The last few years, it seems like everywhere I turn, I see another company redesigning and simplifying their logo. I first noticed the trend when I drove by of all places, Peter Piper Pizza and saw their monstrosity of a new logo. It doesn’t even look like a pizza joint anymore let alone a miniature carnival for kids. From there, classic logos started dropping like flies. Huge brands such as Google, Facebook, Olive Garden, Verizon, Bacardi, PayPal, Black &(now a +) Decker, IHOP, Coors Light… I feel like I could go on forever.
As you may have deciphered, I’m not a big fan of the logo change, albeit companies have been doing it for decades, I just think like Massimo Vignelli; I believe established logos should be protected, a logo gradually becomes part of our collective culture and it thus becomes part of all of us. Good logos are timeless, and I’ve seen too many timeless logos destroyed over the years. Modest changes, refreshes or updates sometimes makes sense. But some of the drastic changes being made in this era is damn near thievery. Can you imagine Nike changing their logo!?
While I’m not the biggest fan of changing your logo, there are some good logo revisions. Without further ado, here are a few logo redesigns that I think are well done and make a lot of sense (some simply because their original logo wasn’t good in the first place):
Sometimes simplification is good, as Brand New mentions, they’re old logo looked like it would be on a bottle of rum.
Typography mostly the same; sans drop shadow, can never go wrong removing drop shadows. The old logo, while very recognizable, just wasn’t timeless. It looks it was screaming for a redo and very sad that it hadn’t got one. The new logo is simple, clean and happy while maintaining the brand recognizability.
This one was hard to put on the good list. The old Raptors logo is so cool! But the new is pretty cool too! At least they have materials for throw back nights now! (that made me feel old to type)
This one was hard to categorize for me. While I understand the old logo looks dated and with the theme of simplifying logos is hot right now, I just can’t get past the all lowercase letters, seems so small for such a large brand. I also frown upon the use of 3 colors in the symbol because PRINT IS NOT DEAD! But it’s Pentagram, they can do whatever they want!
I should first mention that the bad category is more like the not quite good list. They leave you wanting more.
Would make the ugly list if the original logo wasn’t already one of the most useless logos of all-time. It works, but it’s boring, not like the bill you get every month from Verizon! No designer on this planet gets away with doing less than Michael Bierut, and somehow he’s still a genius graphic designer (and I don’t disagree with that assessment).
Makes a jump up to the bad list only due to effective branding & marketing that utilizes the logo. The branding and use in video are visually appealing, but the logo itself is just off on so many levels.
Peter Piper Pizza
This was the logo that forced me to notice the logo redesign trend. It’s awful! Nothing about the new logo says “fun, happy pizza place with games.” I can’t help but see the Japanese flag and a rice bowl. The old logo wasn’t necessarily good, but at least it fit what Peter Piper is.
STOP CHANGING YOUR LOGO!!! AHHHH!!! I miss the DC logo previous to these two atrocities, but there is a rumor out there that they infringed on a DC Shoes trademark. Whether I believe it or not, I like that logo!
EXTRA: The Good & Ugly:
After researching for this article, this is the one that made me first notice bad redesigns. This one was so awful that it may have become the only logo redesign single-handedly responsible for lowering a company’s profits. According to E-Poll Market Research, logo awareness went from 84% in 2011 to 56% with the square jcp logo. Seeing the ugly logo on the wall, JCPenney quickly reverted back to the old logo, thus becoming the only logo redesign I’ve reviewed that qualifies for both the good and the ugly lists.