5 Significant Rebrands of 2019: A Designer’s Perspective
It doesn’t take a genius to notice a brand’s logo change and if you’re like most people, you get a tad excited seeing those changes. If you’re involved in business or marketing, you’ve probably been challenged to look at other companies and see who is winning and losing in the brand battle. If you haven’t seen any bad logos, trust us, we could show you and you’ll never forget. Speaking of what’s hot and what’s not, KM&A very own creative lead, Torrey, sat down and gave the 411 on all things branding and logos for 2019.
First up, Sears.
Perhaps the most hotly contested logo redesign of 2019 is that of Sears. It’s not even the wordmark that people are having a hard time with, but the actual icon on the end. Take a good look and tell us what familiar vacation rental service comes to mind. (Ahem, Airbnb). Usually, you can look past certain logos, but this one you just can’t ignore. While brands normally do intense research for inspiration, Torrey expressed that Sears might have done a little too much looking around and not enough internal brand exploration.
Branding Takeaway: Refreshing to stay relevant is important, but be vigilant that you aren’t majorly stepping on other brand’s toes.
Second, Warner Bros.
As potentially one of the most recognizable and dramatic redesigns of 2019, a Warner Bros. mention deserves a place on our list. Warner Bros., with Pentagram, did a full overhaul of the old three-dimensional, cast in gold logo and traded in for a sleek and custom shield gauged towards the future. According to Torrey, the ability to use this new logo in various applications gives it great versatility. Warner Bros. held on to their roots with a 3D version of the new logo that is clean and killer. Their custom typeface, lengthened shield and creative uses of the elements independently make this a logo that could last another 100 years.
Branding Takeaway: You can step away from a classic if you can find a way to create a new classic.
Fisher-Price’s new logo is a great example of how a simple spiff up can be effective. Note: their old logo was not broken. It fit the brief of playful, youth-oriented and wholesome fun, but there were places to improve. As a personal fan of 3s in design, Torrey commented on how they took the awning down. Fisher-Price also tightened up the type with a custom typeface by Pentagram that kept the spirit of the old wordmark! All in all, this new logo was a breath of fresh air for this fun and iconic brand.
Branding Takeaway: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…but do modernize it to make it better.” Sometimes a simple tweak can make all the difference.
In the words of Torrey, “Not to steal from my own takeaway, but sometimes a redesign teaches us that you can always go back.” Taking a page from a historic logo can be a great way to invigorate your brand. Besides some needed subtle tweaks, i.e. introducing a deep navy instead of black and fixing some alignment on the wordmark and icon, the new logo is almost exactly how it was in 1993. (However, Torrey does prefer the thickness of the OG 1993 wordmark). The identity work they did, though, shows them returning to a bad-ass sporting brand.
Branding Takeaway: You can always go back. Not to say that we recommend making a huge change and then taking it back, but if you have solid roots and find something cool – you can use those ideas to make something feel brand new.
We’re now giving the people what they want with this logo chat. According to Torrey, this logo has been discussed to death in secret graphic designer chat rooms. When looking at the new logo, you can see what Staples was trying to accomplish, but people are upset that they essentially removed the only clever part of their logo and made it a slap-in-the-face obvious item. We aren’t buying it. When you look at the collateral surrounding this rebrand, there are some nice moments, but it all comes back to that dang staple.
Branding Takeaway: You don’t have to lose who you are to fit in. Be clever, be subtle. Don’t let the man change you.
Side note from Torrey: “I do want to give Staples bonus points for everything else they did with this rollout. It was beautifully executed, and they are putting a real focus on their employees, which I love. However, this post is simply to discuss the marks as is.”
Rebranding is no joke and if you find yourself wanting to reinvent a new image, give us a call and we’ll work with your team to ensure that you won’t be the laughing stock of 2020.