Have you noticed the changes that have been made to your favourite brand logos in recent years? They may have been subtle, but there is a good reason for change: brands and their logos need to be regularly redesigned to stay relevant. Can you imagine still seeing the brown FLORA logo with ‘soft margarine’ underneath it on a slightly curved tub with indented edges around the lid? It wouldn’t look very 2021 would it?! Brands reflect what a company stands for today and where it is heading tomorrow. The logo is the embodiment of that purpose and direction and can revive and refresh a company, giving it renewed energy in the eyes of its stakeholders and its clients.
Let’s look at some examples of brand logo redesigns. Here are 3 well-known companies that have done it successfully:
Instagram went through a significant rebranding in 2016, changing and updating its logo from an old-fashioned ‘instamatic’ camera of 2010 to a modern, colourful square that cleverly incorporated a visual head-nod to the original. This redesign came with an expansion and repurposing of the app itself. It was no longer a place to be exclusively used for sharing personal pictures but a multi-purpose tool for networking, marketing and content-sharing purposes. Consequently, Instagram’s previous logo had become outdated and not fully representative of the services offered by the company.
The changes – in colour scheme and design – reflect the app’s advancements of content, video, creativity. Furthermore, its simple design conveys the simplicity of using the app itself. It was also capable of being referenced in logos for clearly related ‘sub-apps’, like layout, boomerang and hyper lapse. (see picture below), keeping its logo and variants harmonised and consistent.
Although there was a mixed reaction to the new Instagram logo at first, it has now fully permeated consumer consciousness and its success is clear from its survival of the subsequent 5 years.
In 2020, Cadbury had a logo-change for its iconic chocolate bar, Dairy Milk. Cadbury wanted its brand to shift from being representative of ‘joy’ to ‘generosity’, something that felt even more relevant after Covid. A subtle rebranding can go on to effectively contribute to particular messaging. Small changes were therefore made to its logo to contribute to this change of emphasis that followed through to the associated ad campaigns:
Bulletproof, the agency behind the redesign, said they wanted to emphasise John Cadbury’s philanthropic values, promoting the idea of there being a ‘glass and a half in everyone’. Therefore, the logo was tweaked (right) to accentuate the ‘glass and a half’ image, with milk being poured directly into a chocolate chunk. Bulletproof used Cadbury’s archives ‘to reinterpret its iconic visual cues to create a modern and playful identity’ for Dairy Milk, whilst still staying true to its history.
Changes were made to the font of Dairy Milk, rendering it in capital letters, to echo its original heritage from its 1905 packaging. While the typography of ‘Cadbury’ remained reminiscent of John Cadbury’s signature to perpetuate the personal touch, it was also refreshed and straightened to make it more authentic.
Like Cadbury, Burger King leant on its past history when designing its new 2021 logo. The picture above shows the evolution of the company’s branding – from left to right being 1969-94; 1999 to 2021; and the new iteration. The latest brand logo harks back to the original burger image but with a contemporary twist. The rounded lettering echoes a more rounded bun and impression of a plumper, juicier burger.
Burger King wanted its new brand identity to reflect its heritage but also to convey change “symbolic of the changes that have occurred in its restaurants over recent years such as improvements in food quality, sustainability and the overall dining experience”, said Rapha Abreu, Global Head of Design at Restaurant Brands International, the holding company for the franchise.
The company behind the rebrand was Jones Knowles Ritchie, who decided to go for a 70s retro feel in the logo to remind customers of the company’s formative first decade.
At the same time, the redesign conveys that change has occurred – the stylised blue crescent had been removed with a more authentic burger logo having replaced it.
Again, the logo change was part of a revision to overall branding, from packaging to signage and marketing, including the total redesign of Burger King’s Instagram page.
Evidence of importance
These three examples show the importance a logo has on a brand’s full identity – how it communicates its values and services to consumers. Keeping up with modern trends is important as is also keeping in touch with your company’s history. Along with this, a business’ brand or logo doesn’t have to be changed significantly to have a momentous impact and convey a new message.
Are you considering a future redesign? Bear these things in mind:
• simplicity can be effective
• make sure the logo is fitting for the current time
• make sure to remain true to your company’s history
And of course, if you feel like it’s time for a brand logo redesign, you know where we are!
Chloe Hagdrup, Shake It Up Creative