Thursday, October 11, 2012

If It Aint Broke Don't Fix It

At some point in your life you were probably told that looks aren't everything and that personality goes a long way. It's true in life and it's very true when it comes to branding. 2012 has been a huge year for rebranding and not every attempt has been successful. As I've stated before, a logo identifies a business in it's simplest form with the use of a mark or icon; think of Nike's swoosh. Now you may not believe me but that swoosh has personality. Back in 1971, Carolyn Davidson had no idea what she had designed was going to be a world renowned brand, but she designed it nevertheless. Many times logos have personality injected through their design and that personality is a huge reason of why it becomes a successful brand.The following are some of this year's rebrands and some commentary to boot.

Example 1

Gone is the fun and playfullness of the original logo to be replaced by a sans serif font. Business will go on for ebay, but what once worked is now dull and boring.Still, the agency that did this got paid handsomely.

Example 2

I don't know about you, but if I went to the store and picked up a Microsoft product off the shelf, I would probably do a double take after taking a look at the packaging wondering if I'm holding a knock-off. This looks terrible. Stripping down a logo is fine, but they went down to the soul and did an reverse exorcism.

Example 3
Arby's restaurants may not be all over the world. but I always enjoyed their market fresh sandwiches and their logo's quirkiness. The 'westerny' logotype worked well, and although I feel a design facelift may have been in order, this is not what I had in mind. Again, a sans serif font, but this time coupled with a 3D hat. What?

Example 4

Wendy's is the most recent company to rebrand and they're the only ones on this list that tried to keep the personality in their logo, but I think they still fell short. In comparison I would take their old fashioned logo over their more corporate replacement. Dave Thomas is rolling in his grave.

So as you can see sometimes you leave well enough alone. This might sound counter productive coming from a designer who specializes in logo design and brand identity design, but I've talked people out of redesigning their logos in the past and suggested instead a minor facelift to inject a little excitement. Design is successful when it's effective, not just attractive. People establish emotional ties with brands after all, and if they don't see the personality in your logo, they may not want to see what's behind it.

What do you think of these examples? Do you like some of them or do you agree that they fell short? Got any exampled of other let downs or perhaps you can present some successful candidates? Whatever it is, tell us about it in the comments section and please share this post in a tweet using @salvatier. Thanks for reading!