Top 10 Best Logo Changes of 2013
“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg.” – C.S. Lewis
It is practically impossible to overestimate the importance a logo has in creating a brand identity. The logo the first thing a person notices when coming into contact with your brand, and as we all know, first impressions are really important.
Since the logo is the face of a brand, it should be remarkable. As a designer, you undoubtedly know that logos should look good even outside of trends, which means that logos need to have certain elements that you can take from the old, and implement into the new, making sure that the brand stays fresh, but also recognizable.
A good logo appears radically changed, and changes very little. That’s what timelessness means. Of course, sometimes changes need to be drastic when giving a brand a complete make-over. This gives designers the chance to go all-out, and re-imagine a brand. Both of these situations are marvelous creative opportunities, and 2013 gave designers quite a few chances to change famous logos.
In this article, we will be looking at some of the best logo changes that occurred during 2013, and discussing these changes along the way. Sit back, relax, and enjoy.
1. ITV Logo
ITV is the oldest commercial television network in Great Britain, founded in 1955 to provide competition competition to the BBC, Great Britain’s national television network. Being such an old brand, ITV has went through several logo changes, and the most recent of them is pretty much a home-run.
The previous logo was not bad, not by a long shot, but the newest one seems to be taking a less sober approach, making the logo more colorful and lively, without going over the top, however. TV logos have to be able to stand out when necessary, but also be able to fade in to the background, as it must not distract from the programs themselves.
2. VH1 Logo
Yet another TV network, VH1 is a sister channel of MTV that, at one point, use to target a slightly older demographic. It has, however, changed its demographic in recent years, focusing on reality TV, as opposed to music (much like MTV, only the target audience is still a bit older).
Unlike ITV, VH1’s current logo is more sober than the previous one, the reason perhaps being that the previous logo, although definitely standing out, was probably a bit too distracting from the channels broadcasts. Representatives of VH1 stated that the plus sign embedded in the logo is suppose to emphasize the fact that the network is “the ultimate mash-up” of music and reality TV. We don’t know about that, but we welcome the change, because the old logo was in no way easy on the eye.
3. Doritos Logo
Frito-Lay’s tortilla chip brand has been around since 1964. Originally soled as “totopos” in the Disneyland Casa de Fritos, in Anaheim, California, Doritos have been marketed nationally since 1966, when Frito-Lay moved production to its plant in Tulsa.
Doritos’ new brand image is a fair bit edgier, and their old logo just could not cut it. The new logo features dynamic, sharp lines, and has moved drastically away from the graffiti-style logo they had the last few years (meaning that they have finally left the 90’s behind). The color scheme is also miles away from the previous one, doing away with pale blue, and implementing bright orange and red to contrast with the black “tortilla chip” in the background.
4. Saab Logo
Saab is the King of Sweden’s official car manufacturer, holding a Royal Warrant for supplying the court with automobiles since the 50’s. Currently owned by National Electric Vehicle Sweden (or Nevs, for short), Saab have been manufacturing again since 2013, which warranted a logo change.
The old logo reflected the company’s royalist ties, and definitely reflected their tradition and experience in making automobiles, but in light of the brand’s recent troubled history, a change in brand identity was more than called for. The new logo simply gave up on the heraldic gryphon that use to adorn the cars, keeping only the simple and elegant typography, and bringing the brand into a new age.
5. Tazo Logo
A subsidiary of Starbucks, Tazo is a tea manufacturer from the USA’s hipster capital city, Portland. It was bought by Starbucks in 1999, which opened the first Tazo-branded tea shop in 2012. As they trying to make Tazo a more important brand, that of course meant working on its brand identity, which lead to Tazo’s 2013 logo change.
We’ll admit that the old logo really has a special place in our hearts, not because we are big on tea, but because we are big on design. Brewing tea can bring to mind witches brewing concoctions in a cauldron, and the old logo had a great Wicca vibe going for it. Nothing about the new logo suggests pagan rituals, but seeing as the target audience needs to be similar to Starbucks’ own, we understand the change. The logo is minimalistic and elegant, and we love the fact that they kept the little horizontal line in the middle of the “Z”.
6. American Airlines Logo
Founded in 1934, American Airlines is one of the most important airlines in the world. Throughout its history, the logo changed only three times, with this most recent incarnation being the third.
The previous logo was kept for a mind-blowing 45 years, so you can imagine that changing it was a bold move, to say the least. It has even attracted criticism from big names in the design world, including Massimo Vignelli, but we still think it’s a very good logo. The idea behind it is smart, keeping the eagle, but making it looks so that it is part of the plane’s tail, and changing the color scheme just a little, so that it references American Airline’s first “Flagship”, the iconic DC-3.
7. Nivea Logo
German skin-care manufacturers Nivea are the oldest entry on our list. Founded in 1882, by Carl Paul Beiersdorf, Nivea have had a lot of logo modifications throughout the years. Since 1959, however, they have been making only slight modifications, which makes them a marvelous example of stability in brand identity.
8. Billboard Logo
Now for the second oldest entry on our list, Billboard (or billboard as it’s now stylized) is hugely influential American music magazine. Founded in 1894, the magazine initially covered all sorts of live entertainment until the 1930’s, when the popularity of the jukebox made them focus on publishing music charts.
The logo change here is incredibly simple, and that’s exactly what makes it so great. Bolder characters, and changing the upper-case “B” with a lower-case “b” makes the magazine seem less self-important, thereby making it more accessible.
9. Harvard University Press Logo
Harvard University Press is an institution that prides itself with a tradition of quality. Great names, such as Emily Dickinson, David Blight, and Martha Nussbaum, have been published by the American publishing house, making it one of the most important academic publishing houses in the world.
The old logo was a bit anachronistic, so the new version keeps nothing of the old, making it modern and progressive, as it should be for an academic publishing house.
10. Motorola Logo
Motorola’s move under Google’s wing brought with it a revamp of their old logo. By slightly changing the logo’s typography, and tinkering with the rest so, that it will match Google’s own flat design logo, the new Motorola logo looks better than it ever has. Although it’s obvious that it’s now a part of Google’s portfolio, the Motorola identity is still there for everyone to see, making this changed, we’d say, a welcomed one.
That wraps up our list of 10 great logo changes of 2013. We hope you enjoyed our list, and that it gave you a bit of design inspiration for your own projects.
Feel free to share your thoughts on our article, in the comment section below.
About the Author!
Elena Simionescu handles PR for Pixel77 and Inky Deals. She takes design tutorials and design deals pretty seriously and in her free time, she watches a lot of movies. Like a lot, a lot. Get in touch with her on Twitter and Google+.