Logo Design Redesigns and Makeovers Of the Past

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On this blog we had covered a ton of logo design redesigns and makeovers through the years. Most of them are outdated news items and scattered through out the blog. In this post, we bring together all those new items onto one page to make it easy for reference and to clean up our blog.

GOP Badly Needs A Logo Design Makeover

Originally posted 2007/10/08

Last week, the Republican National Convention (RNC) officials unveiled its 2008 official logo. The circular design features the silhouette of a triumphant elephant, a Party symbol dating back to 1874, along with the names of the host cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul.

If we rely on the opinions/comments coming from different blogs and websites to gauge the overall appeal of this new logo, then we can fairly conclude this new logo is a complete disaster. One doesn’t have to be an expert designer to pinpoint the wrong points. Here are some of the worst comments around the Web:

The Daily Kos says it’s not an extremely clever photoshop job and the elephant seemingly humping “2008” suggests that they (the Republican) will go for a “Still screwing the country in 2008” theme. Among the 554 comments received by this post alone, I found this very amusing:

Total roadkill. It really does look like an elephant that just got ran over by a truck and is now splattered and dazed on the ground, covered in skid marks.

Colin McEnroe of The Hartford Courant, the country’s oldest newspaper in continuous publication, said this is your elephant on drugs.

Wonkette.com, a blog that details the goings-on of the political establishment in Washington, DC, thinks it’s a sort of zonked-out rampaging blue elephant — about to crush 2008 itself beneath its gigantic front legs and staring in starry-eyed horror at its bland sans-serif cage.

Eunomia can’t help but ask these questions: Is the message of this logo that the Republican Party is drunk (the stars)? Depressed (hence the blue)? Insane? Perhaps the message is that the party’s being chopped to pieces, or gradually erased from existence and disappearing into the background?

The message is very clear and simple – your logo reflects the personality of your business or organization. Though this may not heavily influence the 2008 elections, a logo design must help build your credibility as an organization.

Originally posted Oct 8, 2010

The Western Collegiate Hockey Association is a growing conference of college hockey teams that play in the Western United States. As hockey has been growing in popularity, conferences such as this enjoy growth as well. The result was that the logo design no longer represented the brand as well as it used to. With new teams being added almost every month, the time had come for a slight makeover of the WCHA logo design. In this case, the new logo is a refined, more modern, and more relevant version of the original.

The new and old logos have approximately the same shape, although there are several notable yet subtle differences. First, the old logo design features slightly more detail in the image of the hockey player. The player is much simpler, as is the area immediately behind him or her. Instead of movement lines, a solid black area now creates continuity between the writing and the image. The new logo has the same outline, but with fewer distractions. This will create a more modern and more scalable design that can be more easily used on t-shirts, tickets, websites, and other media.

Second, the writing has been slightly modified. While the font and thickness are the same, the new logo features a large W to emphasize the Western nature of this conference. Together with a slight slant on the letters (which was present all along but not as noticeable in the original), the feeling is one of subtle movement that compliments the image quite nicely.

Another detail that has changed is the use of a tagline in the college logo design. Instead of the full conference name—which members and players should recognize already—a tagline tying into the renowned toughness of the game of hockey has been added. This gives a professional feeling and adds a brand component that was not present before.

Last, instead of using a plain black logo as before, a light gray outline has been added. This keeps the new and simplified logo from being too plain while presenting hockey as a modern sport much like any other college athletic program.

As the conference grew and continues to grow, the change in logo was necessary. With twelve member teams in the men’s division alone, a more modern design that represented the larger and more prominent association will represent the brand as it is today and as it continues to grow in the years to come. The result is a brand that can compete in the increasingly competitive world of college sports leagues.

As a brand changes and grows, the logo design must change as well. In cases such as this, in which the organization in question already has an attractive and professionally designed logo, a minor facelift may be all that is needed. In other cases, a completely new logo design may be necessary. Working with a professional logo designer will help you to decide what kind of changes are necessary to maintain your own company’s relevance both today and well into the future.

Originally posted Oct 28, 2010

Kettal recently redesigned many aspects of their brand, refining the style of their well known furniture lines. Because the style of the company and the overall brand is changing, it was only appropriate to change the logo design as well. The new logo is simple, unique in the world of furniture logo designs, and a good representative of the company’s UK brand.

This company supplies furniture for hotels and other corporate entities, which until recently was not known for its high sense of style. However, people in the UK are now demanding good design in a variety of places, including in the businesses that they patronize and the hotels in which they slumber. Kettal has responded to this by focusing more and more on the design of their products. The new Kettal is increasingly oriented on simple and even minimalist designs that work well in public environments but offer the comforts and style of home.

The new Kettal logo is designed to showcase this carefully constructed sense of minimalism. The name of the company is written in a simple font, although there is more to this logo design that meets the eye. The simple lines of the font are representative of the lines now used in the design of the company’s furniture. Simple black and white colours allow maximum versatility and give the company a contemporary albeit somewhat plain image. Sharp lines and utilitarian shapes dominate the font, which gives a sense of strength. Moreover, the lack of an image shows that the company is dedicated to removing any elements that are not absolutely necessary.

Clean lines with good bones… this is exactly the brand that Kettal is trying to convey. Further, it will make for better brand recognition as well. The simplicity will help potential customers to recognize the brand and its products. People will be able to look at a table and have a feeling that it is made by Kettal. This brand, if properly executed, will be easy for customers to recognize.

Kettal rebranded and had a new logo design so they could ensure that they maintained relevance in a changing business world. In this case, they were certainly successful. The old Kettal brand was not memorable—in fact, most customers have no idea what the logo design looked like or what made the company’s products different from those of the competition. The new design has yet to be used—it is being reserved for official unveiling with the company’s 2011 furniture collection—but it has already received more media attention than the old one did in its entire lifetime.

If you think that your business could use a new brand and a visual identity to present it, your first step should be to talk to a professional logo designer. This is the only way to begin building a brand that your customers and your community can recognize, one that will help you achieve the same success and recognition as this furniture company.

New Name, New Logo For BA’s Airmiles

Originally posted 2011/11/30

In September, the travel loyalty programme Airmiles announced that they were rebranding, changing not just their logo and brand but their name as well. This is due to a change in business structure; Airmiles is merging with BA Miles and Iberia Plus due to the merger of British Airways and Iberia.

Because of the merger, the former Airmiles will be serving a market far beyond UK consumers. This means that the name of the company needs to be friendly to non-English speaking markets. The new name, Avios, definitely relates to aviation but has a Latin root that can be recognised by most Europeans.

The new UK logo design is a fresh and modern alternative that speaks a different language as well. The old one had a classical aviation motif, with an airplane flying in a yellow sky over billowing clouds. The yellow was eye-catching, although it didn’t really make sense as a colour for a sky. The fonts were generic and did nothing to build the brand. The logo design was definitely relevant to the industry, but it did little to build this company brand. Some of the elements were almost nonsensical, which also does not help the brand.

The new logo design is more modern and crisp. A rounded triangle is placed as an arrow pointing upward, symbolising movement. The clear blue is reminiscent of the sky and also is a calming, trustworthy colour. The name of the company is written in a lower case bespoke font that has more potential for building a brand.

The new marketing materials for the Avios company incorporate not just the font and the colours of the logo design, but also the shape. We’re not terribly fond of the bevelling and gradients—they are sometimes overused in modern UK logo design and do not seem terribly appropriate in this case—but this logo overall has more potential for both marketing and branding. We are happy to see the old nostalgic logo design replaced because it made little sense in an industry where technology and innovations are generally embraced.

Another benefit is that the ‘avio’ is going to be the new way of measuring airline miles. For example, customers may buy a ticket for 7000 avios. It is a clever way of incorporating the new name of the company into everyday operations. In addition, the more abstract logo and name will allow the company to make deals with non-airline manufacturers without interfering with the brand. For example, it makes more sense for a person to earn ‘avios’ through credit card purchases than to gain airline miles. It is a more flexible brand for a company that can really benefit from the added flexibility.

Merging is a good reason to rebrand. In this case, the merge means that the company will have a much larger and more diverse consumer base. This demands a more flexible logo design that is less region specific. The Avois brand seems to meet these criteria much better than the Airmiles one.

Originally posted on Jan 10, 2008

As the world of politics heats up, you cannot help but notice the branding campaigns and designs used by these presidential hopefuls.

I happen to agree with Speak Up that the hardest working presidential candidate logo design belongs to Sen. Barack Obama.

Just to clarify, this post just tackle the design aspect and must not be, in any way, interpreted as an endorsement for Obama. Now, let’s go back to the topic.

Created by a team of Chicago graphic designers, this logo design features a blue letter “O” with three red stripes. The idea is to create an image of a rising sun over the horizon to depict a sense of hope and opportunity. It strives to promote a youthful and dynamic vibe since Obama has a strong following in this segment.

What makes Obama’s logo stick to the minds of many people is its consistent use in different settings. If you visit Obama’s official Web site and click on the “People” and “States” section, you will see the clever integration of this logo on different states and groups supporting him, including the African Americans, LGBT, veterans, women, kids, Latinos and environmentalists. Here are some few examples:

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Sure, these designs will not win you the much coveted and most powerful title of the land but it can help boost awareness and retention among people.

We mentioned last year about the cleverness of Obama’s logo and its flexibility to adapt with other logos during its campaign last year. It comes as no surprise then that different companies, big and small, will find a way to make the most of this powerful logo and profit from its success.

First in the batch is Pepsi with the launch of its new logo that is strikingly similar with Obama’s. And the beverage giant is blatantly connecting its image with the President-elect. The new slogans include “Yes You Can”, “Choose Change”, and “Optimism”.

Pepsi Logo

The connection seems logical since Pepsi has been positioning itself as the face of the new generation against the old time favorite, Coca Cola. After all, these have been the logo colors of Pepsi long before Obama became a public figure. When asked about the reason behind its new design, executives denied that they copied it from Obama. They are simply aligning their brand with the current disposition of the country. Dare to believe it?

Ikea is also riding the popularity of Obama with the launch of its out-of-home ad campaign called “Embrace Change ’09”. Here, the home retailer has created a replica of the Oval Office inside Union Station in Washington, D.C. designed from desk to carpet. Moreover, Ikea fans will the power the design their own version of the Oval Office in the company’s special website, http://www.embracechange09.com.

IKEA Whitehouse Logo

At the heart of this Obama craze, here’s the big question: is it worth the effort and money? I like to believe that the power of this campaign will not prosper over the long haul. For one, consumers are very fickle. What’s popular today may not be popular tomorrow. Better focus on creating your own brand rather than piggybacking on other’s popularity.

Makeover for London Police

Originally posted on May 11, 2007

For majority of the non- British people, the existence of London police is to found in the pages of literatures or on the movie screens. Who can forget the characters of Scotland Yard police officers coming alive in the pen of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle? Or who can possibly forget the London police officers’ efficient role in cracking the spine-chilling mystery of Jack the Reaper?

So the City of London Police and their distinctive looks are not altogether unknown to the people of rest of the world. Although there is also the Metropolitan police force, it is always the image of men in white uniforms flaunting Royal looking logo is permanently stamped in the psyche of the outsiders.

But, this long standing image of London police is going to be changed. Since late April this year, the City of London Police has started to wear a new identity. Within next six months there will be a complete revamp in their uniform as well as the police vehicles. The newly designed logo will appear on all their stationeries as well as on the website, www.cityoflondon.police.uk.

Why this sudden redesigning of the City of London Police? Actually the initiative has been taken as a part of the ongoing project of City of London rebranding by David Pocknell, which started back in June last year.

The objective behind the redesign of City of London Police logo has been explained by Gareth Simpson, the creative director of 2tempo, which is shouldering the task of redesigning: ‘The City of London Police is part of the City of London and the logo had to be updated to reflect that. The two need to tie quite closely together yet also stand apart as individual identities,’ says Simpson.

So how is this new identity for the famous city of London Police? This new logo bears the same typeface as the City of London. In order to add a distinctive flavor, some extra elements have been added. As for example, it has been adorned with a chequered pattern, which characteristically appears on the logos of all other police forces in the rest of Britain.

 

A few design aspects have been given special consideration at the time of designing this new City of London police logo. What are these points?

  • First of all, the logo needed to look “sturdy” as it is essentially related to a power establishment.
  • Secondly, the logo needed to have strong visual elements so that it can be recognized even from a distance.
  • Last of all, it needed to have its own unique appearance, so that it is instantly recognized by general public.

The logo created by the design firm 2tempo seems to fulfill all these criteria too well and the outcome is quite alluring to watch. As observed by Simpson, it has been an interesting experience for the firm to develop a logo for the police force.

UK Sports In Need Of Rebranding?

Originally posted on October 5, 2011

We have recently written about a new brand and logo design for the sport of fencing, in an attempt to create popularity for the pastime as the London 2012 Olympics near. This has led us to spend an unfortunate amount of time thinking of all the sports and hobbies that really need rebranding. After all, much of the public support for any given thing is dependent on marketing.  The good people at the UK’s popular Design Week website obviously had the same thoughts, because this was the subject of a discussion there.

Among the suggestions were boccia, table tennis, and general sportsmanship. In addition, one commenter suggested that the Paralympics do not receive enough attention despite happening at the same time and place as the Olympics. 43 different sports have been hosted at the Summer Olympic Games over the years, although only 26 of these will be played in London next summer. Boccia, interestingly, is not even on the list.

Many of the seventeen sports no longer played in the Summer Olympics were dropped simply because they had lost popularity. Jeu de Paume, for example, and croquet. Some globally popular sports, such as cricket and baseball, have also been dropped. Indeed, there is a good reason for a person or organization that is interested in the continuing Olympic presence of a sport to begin creating demand for it.

Sports branding is more important than ever when it comes to building a following for any athletic activity. However, for many sports, branding is actually very difficult. The most successful and professional sports brands in the UK belong to teams, which have the advantage of both numbers (with several players on a team) and resources. Sports that have only one player on a ‘team’, such as fencing, don’t have a team name or mascot. It is much more difficult to brand a person than a group, and also more difficult to attain sponsorship from local businesses. There is also the issue of pooled resources on a team, not just in manpower and finances but in charisma and lifespan. The David Beckhams of the football world may come and go, but Manchester United will still be here.

Perhaps pooling resources into a sporting association which can then market the activity, as we are seeing with fencing, is the answer. Even then, these brands will lose out on one powerful booster to sporting brands: rivalry. There is little reason to buy a shirt or other paraphernalia bearing the new fencing logo, but football logos are present and popular on almost every consumer item imaginable.

There are many sports in the UK in need of rebranding and logo design. The question is ‘who?’ followed by ‘how?’ and ‘why?’. More specifically, who will invest in the development of the brand? How will it be marketed on a national level? Why should consumers support the sport? Hopefully, more athletes begin thinking in terms of branding, because it is essential to modern success in any field.

Maui Hotel Rebranding

Originally posted on July 11, 2013

Destination branding and travel logo design is important whether you are running a quiet country inn or a top rated resort in one of the most beautiful areas of the world. Most of your visitors have never been to your establishment or even seen it. They are becoming customers based on your brand.

This is why brand naming, logo design and branding are so crucial in the industry. Recently, a hotel in a popular tourist destination was rebranded. The Hotel H?na-Maui has been officially changed to the Travaasa H?na. This will make it the second Travaasa destination, joining the Travaasa Austin.

The resort in H?na has been open since the forties, offering luxury accommodations and a spa in this somewhat secluded yet popular destination. H?na is home to famous Hawaiian waterfalls, which many believe have healing properties. The resort also features Hawaiian culture programs and gourmet dining with locally sourced foods.

The new brand will bring a few changes to modernize an already compelling brand. The distinctly Hawaiian aspects will be maintained, but new fitness and spa activities will be added. In addition, a greater emphasis on Hawaiian culture and local elements will be added.

The Travaasa Destinations brand has a very simple logo design that features the stylized image of a road leading into a wavy shape representing change. In other words, it presents a journey toward meaningful change. The V and the A are subtly angled so there is a straight line between them, which appears to be a road as well. The seal shape gives a feeling of official approval, but the serrated edges have been rounded so that could also be interpreted as petals of a flower. The cool blue is calming and suggests a worry-free trip, while hot pink brings attention to the word ‘destinations’, which differentiates the brand from hotel chains.

Indeed, Travaasa H?na is not offering your average hotel stay. The 47 cottages and 23 suites have no radios, televisions, or even clocks, so that guests can enjoy the sounds of nature and feel more encouraged to participate in cultural programs and spa activities.

This destination and its brand are certainly different from the average tourist experience, so it is important that the logo design and other visual elements portray this. People looking for a unique vacation experience based on health and Hawaiian culture will know that this is a place to find it, while standard tourist types will avoid the spa and avoid being disappointed by a kitsch-less, television-less experience.

Your logo design is more than an image that represents your business. It shows people what to expect from you. It brings potential customers to your door while keeping uninterested parties from being disappointed. It is a visual representation of your company that shows customers what you are all about.

How does your logo design and brand measure up? If you are in any industry, branding is crucial to the success of your company, but no industry is more image-conscious than the hospitality and tourism industries. Having a great logo is an important part of that brand.

Holiday Inn Completes 2 Year Rebranding

Originally posted on March 10, 2011

The New Holiday Inn Completes Two Year Rebranding Process

When times are hard and budgets small, travel and holiday expenses are often one of the first household budget items to be cut. Unfortunately for hospitality businesses, the UK is living through a time like this right now. These businesses—and indeed, all business—are competing for an ever smaller share of consumer cash, which makes branding and logo design more important than ever for this sector.

Holiday Inn is one of the hospitality businesses that are feeling the squeeze. We cover new hotel brands and logo designs on this blog every week, but few are as massive or as expensive as the rebranding effort that this US hotel giant is pouring into their UK hotels. The company recently completed their rebranding with a complete renovation of their London-Heathrow hotel, costing £3.5 million. The intended result is a modern and uniform experience for travellers

The hotel logo design has been trimmed down to a flourish-y letter H inside a traditional yet minimalist green square. Green is a soothing and clean-feeling colour that is often seen in designs representing hospitality businesses. However, this rebranding includes not just a new and more modern Holiday Inn logo, but also less superficial brand changes. The building has been overhauled from room design to furnishings to the fragrance of their lobby. The intent is to provide a uniformly welcoming feeling, not just at London-Heathrow but at all of their locations.

The redesign of this location is the final step in a two year process to completely change the way the locations feel and the way they are perceived by the UK public. With many hotels across the country offering British charm and local ambience, the Holiday Inn is betting that many customers will choose a well-known, uniform brand over an unknown. In short, the chief brand benefit of the new Holiday Inn will be that customers know exactly what to expect: affordable luxury, popular amenities, and a clean, comfortable place to stay the night.

The Holiday Inn amenities include a business centre with conference rooms and ample space for large events as well as a full gym, a restaurant and a pub. Similar facilities will be offered at Holiday Inns all over the UK. Although this may feel generic and boring to the more adventuresome UK travellers who prefer local flair, it will appeal to those who crave familiarity and reliability in their lodging.

Whatever the business you are in, times of austerity are tightening belts around the UK. An exceptional, professional logo design and a compelling brand are the only ways to ensure that you maintain the customer base that you need to attain your business goals. In most cases, this does not require a multimillion dollar makeover, but rather a few small and subtle changes to make your brand more attractive to your target consumers. A UK logo design professional can help you create a logo that will place you on the path to success.

Rebranding Drinking

Originally posted on January 13, 2011

Global alcoholic drink distributor Diageo is aiming to rebrand drinking in the UK, reminding customers that alcoholic beverages are a fun way to celebrate special times with friends and family, and not necessarily the vices that modern people in the UK increasingly view them to be.

Although Diageo saw a 5% increase in sales of key brands such as Baileys, Smirnoff, and Guinness in the twelve month period ending on June 30, 2010, the company is also aware of the current trend against drinking in the UK. According to a recent study, many people in the UK are turning away from drinking and looking for more healthful activities. In fact, three out of every five UK adults surveyed felt that alcohol packaging should have warning labels similar to those on cigarette packets, while two out of five believed that the government should set minimum prices for alcohol to discourage its use. In addition, many ethnic populations in the UK heavily discourage drinking, a sentiment that may be spreading to the general population.

Diageo is counteracting this trend with a marketing campaign designed to present social drinking as an enjoyable and normal behaviour. Right now, Bailey’s is being presented as a drink to be regularly enjoyed with friends, with model Helena Christensen at the centre of the advertisements. This is a change from the brand’s former designation as a luxurious, special occasion drink. Bailey’s has also introduced a Flavours range, making it a more versatile alcoholic beverage.

Guinness is also seeing success with a new, friendly brand. The ‘Bring It To Life’ campaign similarly repositioned the brand as a fun way to enjoy good times with friends.

Diageo brand websites have redesigned to reflect their new brand positions, and social media is being emphasized as a way of connecting with the customers. This combined with increased visibility of both products and logo designs in UK stores will increase the general awareness of the drinks. Christmas is a critical time for alcohol sales, so gaining a larger market share is more important than ever.

Drinking, and even drinking excessively, is a popular British pastime. In fact, in the study quoted above, 69% of UK adults felt that binge drinking was a ‘British Thing’. As people in the UK seek more healthful lifestyles, this type of behaviour is being viewed less benevolently. Any alcohol brand that wants to maintain its presence in the UK must immediately rethink their brand position and change their packaging and marketing accordingly.

If an industry changes rapidly, businesses are faced with a choice: rebrand or suffer the consequences. That should be an easy decision, but it is one that many companies face with trepidation. Luckily, a branding expert can help you with the difficult task of modifying your brand for success with the new values of your customer base. Sometimes this requires large changes, including your website, packaging, and even your logo design. However, in many cases you can reconnect with customers by making simple, small changes that set a new tone for your business. These types of changes are helping brands like Bailey’s and Guinness stay in the game, and with the right guidance they can help you as well.

Rebranding Cheerios

Originally posted on December 21, 2010

Time to Rebrand? Or Not?

As a small business owner, you may be tempted to expand your brand to attract new consumers. However, this can be a tenuous choice because you risk alienating the old customer base. A good example of rebranding to expand into a new market can be seen with cereal giant Cheerio’s.

When it comes to branding, there are few companies that have achieved the success of Cheerio’s. Cheerio’s are one of the most common ‘first foods’ given to older infants and toddlers. Healthy and shaped to prevent choking, most moms feel fine about throwing a handful of this oat cereal on the high chair tray or stashing a baggie of them in a diaper bag. The key benefits are the shape, the portability, the low sugar content, and the fact that many toddlers can pick the cereal up without trouble.

However, Cheerio’s has recently abandoned this market to focus on adults. The new box shows this shift in brand. Cholesterol information is emblazoned all over the new box, with both the front and the back of the packaging announcing that adults can lower their cholesterol numbers by including Cheerio’s as part of their diet. The fact that the cereal contains whole grains, a key source of fiber, is also prominently displayed.

These facts may entice adults to try this classic children’s cereal, but what does this means for the mothers who make up the core consumer base? Few parents care deeply about their child’s cholesterol; in fact, getting tested for it is not even part of a child’s routine medical visit. Parents certainly want for their children to eat healthy foods, but the definition of healthy for a child is different from that for an adult. Parents care about things like sugar content. In the attempt to market to adults, Cheerio’s has left their core market without a brand to hold on to.

New parents make up one of the cereal’s most loyal customer bases, but that doesn’t mean that the branding should ignore them. Cheerio’s should be asking itself: Will a young mother be likely to put a cereal that is being marketed to her parents in the shopping cart? The cereal offers no reason not to jump ship.

This move may be successful for the cereal brand, but there is a high risk of failure as well. Most parents don’t care about their child’s cholesterol, so Cheerio’s is removing their incentive to buy the brand. There are a variety of child oriented brands on the market, so parents who are subconsciously alienated by the new branding will have plenty of options to choose.

Many businesses, both large and small, try to branch out into new markets. However, it is important not to forget your core market. Cheerio’s could easily include cholesterol information on their packaging while maintaining the brand as a classic, healthy choice for young children. By rebranding in a way that neglects their most loyal market, they are diminishing their brand. A branding consultant can help you rebrand and/or reach out to new consumers in a way that keeps your old ones coming as well.

Communities Rebranding To Increase Pride And Tourism Dollars

Originally posted on February 4, 2011

Is your community feeling the pressure of the recession? If so, you aren’t alone. Many towns in the United States are struggling with finances as income and tourism dollars dry up while the need for social programs increases. In many of the cases, what a struggling town needs to do is very similar to what any other business would do to increase revenues: rebranding.

Branding a place, especially a small and lesser known place, may sound silly, but this principle is working for many American towns. First, it increases community pride, which inspires residents to get more involved in making their community a better place. Second, it can inspire companies and people to move to the town, bringing new industries and ideas with them. Last, it increases tourismdollars, which is good for area businesses and general tax intakes.

When compared with the benefits, the small amount of trouble and expense needed to create a new local logo design and brand seem puny. In a globalized society, your area needs to compete with every other city in the world for its share of income and talent. A professional logo design and brand are essential to being competitive.

Columbus, Indiana is one good example of a recently rebranded community. This town is on the small side, but Small Town America has a lot to offer. However, their old brand simply wasn’t up to the challenge. A black and white circle filled with C’s did nothing to represent this area or communicate what makes it different from every other small Midwestern town.

The new brand is much more memorable and a better overall fit for the town. Blue and green colors suggest nature but also are relevant to any place logo because they are the colors usually seen on a globe. The lower case lettering is friendly and suggests informality. The angled C is similar to that of the former logo design, but it is enclosed in a square to give a more recognizable and professional image. A tagline is part of the new brand, telling viewers that Columbus, Indiana is unexpected and unforgettable.

Which logo design makes you want more to move to the town? Which makes you want to visit? Which would make you proud to call this area home? In our case, we found the new logo design much more inviting. It makes us wonder what is unexpected and unforgettable about the area. In short, it has piqued our interest. We predict that it will have this effect on many people. Further, the new logo design is the basis of an entire brand, a feature that the old image was lacking. This can be a springboard for developing other aspects of the town and marketing them effectively to both residents and outsiders.

A small town brand may seem, well, small, but it is essential to keeping these small towns vibrant and alive. What is your community’s brand and logo design doing for you?

Rebranding London Youth Hostels

Originally posted on August 17, 2010

Rebranding London Youth Hostels: With the recession showing no signs of receding, many people in London and all over the UK are looking for ways to pinch pennies. For many, this has meant downgrading their accommodations during holidays. To meet the demand for fun but low cost lodging in tourist areas, boutique hostels are popping up all over Europe. The latest of this interesting breed, in Central London, offers a modern sense of style one would expect at a boutique hotel along with a central location, all at the affordable price of a hostel.

Most people in the UK know what a youth hostel is, but many have a negative impression that simply isn’t accurate anymore. Instead of the cramped clutter and inconvenience that people expect, boutique hostels offer a slightly downsized version of the boutique hotels that cost ten times as much. London Youth Hostels Association is the latest of this breed, with a contemporary brand that permeates the establishment.

Decorated in clean lines and youthful bright colors, the London Youth Hostels Association offers a modern, holiday-friendly experience that is a bargain in one of the most expensive cities in the world. Many of the rooms sleep four or five people and have their own washroom, making for a family-friendly experience. Public areas, as well as private, locked areas, give all the camaraderie of a hostel with the privacy we all crave.

The location is one of the major selling points of this hostel. Located just south of Regent’s Park, London Youth Hostels Association is just a short walk from the Tube. Amenities include a 24-hour cafe and bar as well as common living spaces with a flat screen telly and a Nintendo Wii. Staff is available around the clock as well to help visitors plan activities, and walking tours of London are available daily.

The logo design for this hostel expresses the brand perfectly. A simple triangle is not only a shape commonly associated with homes and lodging but one that gives a feeling of strength. People who view this logo will not only understand the purpose of the hostel but feel safe there as well. The bright orange is youthful and modern, which matches the decor of the building as well as its generally modern brand.

One way in which hostels may appeal to modern consumers is in the fact that they are a more ecologically friendly way to travel and marketed on social media sites. Most are centrally located near public transportation. The smaller, more compact rooms and lounge areas may feel a little cramped at first, but they certainly offer a more reasonable carbon footprint. This is one key brand attribute that the Rebranding London Youth Hostels and its logo design fail to portray. Incorporating this into the overall brand, including the logo design, will create an image that appeals to both ecological and economical sensibility.

As you can see, even a lowly hostel is joining the trend toward better brand and logo design. This is because these are completely necessary to every establishment’s success. If you need an expert logo design or a brand that your customers can believe in, consult a logo designer today.

UK Museum Logo Design Rebranding

Originally posted on April 22, 2010

UK Museum Logo Design Rebranding – The Museum of London serves as a record of London and the surrounding area from prehistoric times to the present. While prehistory never changes, the brand of this institution is undergoing a complete identity transition at the same time that it is finishing a multi-year renovation costing more than £20.5 million.

The UK museum logo design, which is a bright and colorful change from the plain red and white logo design that most people in the UK will recognize. The overlapping images are actually the shape of London throughout the years, tying directly into the museum’s mission. However, the key difference between this logo and its predecessor is in the message that it gives those viewing it.

Colour. While London is certainly a colorful city, the old UK museum logo design had only one true color: red. Red is an aggressive and eye-catching color, but perhaps not appropriate for this city. The less threatening hues used in the new logo are certainly more fitting. As a bonus, the overlapping of the different shapes could be taken to represent the different groups of people that make up the city coming together into a cohesive and attractive whole.

Fluidity. While London Brand is a city on the go, the old UK museum logo design had a traditional square shape that seemed anchored in place. The use of the color blue in the new logo combined with the wavy edges of the image create a feeling of movement and flow that certainly represent the city more accurately.

Uniqueness. Having a one of a kind logo is essential to building a UK corporate identity, and this is yet another area in which the old Museum of London logo fell short. The use of uppercase text with serifs inside a square seems to be a very traditional, and very overused, way of approaching logo design. The new logo is not comparable to any other logo in the world and thus will allow the museum to build a unique personality with this image as its centerpiece.

Personality. The old Museum of London logo design always seemed a little subdued for a lively place like London. The new logo has an energy and a flavor that better represents the feeling that infuses London.

Versatility. The Museum of London has already begun to use versions of this logo in extensions of the Museum, which allows each part of the museum to have a unique brand that nonetheless ties into the parent company. This will allow the museum to build a brand and an identity in a way that simply would not have been possible with the older, blander logo.

This logo design is still relatively new, so there is no failsafe way of predicting whether it will match or exceed the performance of its predecessor. However, this is a powerful logo design, with a unique flavor and a colorful presence that equals that of the city it represents. These aspects will give the new Museum of London logo the chance that it deserves.

Originally posted on March 11, 2010

Silver Cross has always been a standby in Britain when it comes to prams. This brand is known for high quality and even higher status, the favorite of royalty and celebrities alike. The baby and child logo design is recognized through London and the UK. However, in recent years the business was failing despite a brand that was as solid as a brand could be. Here’s how Silver Cross turned the tides.

Expand your market. One of the key faults of the Silver Cross brand was that it was not known in key markets throughout the world. This excluded wealthy people in Asia, the United States, and other parts of the world. Therefore, one of the Silver Cross’s strategies was to expand to other countries, offering their prams in an expanded range of shops and taking opportunities to have their product discussed in the press. This allowed Silver Cross to expand their market without delving into lower-priced, markets that would ultimately devalue the brand.

Maintain your brand. In a world where low-cost leaders abound, Silver Cross simply cannot get involved in price wars. Therefore, one of the central brand strategies has been to maintain the power of the brand. While many businesses are tempted by the prospect of lowering overhead by outsourcing to the overseas, Silver Cross has kept the emphasis on maintaining high and consistent quality even while moving to manufacture to another part of the globe. Another key part of this strategy has been to woo celebrities. If a celebrity publically uses the Silver Cross, it gives exposure to the logo design even while adding to the perceived value of the brand.

Brand from the inside out. While many companies think that a logo design and other aesthetic elements are the basis of their brand, Silver Cross trains employees to understand and embody their brand. This means that they are better able to adhere to the company’s main branding principle of luxury for babies and their mums. All elements of your brand should be incorporated into the rest of your brand.

The Silver Cross logo design is all luxury and yet very simple. The name is written in a fun yet classic font that reflects the values of the brand. The handwritten appearance of the logo gives an impression of artisan quality, which is accurate as these prams are partially handmade. Although a silver cross image would have been an obvious choice for this logo design, this logo is a winner because it avoids the obvious. This gives the brand a little more style.

Silver Cross has been extremely successful in maintaining their brand by keeping the highest manufacturing standards and marketing their brand through carefully cultivated celebrity exposure. This is appropriate for their brand, but not for everyone’s. In order to find Silver Cross’s success in your own business, you can follow the same steps. However, there is a good chance they will lead to a very different result: a brand and logo design that is uniquely yours.

Rebranding Ecology: BWEA Set To Become Renewable UK

Originally posted on January 19, 2010

Trade association British Wind Energy Association, or BWEA, is poised to rebrand with a name change to Renewable UK, along with a possible change in logo design and other visual aspects. However, what does this mean for the association, its audience, and its competitors?

The change in brand reflects a change in member sector, which since 2004 has included more and more marine energy companies. Further, the name allows the association with the option of expanding even further into other forms of green and renewable energy. While the company is no longer focusing exclusively on one type of renewable energy, its ecological focus is unlikely to change. Flexible brands are more likely to stand the test of time, so this rebranding seems like a reasonable move.

With a third of its 540 member base coming from wave and tidal energy markets—that is, not wind energy—a change in name, brand, and logo design is certainly time for the BWEA. The company wrote to its members and proposed the change, which has already been voted upon. While the results have not yet been tabulated, the change to the renewable UK has already been approved by the association’s board and is expected to have member support as well.

However, the new name may be infringing on another UK trademark, that of the well known Renewable Energy Association, or REA. With the REA being perhaps the best known renewable energy trade organization, this sets the two associations up for brand confusion. The Renewable Energy Association is likely not amused by this brand intruder, as the two associations are already competing for members and supporters.

Whether the REA will respond with legal action is unknown, but it is easy to see how this will affect the organization. The two names are similar enough that members of the public and sector companies may perceive them as being a single, interchangeable association. This is not good for either organization.

The moral of this story is that branding and rebranding should always be done with an eye on what is already out there. Your brand must be distinct, in name, logo design, and message, from all of your competition. Anything else will only undermine your viability and create confusion in the public. Most consumers are hesitant to do business with a company that sends confused, ambiguous message, and being too similar to a competitor certainly creates this effect.

How can you avoid stepping on a competitor’s toes and confusing your customers? First, by having an industry professional complete your logo design and branding. A professional logo designer will know what elements are heavily used in your industry and be able to create a logo design that is completely unique and yet appropriate for your sector. Another way to avoid inadvertently copying your competition or being copied at some point in the future is to apply for legal protections such as trademarks. Once you have acquired legal protection for your name, logo design, and brand, you can be assured that it is completely yours.

British Gas Rebranding

Originally posted on January 8, 2010

Although British Gas officially rebranded almost five years ago, this brand has been in an almost constant state of transition ever since. A lot of this change is dictated by the nature of the energy industry. However, looking at the company’s recent changes gives insight into how brands affect businesses and vice versa.

Brands are not just about image, but about a promise as well. The customer experience is as important as the overall business strategy, or even more so. Making a promise that customers can believe in and then following up on that promise will create loyalty and differentiate your small business from the many competitors out there. This is a recipe for success in any market. I have seen this first hand when we called the British Gas Home Care for a small issue we had with our central heating in our London home. The engineer came a few hours earlier than promised, spent twice as long as promised checking out the entire heating system and not just the problem area and really did a great job.

With this progressive marketing philosophy in mind, a major part of British Gas’s rebranding was making a new and more relevant brand promise. This was shown in their strapline, ‘Doing the Right Thing’. This brand promise has become the core of the new British Gas brand, transforming the way the company markets itself and interacts with customers.

The logo is another integral part of this newer, kinder energy company. The chief colors are shades of calming blue. The writing is rounded and plain to give a friendlier, less complicated image, but it is slightly slanted to give a feeling of movement. The small amount of orange in the services logo design flame is appropriate and lifelike for the image while also adding visual interest and drawing in the eye.

First, this new brand implies a new concern for the environment. This perhaps is where many UK energy companies fall short in the public eye. British Gas has been implying a new concern for the environment through actions and public relations as well, putting out feelers into new alternative sources of energy.

Second, the new British Gas brand implies that the company wants to give back to the community. This, too, has been a value that the company is putting serious effort into conveying. British Gas signed an ongoing deal to sponsor a local football league in southern England, giving the brand high visibility and street credit with locals and business owners who support the game. Because the matches are televised, this local partnership has the potential to bolster the company’s image on a nation-wide scale.

This kinder image has benefited from the company’s use of humor in many of the newer marketing materials. Viral videos released by the company have used humor to encourage businesses to switch to British Gas. With a more ethical and consumer-friendly image to offer, these businesses are more likely to take the company up on its invitation.

How has rebranding affected the company? Many consumers seem won over by the new brand. The company is generally viewed as a more caring, socially responsible entity. While modifying the British Gas brand has been a long, expensive process, it has paid off by keeping the brand viable in a shaky economy. If the company continues to put resources into rebranding, the effort will pay off by winning over new customers and a taking a larger market share.

2009: The Year Of Rebranding

Originally posted on January 6, 2010

If there is one branding and logo design trend that seemed to overtake the UK last year, it is rebranding. All around us, corporations are changing their logos and brands to accommodate a rapidly changing customer base. One excellent example of this is the name change of several well-known banks in London and the UK to Santander.

Spanish banking giant Santander has owned several UK banks, such as Bradford & Bingley, for many years. However, these banks until 2009 kept their unique identities, including their brand and logo design. However, the company is undergoing and in some cases has completed the process of changing the names and logos to that of the parent brand.

What does this mean for a bank? First, this is more than a change of name. Bradford & Bingley, for example, had a well-recognized logo design with a classic British bowler hat. The change in name means that this logo will be replaced with the coffee cup finance logo design used by Santander. This transition from a British icon to a more continental one may not resonate in places such as Yorkshire.

Rebranding can be a saving grace to a company that is no longer inspiring customers, but it can be an outright disaster as well. Santander hopefully has looked at the cautionary tale of the Royal Mail. Although the brand’s change to a new name and logo design seemed like it would increase equity, the public’s reaction to the new Consignia was overwhelmingly negative. On the other hand, many British companies have found great success in modifying their brand and logo design, especially if the change is less drastic than the given example.

This is hardly an inexpensive decision for Santander, with the price tag at around twelve million pounds, and it will mean having to woo the UK public that already had confidence in the existing brands. The British do not like to be marginalized, as can be seen from the branding disaster that occurred when British Airlines removed the familiar Union Jack from their airplanes. However, the decision may save money in the long run, as the Santander brand will be able to coordinate marketing campaigns in many countries where their banks have locations.

In order to find success in rebranding, Santander will have to convince the public that their banking experience will be the same or even better than what they experienced with the older, differently named entities. If this message can be portrayed in a convincing and believable manner, the move may be a boon for the company.

Can a Spanish banking brand resonate with the UK public? The change is too new for its efficacy to be judged as of yet, but it should be noted that the existing banks had brands that were losing steam almost by the day, while the Santander brand has been gaining prominence all over the world. If Santander puts effort into rebranding the banks with careful attention to the massive and fickle UK customer base, they just might be able to sell their coffee logo design to a tea-loving public.

British Towns Find Success Through Rebranding

Originally posted on December 29, 2009

People expect that larger cities will have a distinct brand and marketing plan, along with a representative logo design. However, more and more smaller towns are turning to professional rebranding as a way of salvaging their holiday oriented economy.

Many UK resorts are currently seen as outdated and even down-market. This leads many customers, even those who are looking for a bargain, to look outside the country. However, with the economy steadily sinking, the market just may be ready to look for a choice that is closer to home.

UK resort towns, especially those on the seaside, must attract a whole new, more financially savvy group of customers. This means adding amenities, slashing costs, and presenting an image that is attractive to holiday goers. The rebranding of resort towns has soared in the past few years, now comprising a multi-million pound industry.

Blackpool is one such town trying to impart a more urbane image. In addition to standard marketing moves such as social marketing and a fresh logo design, the town has filmed advertisements to showcase the character of the area. One, entitled ‘Blackpool: Je t’Aime la Tour’, shows different cultures mingling while sampling regional specialties in one of the many local eateries. This combined with a remodeling of key buildings and the launching of several attractions in town is designed to attract a more sophisticated, international market.

Southend-on-Sea is another town going through the same process. With annual tourist activity restricted to a relatively short season, the resort is trying to attract new, off-season traffic with a new website and a more modern logo design. The town is also pushing itself as a sophisticated, yet close to a home option for any time of the year.

Both of these towns, as well as several others, are moving forward in rebranding encouraged by the success of a similar resort: Brighton. Brighton recently went through an identical rebranding process and emerged with a newer, upmarket image complete with an informative website and a new logo design. The town is now home to several festivals that attract year-round traffic. It is gaining momentum as a major seaside destination.

However, there may be drawbacks to rebranding. It’s important that new brands and the accompanying logo design present themselves as a new entity while staying true to their classic British roots. Many visitors will be turned off by a brand that is too disparate with the town they know and love. This makes rebranding a difficult tightrope, with many different markets to consider at every step of the process.

The rebranding of UK resorts comes at a time when many couples and families are choosing to spend their holidays at home. If these towns can market themselves through logo design and rebranding as having all the class of the continent at a far lower cost, many people in the UK will choose these options. These newly refurbished communities may even help with the rebranding of the UK, presenting the nation as a whole as a holiday destination.

Rebranding Liverpool

Originally posted on December 3, 2009

Rebranding a Region

Liverpool has a so-so reputation, and it knows it. However, this all may change with the rebranding of this well-known city as a culture and holiday destination. Like many cities, Liverpool is seeking to be competitive on the global market by creating an inviting public image.

Destination branding is big business all over the world. When people decide where to take a holiday, much of their decision is based on the image. A positive image can bolster a local economy, while a negative one has the potential to sink it. Cities like Paris and Milan attract hordes of tourists simply because of their global image. Liverpool wants to add its name to this list of must-see attractions.

This rebranding comes with a new and interesting logo. The general shape is of a square, which connoted honesty and straightforwardness. This gives the logo an honest image. The color palette is of two complementary blues. This is relaxing as well as reminiscent of water. The image itself is of a well-known portion of the Liverpool skyline, with famous buildings reflected on the serene and still water.
The name of the city, written below the logo image, adds a cultured and artistic feeling. It appears to be handwritten with a brush, which has obvious artistic connotations and is similar to many museum logos as well. In bold, thick, black letters, it is impossible to miss.

This rebranding is not without controversy. The city already launched a large public image campaign in 2008, seeking to promote itself as a center of British culture. While this has certainly caused a turnaround in Liverpool’s image, it has not necessarily led to increased tourism and sales. However, in a down economy, the city is holding its own, and many consider the 2008 campaign a rousing success.

Like all rebranding, this image overall will cost money, which is in short supply right now. Many people feel that Liverpool has better ways to spend their funds. Another key faction is quite happy with the city’s reputation and wary of changing it to a more upscale image.

One of the aims of this rebranding the right way is to give the city a tagline, a short phrase that will sum up its qualities and make it easier for people to remember why it is worth visiting. A local newspaper has asked readers to contribute ideas for this tagline. Many of these tie into Liverpool’s best-known band, the Beatles. One possible tagline is ‘Liverpool: there are places you’ll remember’, an obvious reference to the Fab Four. However, the final decision has not been made.

If the city of Liverpool can present a coherent brand with a logo and an image that complement each other, while delivering on the brand promise made by this publicity campaign, it will be well on the way to becoming the next Paris or Milan. Branding is a powerful process because it deals with the public’s subconscious perception. The same way a company needs a brand to find success, this city needs a brand to convince others that it is a site worth visiting.

Skoda Get A Makeover

Skoda has long been known as the cut-rate, budget car of the masses. In previous years, there has been nothing glamorous or fun about this automotive logo design. However, this is changing rapidly. Skoda is undergoing a rebranding process to position themselves as a hip, young alternative to their competition.

Why is this rebranding the right way necessary? First, with the automobile industry in a state of crisis, many auto brands are looking for a new and more compelling identity. With the economy poised on the brink of a recession, customers need a compelling reason to buy a new vehicle rather than driving their old one for another year. Second, Skoda is changing their product line to offer more features and more stylish models. A dramatic change such as this requires an equally dramatic change in marketing which could prevent rebranding the wrong way.

The first sign of this change in the brand was the ‘Cake’ advertisements for the 2007 Fabia. Britons and Europeans everywhere began to see the Skoda as a more advanced, more youthful choice. Another sign was the release of the Yeti, a more savvy and deluxe vehicle than the company has ever offered. Clearly, Skoda is ready to shake off their low-cost image and woo a brand-conscious public. So far, this change in image has been successful, as Skoda has increased their market share two-fold.

How will Skoda complete the task of rebranding? First, by appealing to emotions. Rationally, most people know that they don’t need a new car. However, if auto companies position themselves well, they can appeal to emotions. People want to fall in love with an expensive purchase and Skoda is positioning themselves to be that purchase. We all want to have a vehicle that reflects well upon us, one that we enjoy driving on a daily basis.

Second, Skoda can use low-cost marketing strategies to increase the positive buzz about their products. Customers increasing rely more on social marketing and other internet media for new product information. Because these are for the most part free choices, there is no limit to the possibilities here.

Third, Skoda needs to be clear about the price range they are dealing with. The company is trending toward more deluxe cars, putting it in an entirely different price category. It’s important to keep an eye on the competition and your audience at the same time. In this intensely competitive business, one must always be repositioning the company to their best advantage.

One stumbling block for Skoda to look out for is the competition. There is no shortage of automobile makers, and all are vying to create a viable brand. This is a time to be both creative and courageous in marketing, laying it all on the line. Customers appreciate humor and honesty, so these are both good avenues to take. Skoda’s quirky past can be spun as a positive image and a key part of the overall brand.

This has been a hard year for automotive companies, but many are succeeding against the odds through offering high-quality products and a cohesive brand. Skoda has not entirely won over the community, but the transition to a new and higher value brand is well underway.