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Brand Evolution

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Jun

Brand Evolution

Monday, June 29, 2020

After a few years, your house needs some fresh paint, maybe some new landscaping -- right? Maybe the house even needs an addition as your family grows.


Well branding is very similar. Brands need to update to fit the needs of a growing company. This can be said for hundreds of different brands, but updating it can be tricky. Brands that have outlived the test of time are ones that have transformed to meet their marketing needs and society trends.

They biggest question is: How can a company update without removing the notoriety of their brand? There are a few tricks designers use to tweak branding without erasing the time companies spent building up recognition.

The most notable is a logo redesign, which can take the logos we know and love, and throw us for a loop. Sometimes an update is for the better. Other times… not so much. Typically, the change is subtle; a slight kerning adjustment or a symbol simplification. One of the latest trends is to flatten the logo. Flattening a logo can have many advantages. The simplification can allow the logo to work in a single color, making it easy to flip back and forth from full color, to black and white. It can also help readability by providing better contrast. When logos use gradients and are highly complex, it can be difficult to work the logo into marketing materials. Cutting the shading from the logo can also be more cost effective when it comes to printing, as it uses less colors.

A few brands that have made the switch in recent years include American Express, Pizza Hut, BMW.  For example, Pizza Hut moved in 2014 from an icon with dimension to a flatter, more simplified version.

Source: https://www.hibiscusgraphix.com/post/2016/04/22/pizza-hut-brand-history

If a brand is widely known, they can simplify their logo to only an icon without any supporting text. This is great for easy brand recognition -- think Apple, Nike, and Shell! Here's how Pepsi’s logo evolved into the red, white, and blue circle that we all know today:

Source: https://logodix.com/logos/5045

Another characteristic designers use to modernize a logo is adjusting the typeface. A lot companies have recently made the switch to san serif typeface to create a sleeker look and feel.

Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-20/why-fashion-brands-all-use-the-same-style-font-in-their-logos

While others like Chobani, for example, have moved in the other direction:

Every brand is different, and each brand 's design should uniquely reflect the company. Whether that’s an icon simplification, a typeface update, or an entire design revamp, with changing times, coming changing needs, and it’s important to know when it’s time for an update.

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