Have you ever seen before-and-after photos of your favorite celebrity’s plastic surgery? While it was their decision, you and every other fan still have an opinion. You may love their new body—or you may be upset that they look different.
Celebs aren’t the only ones who like to freshen their look now and then. Logo redesigns are the corporate equivalent: companies create new logos when they’re ready for a change. And when they do, watch out! People feel strongly about their favorite brands, so they have intense reactions to changing their logo designs.
Want proof? All you have to do is look at logos that have been restyled for major brands. These are just a few redesigns that sparked customers’ love (or hate) at first sight:
Anyone who cooks knows the Morton Salt girl; she’s a household figure. This logo redesign made her even nearer and dearer to customers’ hearts. It took out the dark blue lines, giving her a brighter, more modern look.
Even though it’s streamlined, the logo still holds onto what customers loved in the first place: the image of a little girl walking home through the rain with her canister of salt.
Olive Garden’s old logo was more of a glorified illustration than an easy-to-recognize brand mark. Its cluster of grapes and green writing looked like vines growing up an ancient stone wall.
The redesign ditched the stone texture to simplify the logo and added a round font that some have criticized. Even better, it replaced the grapes with an olive branch—which makes more sense with the brand name.
Bacardi’s old bat logo looked like a Halloween cartoon with its gold accents and super dramatic wings. It wasn’t bad, but it was pretty childish for a brand that markets to adults over the age of 21.
In the redesign, the bat evolved into an upscale illustration. The gray and silver colors make the red background look elegant instead of gaudy. Best of all, this redesign is totally vintage; it’s a throwback to Bacardi’s 1931 design.
The Cleveland Browns kept their redesign simple, which is good. But many fans hated it for one reason. Football is all about action—pigskin flying, bodies colliding, fans rushing the field. This still-life image is just a helmet; there’s not even a player wearing it.
While the new color is brighter, It’s still a supremely boring sports logo. The Browns missed a great opportunity to turn a logo that doesn’t match their brand (or industry) into something exciting.
Black and Decker
Here’s a gold nugget of wisdom: don’t get rid of features that describe your brand. The Black and Decker bolt worked for a brand selling hardware, and bold black letters reminded clients of its name.
So what did they do in the redesign? They nixed the bolt and black letters. The new shape has round corners, which look too soft to advertise power tools. And to add insult to injury, the logo’s color doesn’t hint at the brand name at all.
JCPenney is the king of redesigns: the company burned through four logos in four years. It’s nearly impossible for clients to build brand recognition with that many logos flying around—not to mention that so many updates cost a fortune.
The retailer has suffered long-lasting side effects from its indecisive branding. The moral of the story? When you redesign a logo, do it right the first time.
Redesigning a logo comes with lots of pitfalls and a few sweet successes. To ensure success, you can use these resources for inspiration and ideas.
Have a story about designing your logo—or an opinion on someone else’s? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.