Companies have various reasons for retiring a logo and going back to the drawing board. Sometimes, an old logo no longer reflects the values of a brand that has steadily evolved over the years. At other times, industry changes force brands to rethink how they fit into the market.
Not all logos can stay relevant forever. While there are a few rare gems, like the Nike swoosh, most enduring brands will deal with a redesign at some point.
Take a look at good and bad logo redesigns of 2017 to learn the dos and don’ts of updating your brand.
After years of using a basic wordmark, eharmony unveiled a new heart symbol to strengthen the brand identity. The lowercase logotype and color-blocked icon fit the current trend toward modern, simplistic designs.
And now that app icons dominate social media, eharmony is hoping the multicolor heart becomes synonymous with successful online dating.
Pro gamers are a critical audience, so it was essential for the Electronic Entertainment Expo to get its new logo just right. True to the minimalist trend, E3 ditched a 3D logo for a flat design with nuanced cropping.
Dropbox wants to be a core element of creative workflows, not just a place to store stuff. That’s why the company transformed its literal box icon into an abstract design. The end result is a clean, flat logo that still gets the brand message across. The simple blue prisms are easy to print, and you still know you’re looking at an open box.
4. Renovate America
The home improvement financing company’s new logo couldn’t be more basic in terms of graphics. Yet, the elementary shapes get the job done. Unlike the former wordmark, the new pictorial logo tells a clear story.
The boxed heart and red stripes perfectly convey the American flag. And the shape of a home reminds you Renovate America is about helping families build a future.
5. Ontario International Airport
The updated Ontario Airport logo probably went unnoticed outside of California, but it’s a good example of clever design. A negative space plane and its flight path cut through the word “Ontario.” The logo also trades a serif for a sans serif font, and the entire design is more clean and contemporary.
6. Calvin Klein
Calvin Klein is one of several fashion brands that revealed a new all-caps logo this year. Calvin Klein aims to exemplify “bold, progressive ideals,” so it’s no surprise the brand went with a heavier font that makes an impact.
7. Post University
Post University made a host of big changes at once, starting with a new color scheme. The old tree and globe design captured the university’s 127-year heritage, but contained too many ideas. The new logo incorporates slab serif and sans serif fonts alongside a negative space letter “P” inside of a letter “U.”
The logomark is supposed to represent “hands raised,” demonstrating the brand’s commitment to student success. No one can argue that an update was necessary, but the new logo does little to establish an identity.
8. Magic the Gathering
Yes, you sort of expect a playfully garish logo for the iconic card game Magic the Gathering. With its gradient colors, the “mythic orange” logo of 2015 was fun and mystical like the brand.
The company aimed to bring its long-standing fantasy brand into the digital age with a new symbol and metallic wordmark. While the fiery Planeswalker symbol will be familiar to players, the overdone logo loses a bit of the magic and authenticity people love.
9. Formula 1 Racing
Like many veteran brands, the Formula One Group had to retire a logo that clashed with digital media. The 23-year-old logo showed an excellent use of movement and white space, and fans aren’t happy about losing it.
Fortunately, the new mark has its merits and is likely to grow on people. The stylized “F” resembles a racetrack, and the sleek, simple design mirrors the iconic sport.
Chobani carved a new niche in the yogurt market, and then got swamped with competitors. Now, the company is refreshing its entire visual identity to regain a sense of distinction. A chunky serif wordmark is just one element of the company’s new folk art-inspired branding.
Chobani abandoned its cold Art Deco font and hyper-realistic imagery for a curvier font and a hand-painted graphic style. Hopefully, the changes will help the company convey its message of natural wellness and throwback quality.
Mozilla wins the award for the most effortlessly authentic logo redesign of 2017. The colon and double-forward slash present in every web address takes center stage in a simple slab-serif wordmark.
Some critics might call it bland, but the instantly recognizable web symbols are perfect for a brand built around internet functionality.
12. Yankee Candle
Yankee Candle is one example of a heritage brand that would be better off sticking to its charming roots. Both the old and new wordmarks are pretty stark, but the latter strays from the quaint, homegrown origins of the brand.
While the old logo featured a warm, inviting serif font with balanced lettering, the new version uses a sans serif with varying line weights and letter spacing.
Modern job seekers can’t resist browsing Glassdoor for reviews about prospective employers. In fact, the site’s massive popularity might be strong enough for most people to overlook the lackluster logo update.
Similar to the original, an abstract open door symbolizes the company’s goal of making job searches transparent. The fresher shade of green stands out, but the newly flattened symbol and low-key font changes make little impact.
Global real estate giant RE/MAX made the wise move of removing clutter from a busy logo. In the earlier version, letters randomly overlapped and made the wordmark less readable. Now, the wordmark features wide spacing and light cropping around the letters “E” and “M.”
The important lesson here? Choose one or two things to emphasize. The bright color scheme already grabs attention, so complicated lettering is just overkill.
Instead of hailing its next growth phrase, video messaging brand Oovoo earned instant criticism for designing a logo similar to the Airbnb Belo symbol. Maybe, the disastrous logo launch was a sign of stormy times, as the company shut down months later.
Logo updates were common this year, but not every redesign made the list. Here are a few honorable mentions of remixed logos you may have missed:
International Design Excellence Awards
Across the board, the most memorable logo redesigns of 2017 involved scaling down. Ultra-simplified visuals. Flat logomarks. Contemporary fonts. Color blocking.
Clean symbols that can standalone on smartphone apps and other digital media. Less is more in logo design today, and you can make a bigger impression on your audience by keeping things simple.
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