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

Featured Image Source: Freepik/@GraphiqaStock

Brands have had a long history of revamping their image and logos, either to mold the motive/experience or to give/add a new meaning to it. And that too can be a positive contributor to the branding efforts to make a mark. Sadly, not all of these efforts get the desired response. And so, we’ll be discussing a few large brands that strived to become better, but ended up destroying what was previously accepted by the audience.

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.

Logo Revamps that were just a Miss!

1. The Pepsi Logo – Never Make the Best Better

Pepsi, a largely renowned brand, known for its taste and for being a direct competitor of Coca Cola, tried revamping their logo but couldn’t make it impactful enough. People loved the company’s old design for decades. It was considered as one of the coolest logos because of it was chic, timeless, and meant for the young generation.

Pepsi redesign

Pepsi’s “new” logo design earned some harsh criticism, which is why they topped that chart of companies that have experienced logo design fails. Why? Because it distorted the essence of the company! People don’t consider the brand as trendy anymore. 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!

Remember the time when every kid & adult was in love Kraft Foods. People loved the packaging, color and the bold logo made their products stand out from the rest of the products stacked on the same shelf. Personally, their cheese always attracted me and every other kid who went to the grocery store.

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

Kraft redesign logo

The re-design is a typical disaster. 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). I don’t know about you, but I didn’t smile when I saw this logo!

3. Animal Planet – Where Did the Elephant Go?

Animal Planet’s old logo stood for something that wasn’t very common with other similar brands. It showed love for animals and gave the message that this planet belongs to them as well and that we should understand & take care of these living creatures. Ever since Animal Planet brought out their new logo design, everyone’s been asking the same question, “Where did the elephant go?”

We’re not saying the new logo design is graphically wrong, but it should have kept an emotional connection to the wildlife. The removal of the ‘earth’ & the ‘elephant’ from their logo disjointed the sentimental link the channel has for these living beings.

Animal Planet redesign logo

The color combination of the new logo is pretty nice, better than the old one I’d say. But the lack of imagery that expressed love for animals just wasn’t digestible and so, the newly designed logo received grating reviews

4. AOL – Modernism Gone Wrong

AOL is one of the pioneers of online communication and has led 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. Whereas, the new designs are just misleading and confusing. None of the new designs convey the message AOL needed delivered.

AOL logo redesign

This new design might have given a new, modernistic touch to the company’s image, but has no relevance to the brand whatsoever. The logo was liked by some but the major part distribution of users disliked this change. AOL’s revamped logo appeared immature, and lost its professional feel and look.

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! Soon after the design change the sales immediately dropped and people weren’t able to match the logo & relate with the brand. It was considered as an unintelligent design shift.

Gap is known to be a trendsetter in the clothing industry. 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

Outrageous comments were noted from professional designers to fans. For a brand like GAP, a custom font should have been used whereas the company used Helvetica, a largely used font. Although Helvetica is amazing font and is largely used by organizations, but in case of a logo for GAP, it should have been something different

Extract

There’s a rule in graphic design that if you’re reshaping the face (logo) of your brand, do it gradually, so people could relate it with the company. Cadbury’s case would be a wonderful example here:

New

  • Pepsi had darkened the colors, removed the glint effect, changed the font and its color, and changed the icon itself. You can’t change everything and expect your consumers to like it!
  • Kraft Foods not only changed the shape and font but also added a multi-colored icon while they removed the thick stroked border around the text. This was very misleading and the consumers weren’t able to relate it with the old design.
  • Animal Planet had a very promising logo that showcased an elephant and a globe, which meant animals are all around us, and that we should love them as our own. The Earth is a home to them and not just for humans. But the new design although was pretty clean and used very nice colors, eventually lost the meaning.
  • AOL’s old logo was an example of perfection, which was deeply carved in the minds of their users. The new design hid the brand’s message which didn’t appeal to its users.
  • GAP had a design shift, which fairly seemed decent but just weren’t able to digest this design changed. Their logo was prominent and had its users grappled with loyalty and trust.

The companies should have hosted a logo design event and invited all the designers to participate in the competition to design logos for these respective brands. This would have attracted the attention of bloggers and the media to cover the entire event, which could have been a source of free publicity that could have created a hype in the graphic design industry.

All of 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 were highly criticized. Through today’s post, we’ve focused on the mistakes that led to the failure of the design concepts behind these logos. We hope that young designers today can learn from these logo design mistakes.

Blog Update: 12 June 2015

*This post was originally written by Admin.

Logo Images Source: Google Images

Janil Jean is an idealist blogger and social media addict who loves conversations related to branding, storytelling, startups and small business technology and design.

9 thoughts on “5 Logo Re-Design Disasters – What Can Designers Learn?

  1. Not sure if I agree with the “logo contest” comment, but you’re correct on all counts as far as the poor decision-making processes involved in these trademark redesigns. Good post.

  2. Crowd sourcing the logo for GAP was a double mistake- not only from the perspective of adding more decision makers is a futile effort in trend, but also the angle of free work.

    I get that a lot of inexperienced designers and design sites angle for the opportunity to touch and explore larger brands… but GAP exploiting these designers teaches them not the value the quality of their work, and the expectation of free work. That doesn’t nurture talent, and it doesn’t appreciate it.

  3. Thank you guys for your feedback 🙂

    @Brady: No doubt, GAP’s logo was one of the most criticized logo from this list, especially after they rushed to change it once again. And even though they went back to their old logo, now it just seems outdated. Perhaps they should have stuck to the new one and criticism would have eventually died down. Who knows!

  4. So True, Often in the spirit of modern look – goodwill and brand recognition are forgotten this is a grave mistake and has so many repercussions both from customers and branding

  5. this is such a sensitive issue, many tests have to be done to get it just right, best thing don’t mess with a old established well recognized logo – mess it up and you lose so much!

  6. Actually, the idea of a contest could have worked. Top Designers should have been invited to the panel of judges, while the contestants would also be hand-picked. The winning logo should have been worked upon for final touches and then the companies should have officially changed their logos.

    This could have grabbed a lot of user attention while becoming the source free marketing

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