This is another freelance feature that appears in issue 120 (February 2009) of Computer Arts Projects magazine.
Titled “Extreme Makeover”, the article looks at how redesigning a logo can reinvigorate and modernise a fading brand.
The brief called for mini-interviews with the client company or the design agency, looking at what Computer Arts Projects readers can learn from the featured redesigns, why companies decide to redesign and how they can improve their own branding work.
Here’s an excerpt from the article itself:
Appearance is everything and a strong logo is a powerful way to make a brand stand out from the crowd. Consider the red, white and blue of the Pepsi emblem, the BBC’s solemn multi-platform typography or the classic Mercedes Benz badge.
Yet even these global brands have needed to freshen up their image to stay in touch with their target markets. Only a few logos, such as Nike’s iconic ’swoosh’ and McDonald’s ‘golden arches’ have stood the test of time.
A logo redesign can reinvigorate a tired or fading brand. On the one hand, this could involve simply tweaking the logo or updating the typeface.
For example, when Xerox rebranded in January 2008, it kept faith with its recognisable red palette, but updated its 40-year old logo by changing the font (to FS Albert) and adding a red sphere (to convey the idea of a global company).
The result is a softer, round-edged wordmark and a new brand icon that is more relevant and less formal.
The brand bond
Logos are a key factor in our bond with an individual brand. So it’s hardly surprising that some companies don’t want to risk a well-developed identity with a wholesale logo redesign.
There’s something in the old “if it ‘aint broke…” mantra. Instead, they opt for smaller, more subtle changes to their logos.
You can see this sort of logo-modding going on everywhere. For example, MSNBC swapped its austere uppercase type for a lowercase sans serif font.
US airline Delta revamped its iconic pyramid (now red, instead of blue/red) and chose a more sophisticated uppercase font.
Pepsi is also tweaking its brand image, updating its iconic Pepsi emblem to feature a series of so-called ’smiles’. Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and Pepsi Max will also use a minimalist lowercase font.
You get the idea. The rest of the feature covered logos including: Mapquest, Dolby, The Museum of London, Animal Planet, Five and Quantas.
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