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5 Logo Re-Design Disasters – What Can Designers Learn?

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logo design disasters, logo redesign, unsuccessful logos

There’s a very popular saying that goes, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it!” Apparently, the company’s logo designs that we will be discussing today didn’t think much of this old motto. These companies have a massive global fan base and people have grown to love their logos over the years. The re-designed logos of these companies faced criticism. Through today’s post we show new designers the mistakes that made these logos a failure, in hope that they can learn important lessons from these design mistakes.

1. The Pepsi Logo – Never Make the Best Better

This is the mistake Pepsi made with their logo’s re-design. They tried to change make an excellent design better, but it did not have a better impact. People loved the company’s old logo design for decades. It was considered as one of the coolest logo designs because it was chic, timeless and meant for the young generation.

 Pepsi redesign

The “new” logo design of Pepsi has earned the company some harsh criticism and has listed them the leader in failed logo designs. Why? It distorts the essence of the company! People no longer consider it chic and trendy, at times calling it a bad representation of a fat man or a rude smirk. If Pepsi was going for a ‘new and trendy’ look with this re-design, they sure missed it by a mile.


2. Kraft Foods Logo – Too Crafty!

I remember falling in love with Kraft’s cheese as a kid. The packaging and bold logo made the cheese stand out from the rest of the products and attracted me every time I went to the grocery store, even when I couldn’t spell.   ;-)

Because of its simplicity, Kraft’s old logo design was popular for decades. It created a strong impact and was easily recognizable among the competitive products. The bold text and color combination made the brand appealing and special, which is what Kraft Foods is all about.

Kraft redesign logo

The re-design is a typical disaster logo. It appears very busy and is giving too many messages while being seemingly childish. For Kraft fans, this logo came as a shock. The new logo is claimed to represent a spurt of various delicious Kraft flavors and food items, which are bound to make their customers smile (hence the red curve). Are you smiling at the logo?


3. Animal Planet – Where Did the Elephant Go?

Ever since Animal Planet brought out their new logo design, everyone’s been asking the same question, “Where did the elephant go?” The original Animal Planet logo was true to its cause and portrayed the channel’s message clearly.  When looking at the logo one could tell it conveyed the message of saving the world and preserving the Earth’s wildlife. People understood and welcomed the channel’s logo design warmly.

Animal Planet redesign logo

Although simplicity is good in logo design, if the logo doesn’t convey a proper message it is worthless. Animal Planet’s re-designed logo appears to be “simple” and the horizontal ‘M’ doesn’t make much sense. The absence of the elephant and globe is seen as the removal of the channel’s message. Critics called it an instant failure, an amateur design and said that it was lacking in meaning.


4. AOL – Modernism Gone Wrong

AOL is one of the pioneers of online communication and has lead to play a very important role in the industry.  It has always been a prestigious company with a bold, strong and inspiring logo design.  This is probably why AOL’s logo re-design saw a variety of criticism, both positive and negative.

AOL’s old logo design was simple, professional and unique.

 AOL logo redesign

The re-design has catered to changing times.  It has also given a new, modernistic touch to the company’s image, hence the changing logo background.  Many AOL customers applauded the new look, while others thought it could pass for an advertisement.  This new unique identity was seen as childish. What do you think?


5. Gap – Creating a Gap

Gap went from elegant and chic to cheap and local with its logo redesign. Could have been a naïve designer who created this!

Gap is known to be a trendsetter with an excellent clothing line.  It is a standalone brand in the fashion industry. Its old logo was simple, yet powerful with a grace, perfectly suiting the clothing line.

 GAP redesign logo

Gap’s logo redesign turned online communities to criticism. From professional designers to Gap’s fans, a plethora of outrageous comments were noted. The use of Helvetica font in the redesign is see as one of the most generic and overused fonts. For a global enterprise like Gap, this is surely a botched brand identity.

Maybe it would have worked out if these companies held a logo design contest for their redesign, instead of having such unsuccessful designs made. Holding a contest would have helped them gather customer opinions before spending (and losing) thousands of dollars on a bad brand identity.

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