Contrary to popular belief, a brand is not simply a logo. It’s not the graphic that represents your business, your business itself or the products and services you provide, for that matter. It’s not even the way you advertise for your business, although branding and advertising tend to go hand in hand. What your brand really is, is your customer’s and audience’s perception of you. The impression you make on the people that you conduct business with and the way they see you as a result is your brand. By this definition you can see why so many people will agree that your brand, is everything.
Now let’s return to the logo. It is indeed a representation of your brand, but now that you have a better understanding of what your brand actually is, doesn’t your logo begin to seem even more important? That’s because it is; and that’s also why it’s no small affair when a major company makes change, no matter how minor, to its logo.
Over the past year several major businesses have made changes to their logos. Some have been for the better, highlighting the company’s evolution over time or owing to the need for a more modern version, and some have been, well, not so great. Here are a few major changes that have stood out to us, whether we liked them or not, and a few that we just barely noticed.
PayPal recently updated its logo with more vibrant and saturated looking hues of the same colors as the previous version and filled in Ps. The new logo looks much more approachable as an icon on smartphones and tablets.
Good: Don Quixote
Don Quixote Rum recently redesigned their bottles which called for an equally refreshing new logo. The crest with leaves and flourishes is completely on point. Some may miss the horseback figure from the old logo but the new image is attractive enough to make them quickly forget.
Another world famous rum company didn’t fare so well. Bacardi’s still very appealing bat graphic was changed to a more realistic looking bat, identical to the one used in a design from the 1930s. The new logo is an attempt at nostalgic branding, but we would rather not see such an iconic and, simply put, cool logo get dropped in favor as one such as this.
The always on, slightly off independent cable network has become popular among fans of cult classic films and quirky comedy sketch shows, like Portlandia and Comedy Bang! Bang!. The recent change to the logo feels like a mile marker, signifying the channel’s success and need for a logo with a bit more pop. Mission accomplished.
Bad: Black + Decker
The well recognized appliance manufacturer, formerly known as Black & Decker, made a drastic change to its logo after decided to re-brand itself and appeal to everyone, rather than Mr. and Mrs. Fix-it types. This doesn’t exactly translate to us seeing as how we already found the brand to be approachable by just about everyone. The new logo feels completely unrecognizable.
Good: Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut has been revamping its image to one that is pretty cool and laid back as of late. Employee uniforms consist of fitted tees and flannel shirts and now the logo is taking on the same casual vibe. The new image looks like the old logo has been scribbled into the tomato sauce on a pie. It’s about as refreshingly unpretentious as you would expect a “pizza hut” to be.
Imperceptible: Chap Stick
There was a recent change to the font in the Chap Stick logo, but we wouldn’t be surprised at all if this is the first time you’ve noticed. Sometimes necessary refreshers can be barely visible.
Imperceptible: Morton Salt
Morton Salt has been making changes to its iconic character logo since 1914. In the most recent change, the Morton Salt Girl has been brightened up a bit with the removal of shadows. Only when the two are side by side does the new version really pop.
Almost Impossible to Notice: Google
We challenge you to figure out the difference between the Before logo and the After; don’t worry if you can’t. Only the most trained eyes at Promotions Now were able to notice that there was a slight – and by slight we mean tiny – difference in the lower case “g” and the “l”. To double check we did some research and found that in May of 2014 Google did in fact change the logo by moving the “g” just one pixel to the right and the “l” one down and to the right. The purpose of this change was to make the entire logo easier on our eyes. They are so thoughtful!
See if you can pick out more recent changes to the logos of major organizations and decide if they were refreshing improvements or disappointing errors. It may help your decision making process the next time you think about a revamp of your own.