brand would redesign its logo. Some are compulsory, such as when there’s a corporate merger or when a company expands its business activities. In such cases, a new logo is a must to reflect that change. On the other hand, a logo redesign may be voluntary, like when a company feels the need to refresh, rebrand or reposition its image; or maybe if they seek to appeal to new kinds of customers.
Whenever a well-known logo design gets remade, the design community tends to be up in arms, but is this just a case of people not liking change? In time, will the following logo redesigns be recognized as a necessary step in modernizing the brand?
At our Charlotte marketing agency, we believe a logo has an important mission – to help a company “tell” the target market at a glance what the company wants them to know or feel. So here's a great opportunity to take stock and decide, as we take a look back at some of the biggest logo redesigns of the last year. With the benefit of hindsight, what do you think of them now?
Ebay straightened out its logo in the fall of 201, after 17 years of trading under its famous 'rummage style' style jumble of letters (below). The new logo gives a more sleek, professional and – dare we say it – dull look to the company. The old logo was a much-loved hot mess of lettering that reflected its dot com boom origins.
Though they're separate companies, the eBay and Microsoft logo redesigns seemed to go hand in hand thematically. The computer software giant's fairly recent logo redesign (August 2012) had a similarly slimmed-down and straightened-out aesthetic, based on Microsoft's preferred Segoe font. The chunky bold type of the old logo (below), with its 'go-faster' slant, looked immediately dated in comparison.
Wendy's opted for a sleeker look with its new logo, to match a change in company strategy. In October 2012, America's much-loved burger franchise decided to give its 1983 logo a long-overdue makeover. As well as stripping back things to its basics – a common strategy in logo redesigns – Wendy herself was also altered to look a little older, paving the way for the company's transformation into a higher-end hamburger chain.
In October 2012, the grocery giant Kraft Foods was split in two: the North American business was spun off into Kraft Foods Group, Inc, while the worldwide snacking company changed its name to Mondelez International. Neither company kept the 2009 logo (below); instead the former chose to reflect its heritage by tweaking a version of its classic shield to create a new corporate logo.
The minimal new logo incorporates a plus sign to indicate a broad range of programming. The music and reality TV channel, which worked with Gretel on its new identity, says the name change signifies how VH1 has become "the ultimate mash up of music + pop culture + nostalgia". The new design certainly simplifies the logo, in a way that's almost the opposite to ITV's strategy. VH1 has opted for a more geometric, simpler, single-colour typeface in comparison with the fussy, mutli-coloured design of old (shown below).