As with any year, 2015 was a time for different types of marketing campaigns. It was also the year for a number of front-page brand redesigns. From simple logo changes to entirely new approaches to brand development, the following five companies had a few head-scratching moments.
It would be hard to find another logo redesign that received as much press as the new Google logo. The logo change was an example of the all too common “undesign” trend. The new logo is clean and straightforward, however it does little to embody the true spirit of Google. For many viewers, the new logo is an example of “undesigning” gone bad and was met with confusion.
CareerBuilder threw site visitors a curve ball when they released a new logo in 2015. The old logo was loved by many. It featured a simple, condensed wordmark with a pleasant color scheme and small caps (here’s a good article on small caps vs all caps for brand logos). The new logo is a bit of a mess. It is the exact opposite of Google’s “undesign,” and features a conglomerate of colors, typography, and icons. In no way does the new logo present a concise picture of what CareerBuilder means as a brand.
Many experts thought that the Facebook logo change would receive as much press as the Google brand development change, however Facebook’s update went largely unnoticed. Facebook played it fairly safe in 2015 by opting for a logo that clearly follows the mantra, “simple is better, plain is better still.” The new logo avoids the nice interplay of the slants between the “f” and “a.” It also reduced any quirks and personality that were previously present in the iconic logo. What is left is another example of the prevalent “undesign” for a simpler logo that ran rampant amongst designers in 2015.
Verizon has had trouble with its marketing campaign and brand development efforts. All too often the brand is associated with expensive plans and poor customer service. Unfortunately, the logo redesign does little to help Verizon reconnect with its audience. Instead, the new logo gets rid of its dynamic characteristics in favor of simple, bold lettering. There’s that word again … simple. 2015 really was the year of simple brand redesigns.
Verizon’s old logo featured a pleasant combination of italics and zooming red lines; conversely, the new logo is flat, simple, and the new placement of the “Verizon v” likens itself to a checkmark. For a company that is having trouble with positive brand development, a “checkmark” in your logo is not a good thing; in fact it is a very bad thing that can lead individuals to make new checklists for their version of Verizon’s “attributes.”
#5 Life is Good®
The Life is Good brand is something that many people living in the United States are familiar with. It is a brand that made itself famous with simple, happy little stick figures that were either hanging out or engaging in outdoor activities. Like the brand, the old logo was fun, messy, and aesthetic. The new logo is anything but.
The new logo attempts to retain a bit of its old personality with a messy circle and a heavily rounded text. However, many people are left wondering what the brand was thinking when they launched the new logo. Despite the criticism the Life is Good® Twitter handle responded with, “Our new logo is a symbol of optimism. Like humanity, The Yellow Dot has no sides or corners. It’s perfectly imperfect.”
Well there you have it, five brand redesigns that left loyal brand ambassadors scratching their heads in confusion. As 2016 quickly approaches, other brands are sure to release new marketing campaigns and brand development efforts. Hopefully the trend of “simple is better, and plain is better still” fades with the last chiming of the New Year’s bell. No matter the year, new logos should always embody the true essence of a brand in a visually pleasing fashion.