Analysing rebrands has to be a favourite hobby for most designers in the world. It’s a chance for designers to get nerdy about tiny details and a good rebrand can spark a serious debate.
In this blog post, we don’t mean to create any debates or arguments, we just want to celebrate what we think were the most successful rebrands of the past year. From the Alzheimer’s Society to Mozilla, let’s take a quick look back over 2017…
The Alzheimer’s Society
Back in January 2017, the Alzheimer’s Society released their new logo designed by design consultancy, Heavenly. The charity said that this was an attempt to ditch its old look which could perhaps come across as “cold, clinical, and passive”.
We love this new logo because everything has been thought through. The flower emblem is actually a forget-me-not which is used in many dementia communities. The soft blue maintains some of the old identity and is created using a spray paint effect stroke. Heavenly managing partner, Fi Case, says that this effect evokes images of protest as the charity protests against the disease.
Even the typeface has purpose. A new typeface was created called A S Lettera and it is specifically designed to be easy to read for those with dementia and impaired vision.
Beyond the logo, the charity have injected more colour into their branding to reach out to their audience. “Because a lot of people affected by dementia lived through the 1960s and 1970s, our identity was a nod to pop art, bright, vibrant colours. We chose colours which resonated the most with people with dementia,” says Case.
The Virgin sponsored pop and rock festival underwent an incredibly colourful rebrand early last year. Paula Benson, partner at design consultancy Form, says that they felt “the new identity should communicate an upbeat, optimistic summer experience of music and good times.”
The fresh colours certainly give the new logo an upbeat feel and the large yellow circle behind the wording suggest a hot, summer sun.
The new look does a good job at maintaining key branding elements such as using the classic Virgin red. It also keeps that distinctive Virgin, tick-like ‘V’ but rest of the lettering was newly designed to invoke images of the circus and fairgrounds. This typeface was created in conjunction with a series of graphic symbols and icons to produce a cohesive look across all media publications.
Interestingly, Virgin have actually just announced that they will no longer be sponsoring the festival. We are looking forward to hearing the festival’s new name and seeing its new logo for 2018.
2018 saw the first YouTube logo refresh in 12 years! Exciting times, we know, and that’s not sarcasm because the YouTube rebrand is actually really interesting.
Christopher Bettig, the head of Youtube’s art department describes the change as “an evolution, not a revolution” but that doesn’t mean there isn’t lots to talk about. You see, while the old design did have meaning when it was first created (see here for how the word ‘tube’ in a red tube used to refer to the slang word for TVs, tube), it’s lost its relevancy today.
The new logo takes away that unnecessary emphasis of the word ‘tube’ and, instead, creates a play button which has come to represent the site so much more. “Over the years, organically, that play button, that UI element that is front and centre of every video, became a brand ambassador, an unofficial shorthand,” says Bettig.
For the design nerds amongst you, the red they chose is also symbolic, It represent the digital nature of YouTube because it is a pure RGB red with the RGB value of 255, 0, 0. The new logo was also an opportunity to tidy up the old design inaccuracies, such as the mismatching ‘u’s and the corners on the box which weren’t all rounded in the same way.
Like YouTube, Subway’s rebrand wasn’t the earth-shattering change that the Alzheimer’s Society’s was but it was still substantial. (And yes, we do know the logo was released in 2016 but the company-wide rebrand was rolled out in 2017 so we’re counting it)
President and Chief Executive of Subway, Suzanne Greco, says that “the new look reinforces our commitment to staying with a design that is clear and confident without losing sight of our heritage.”
The new look maintains the brand’s core colours which were supposedly inspired by the colour of fresh fruit and veg. They’ve also kept the two arrows at either end which come together to create a pictorial version of the logo if needs be.
As a whole, the design is clearly much simpler than the previous one. This is in line with the company wide effort to make buying at Subway a simpler, easier experience. Part of the rebrand includes rolling out self-order kiosks, digital menu boards and pre-order collection points.
Our final favourite rebrand of 2017 comes from Mozilla – proving that a small change can have a big effect.
A colon and two forward slashes is a common occurrence in URLs. So, by finding a way to include that phrase within its logotype, Mozilla is indicating that it is all about the internet. What’s perhaps more interesting than the change in the actual logo, however, is the way in which they went about changing it.
Most companies will work on their new look in secret and then do a surprise reveal. Mozilla, however, asked their customers’ opinions on several variations before drawing up the final design.
Mozilla and their design firm, Johnson Banks, analysed approximately 3,000 comments over 5 months – some of which made it to the final draft. For example, the logotype uses a lowercase ‘m’, not an uppercase one, thanks to one comment that URL code uses all lowercase.
Using an all text logo also allows followers to use their “maker spirit” by adding pictures or GIFs to the image without cluttering the space up too much space and to add in a burst of fresh colour.
What was your favourite rebrand of 2017? Will there be some exciting rebrands in 2018, too?
We’ve taken a little look into the future and predicted what we think are going to be some top trends in the design world this year. Some of them have been used in the rebrand we’ve talk about already – find out what we thought in our blog, 11 Graphic Design Predictions for 2018.