From Yahoo! to Airbnb, the past couple years have seen a ton of logo redesigns. Is this just a trend where businesses follow one another’s lead like dominoes? Or are more organizations adopting the belief that logo refreshes need to occur with increasing regularity?
Whatever the reason, the evidence is undeniable (here’s a recap of 21 logo redesigns from the first part of 2014). And it has many organizations—business and nonprofit, large and small—wondering if they too need to redesign their logos.
In today’s post, we’ll take a look at five recent big brand logo redesigns—and an additional three new logos we’ve done for clients—to see what we can learn about the latest logo design trends.
Recent Logo Redesigns From Five Big Brand Names
Here are a handful of logo redesigns from the past six months that caught our attention, and a brief summary of what they changed and why.
Hershey has done away with the 3D, more-realistic logo in favor of a flatter, simplified image. The Hershey’s Kiss has gone from true image to graphic representation (and sparked some online speculation), the text now has a chocolate color and “The Hershey Company” has jumped into all caps. Hershey said the goal of the new logo was to provide better brand consistency.
Southwest has gone much warmer with its new logo—most obviously in its inclusion of a red, yellow and blue striped heart. The change came as a result of a lot of business and service changes at Southwest over the past few years, a change they wanted to reflect in the branding. Southwest Airlines Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer said of the change: “We don’t call it a rebranding. We call it a bold new look.”
Reebok’s revised logo is striking because it replaces the brand symbol (so important for athletic shoe companies) with something completely different. The new symbol, called the Delta, is part of the brand’s new path to appeal to ordinary people (rather than athletes). A Reebok press release states, “The Reebok Delta has three distinct parts each representing the changes — physical, mental and social — that occur when people push themselves beyond their perceived limits and embrace an active and challenging life.”
For those who don’t know Foursquare is a popular mobile app that helps people discover restaurants, bars and entertainment in their local areas. The new logo they adopted this year is a significant change from the old one with a simpler, flatter font and, most notably, a new symbol attached. The Foursquare blog notes: “We designed it to be a mix of map pin and superhero emblem. We’ve always thought of Foursquare as giving you superpowers to explore your city, and our new logo reflects that vision.”
Perhaps no logo on this list has undergone more of a major overhaul than Olive Garden. Their new logo is a complete departure from the old one, doing away with the old-world 3D look in favor of a simpler (and some have argued more generic) look. The logo still uses a cursive font (although a different one), but beyond that this is less a logo redesign that a completely new image for the Italian restaurant chain. It’s also notable they’ve changed “Italian Restaurant” to “Italian Kitchen” on the logo.
The Key Takeaway From These Recent Logo Redesigns?
Simplicity. The new trend is more basic logos that don’t look too busy and can be used effectively in a variety of capacities—particularly on the Web.
Here’s a trio of recent logo redesigns eleventy has done for clients. Note how they all serve to simplify the original logo concept. With less going on in the logo, the organization name, branding and tone all come through a lot clearer.
We updated First Watch’s logo to reflect their evolving service offerings and new business goals. As you can see, the new logo is much simpler with a more distinguishable color contrast.
The old Good Samaritan logo is a prime example of a logo that was simply outdated. We kept the original concept but modernized it to make it stronger and more easily identifiable.
Eleventy worked with ASDF to create a revised logo that better reflected their unique approach to helping autism families, and made the brand more accessible and memorable online.
The Big Question: Is It Time To Update Your Logo?
This is the question on the minds of many business leaders. Our post from last year that provides some answers to this question, 9 Answers To Why, When And How You Should Update Your Brand Logo, remains one of our most heavily trafficked.
Our general rule of thumb at eleventy: Once you start questioning if it’s time for a logo redesign, that usually means it is. The key is to stick the landing. You want a logo that looks “in the now” and accurately represents your brand identity.
Along with being visually appealing, your logo should also have a strong message behind it. So if anyone ever asks why your logo looks like it does, you can use it as a springboard quickly and easily express how it reflects your organization and the services you offer.