A good logo design often becomes the first thing the public largely associates with a brand. As we noted last week, a new logo can sometimes inspire unwanted attention or fan backlash, sometimes for reasons totally unrelated to the brand, and sometimes because the a particular design has taken on more meaning to consumers.
Sometimes, however, logos must be updated to address factors that include keeping things fresh or appealing to new or changing customer bases. While these changes are sometimes risky, combined with a solid strategy or other successful rebranding, the change can be welcomed with open arms.
Take, for example, the following seven examples.
In the early 2000’s, UPS was a fast-growing company looking to expand beyond its image of only being a package delivery service. Along with a variety of new services, UPS revealed a new, sleeker logo.
The logo kept the shield shape and the company's signature brown and yellow colors, but sported a sleeker, more streamlined look. The new logo also lost the bow — meant to represent the tying of a package — present on previous iterations. The loss of the bow signified UPS' growth past focusing solely on package delivery.
Apple's iTunes logo was originally a musical note paired with the image of a CD. The CD, prior to that time, had made sense because so many users were converting CDs to digital files.
However, a shift was occuring in how music was consumed — in large part because of Apple’s iPod. The majority of users were listening solely to mp3 files and the CD was becoming obsolete. With the release of iTunes 10 in 2010, Apple changed the logo to a more contemporary image that ditched the CD for a blue background.
Fast food chain Wendy’s was one of the many brands to update a logo in 2013. The restaurant changed the outdated, boxed-in logo for a more modern depiction of the namesake redhead alongside font that looked more like handwriting.
Soon after its release, speculation arose that the logo held a subliminal message. Wendy’s new collar seemingly spelled out the word “mom,” which some claimed was an attempt to get consumers to associate the chain with mom’s home cooking. Wendy’s denied the resemblance was intentional, but probably enjoyed all of the publicity from the conspiracy theory regardless.
4. Farmer’s Insurance
For 55 years, Farmer’s Insurance had been using the same time-tested logo. Not one to rock the boat, the insurance company had previously changed its logo only once since opening its doors in 1928. In 1958, the original logo, featuring a sunrise to represent the optimism of a new day, saw the addition of a shield meant to symbolize protection.
The logo remained exactly the same until 2013, when Farmer’s decided it was time for a more modern design. Both the sunrise and shield elements were included, but the overall look was cleaner and brighter.
5. Smoothie King
Fast food juice chain Smoothie King has developed a healthy international presence, thanks largely in part to South Korean owner Wan Kim. It also possessed a logo that had not kept up with that global growth. For about 20 years, Smoothie King operated with the same logo — a generic oval with the brand's name inside.
Last year, the company hired a new vice president of marketing to help revamp and restructure its efforts in that arena. Along with a broad range of new marketing strategies came a logo redesign. The result was a more distinct image of the crown and clearer depiction of the brand’s name. The new look helped bring Smoothie King fully into an era where it competes with the likes of Jamba Juice.
Much like UPS, Domino’s Pizza wanted to prove that it was more than its past — and more than just pizza. The chain now offered chicken entrees, sandwiches, and dessert options it hoped hungry consumers would buy into. For this reason, in 2012 — after 15 years with the same logo — the restaurant chain dropped the word “pizza” and gave its logo a fresh look.
Whenever a brand updates its image, all of the past marketing collateral, signage, and other branded items are thrown by the wayside in favor of the new logo. Domino’s took this opportunity to launch a side campaign, “Second Hand Logos,” that commissioned artists to make new items from the company's old pizza boxes, t-shirts, and more. The campaign was executed through Pinterest and gave one last boost of life to the old logo.