Nick Heath, Creative Director - 31 - 03 - 16

Our Favourite Re-brands Of 2015

What's in a brand? Great brands don't happen by chance, the companies behind them may have very different stories but all great brands all have one thing in common - a great logo. Take a look at these big brands and how they have changed over the years, decades and even centuries. They show us how businesses have to adapted to a forever changing market and trends.

Designing logos and building brands is by far my favourite discipline in design, and is also by far the most rewarding. The reason for this is because a great identity sets the tone as a company, represents your values, and gives a starting point when it comes to a marketing approach. One of the most important things we always recommend once the all important logo has been designed is to have a set of brand guidelines. These guides ensure you maintain a consistent visual look, after all your branding is how people will recognise your business.

We have extensive experience in helping businesses both large and small build their brands. If you are looking to name a brand from scratch or need to rename an existing one then come and talk to Identity today and we will be more than happy to help outline the next steps.

But for now… and I did mention I was a logo nerd, let's look back at 2015 and how five of the biggest brands in the world, along with their chosen design agencies, decided to evolve their recognised brands. Good or bad, some of these logos have had some pretty mixed reviews. Let's take a look…

1. Facebook

The new Facebook logo has under gone a subtle but distinctive tweaking of its iconic Klavika typeface. The new typeface was a collaborative effort between Facebook's own in-house design team and Process Type Foundry's Eric Olson.

So let's take a closer look at the new typeface, the obvious changes to the font include a single-deck 'a' and a more organic stem on the letter 'b', while the all-important 'f' remains instantly recognisable. The typography isn’t as hard-edged, the letters themselves are more rounded and humanist, and the letter spacing appears less dense too. The most noticeable change, is the weight of the logo itself, it’s not as heavy anymore and is more forgiving to its baseline. The characters are lighter and more neutralized. The distance from the baseline to the tops of lowercase letters is shorter than it was.

So why the change, I personally liked the old logo, it looked strong and well thought out. But, Facebook has just made a powerful leap into what can only be described as a very politically correct progression. They’ve moved to a more gender neutral user interface. They’ve recently made subtle changes to their branding and iconography throughout parts of the Facebook website. They’ve updated not only their logo, but they’ve even redesigned their friend icons to be more inclusive of women (or people who identify as women) in their architecture. This is great news as the world around us is continually changing and human rights are more important than ever.

2. Royal Albert Hall

The Royal Albert Hall has also recently undergone a dramatic change. The famous London performing arts centre had a communications overhaul in 2015, in a bid to appeal to a wider audience and a logo change was part of its new look. BrandPie the strategy consultancy behind the redesign worked with RAH to create a logo that would emphasis the centre's reputation as a world class venue, creating a more contemporary and vibrant identity but still remains true to the Hall’s heritage and aim.

The Hall's distinctive silhouette now features a new five-colour logo which is designed for use across different media. The strength of the logo is that it celebrates the Hall’s iconic shape in coloured layers which help to convey the range, richness and vibrancy of the venue's activities, and the design can be flexibly applied across all our media, from social media to merchandising.

3. Electrolux

In 2015 Electolux, leaders in the home and professional appliance market unveiled a brand new identity with an original font that's unique to Electrolux. Designed by Prophet agency, London, started creating a visual identity by stripping out the dated typeface and tagline. A custom sans serif font was created that is both distinctive and also evocative of the shapes in the iconic brand symbol. Electrolux’s core colour blue was darkened for a more premium and modern appearance supported by a palette of bold, vivid colours that will stand out in retail environments. A great logo a certainly a vast improvement, but I still can't get past that the iconic brand symbol looks like a pair of G-strips on their side?

4. Freeview

What a transformation for the subscription-free TV service, Freeview. The new logo retains the red heritage of the old brand, but has been completely redesigned by creative agency DixonBaxi. I have to say, I like it, it's vibrant and colourful and I love the new angular 'F' that supposedly suggests agility, choice and a sense of fun.

5. Google

This is the one you've been waiting for. I'm not sure any logo redesign in history has received as much press, social media coverage, and debate as Google's recent overhaul. Personally, I'm not a bit sad to see the old serif logo go, it never did sit right with me. Although over the years the old font has been tweaked a few time which was an improvement.

I have to also admit that I wasn't to sure at first about the new reincarnation, however it's grew on me pretty quickly. This change of heart was mainly because I'm thinking what sort of brief the designers must have had, as I said earlier a logo needs to represent what Google embodies perfectly. The new logo's geometric forms is clean and straightforward, simple, friendly, and approachable. The more I look at it the more I like and the designers have certainly done their job.

Bonus 6: Andy Murray

Okay I know we've looked at five logos now so this one is a bonus, I couldn't resist because, well, this is cool. I saw the "AM" right away but the "77" in there is a bonus. It needs explanation and pointing out for non-tennis aficionados like me, but I'm positive fans who are aware of Murray's 77 accomplishment will get it. This is simple, concise, has just the right amount of aggressiveness, and will look great on merchandise.