As 2015 comes to a close, one of the most fun unofficial traditions arise — recaps! Much has happened this year, from Google’s rebrand to Microsoft’s new browser. Even good ol’ music companion Spotify rebranded! Though this isn’t a complete list of everything that happened in 2015, this is my recap wrap-up for you in graphic design, the triumphs and the fails.
Check out which rebrands in 2015 were for better and were for worse in this recap! Click To Tweet
The Top 2 Best Rebrands of 2015
Verizon’s new logo makes my top 2 list this year, and before you pass any judgment, let me explain why. Consider how long Verizon has kept their old, outdated, gradient, italic logo and compare it to their new one. Actually, it’s pretty inventive. Rather than a traditional lockup with a logomark to the left or above the logotype, this logomark sits on the end of the logotype. It also reminds me of a square root symbol in mathematics and gives it more meaning to me by adding a message that says the checkmark is powerful enough to drive the brand of Verizon’s logo — which this is the ultimate goal of any brand logo, to gain recognition by the most simplified of elements, it’s logomark. I feel this logo overall blends simplicity and class together with a strong message.
Yes, it’s a subtle change and most people didn’t notice, but I absolutely love the updated Facebook logo. The letters are now more open, bowls (the space inside closed letters like “o, a, and e”) are wider and overall it has a more rounded look which makes the logo inviting and open, which is the underlying message for Facebook. There has been criticism about the slanted edge on the crossbar of the “f” not matching up with the “a” as it did on the old logo. I think it’s necessary to keep it, as the “f” has become almost the logomark of the Facebook logo itself as this is displayed in social icons and app icons across the world. As far as the logotype as a whole, I don’t see an issue.
The Top 2 Worst Rebrands of 2015
The internet (as well as the world) has made Microsoft’s browser, Internet Explorer, pretty much the laughing stock of all browsers over the past decade and a half. It’s slow, outdated and is outmatched by all of its’ competitors. Okay, so the solution seems simple — make a new browser and get on with life, right? Well, kind of. Microsoft did just that, they created a new browser and called it Microsoft Edge. Here’s a good example of how a bad brand identity can do damage to new products. Since Microsoft only tweaked the old browser’s Microsoft Internet Explorer icon, that old baggage and reputation transferred over to their new browser. Just check out the comments!
This year, KFC decided to rebrand due to losing market shares (mostly from Chick-fil-A). In their efforts, they elected a new brand representative — reviving Colonel Sanders and hiring Saturday Night alum Darrell Hammond to do just that. More negative reactions followed this on twitter, but the failed attempts don’t end at the brand ambassador. The killer is the new logo. Quite frankly, it looks like the Colonel’s head placed on a stick figure body rather than a bowtie. There are some positive things out of this. Yes, the logo and ambassador might not sit well; the actual brand elements themselves are visually appealing and impactful. Bold text, bold lines, and some vintage elements make up a strong visual brand.
The Most Talked About Rebrands in 2015
One of the most talked about things of 2015 (besides Star Wars: The Force Awakens), was Google’s rebrand. On August 10th, 2015 the behemoth company, Google, rebranded in lieu of rebranding themselves as a holding company named “Alphabet.” From tech giant to holdings company, Google now exists as a subsidiary of an even bigger corporation, Alphabet. Only time will tell to see what this company will do and who they will acquire next, but whatever happens, Google seems to be going nowhere but up.
Another time a brand broke the internet this year was when Spotify rebranded. The main culprit to their new look’s hatred was the new shade of green they chose. I have to admit, I didn’t like it when I first saw it either. Though the new logo wasn’t one for positive impressions, their branding, however, is brilliant. Color washed images, bold colors, shapes and letters now fuel a powerful branding. Check out the example above of the new branding from Creative Market.
When you rebrand, you always run the risk of having a stir of positive and negative reactions. It’s change and not everyone adjusts right away. Make sure that when you do rebrand, though, that you do it to best represent your company’s image and message. Don’t overthink a logo either, as you have to look at your logo from an outside perspective. If it looks like a head with a stick figure body (KFC), your audience will be the first to call it out. Ultimately, a rebrand is a great way to reinforce that the company is growing and moving forward. With that said, I can’t wait to see what 2016 will bring for rebrands!