The Art of the Logo Redesign – 2010 Logo Case Studies

The Art of the Logo Redesign – 2010 Logo Case Studies

Are you considering a redesign for your company’s logo? Redesigning your logo can do many things for your business.  The question is whether they will be positive. The positive effects are:

• repositioning – a reflection that your business has evolved or changed
• an appearance that your business has become a more established brand
• press and visibility
• a better connection to your audience
• a design that is more easily rendered in various media

You should also consider the negative effects it could have if not done well.

• confusing your customers
• bad PR/criticism

Before doing an redesign, or update of you business logo, you should definitely consider how much brand awareness you have with your current logo? If your business is an established brand and has high visibility, i.e. product packaging, delivery trucks, outside signage, advertising in various media, etc. then your logo is likely very familiar to your potential customers.  If this is the case, then you need to consider the reasons for a redesign, retain key distinctive elements from the original logo, and make sure it is an improvement that accomplishes your rebranding and/or repositioning goals.

2010 Logo Redesigns – Quick Case Studies

Quite a few established brands redesigned their logos this year.  Most recently, Starbucks updated their logo to considerable commentary.  For a company that is so well-established it is unlikely that there will be any negative effects associated with the (mostly) negative reaction.  As they say… “There is no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary.”  This is probably the case here.  But not all companies are in that category.

Here are our notes on the positives, negatives and details of some of this year’s more visible redesigns.


I’d have to agree with a lot of the commentary that this update of the logo, while trying to present a more clean modern look seems to have erased some of the brand.  It is a show of confidence that the brand awareness is so immense that just the color and icon is all that is needed for an instant representation of the brand.  This is fine most of the time (the NBC peacock, AT&T globe, the Sirius dog), but in this case, the words were actually part of the icon.  It is a “badge” style logo… and was pretty darn good.

San Diego Zoo

A great redesign that doesn’t retain any of the original.  Truth is, I couldn’t have told you what the old logo looked like.  It was a very nondescript logo for a pretty powerful brand.  It’s a case of the previous logo not doing much to sell the product.  This new logo implies fun, nature, and animals. It’s just great.  Maybe a second color would have made it a little more lively, but just great!


This is really nicely done.  The redesign accomplishes all positives.  It improved the typeface, making it a more unique font, a font that could be associated with book type.  It establishes this time a distinct color combination.  And, finally it is clearly easier to recreate in different media.  all good.


Okay, I thought this one was a joke or a stunt.  The goal here HAD to be a spike in publicity in interest (as myspace has clearly been struggling at the hands of facebook).  It’s real… the real new logo.  Again, this is an act of confidence in their brand awareness.  The new logo has a feeling of irrelevance and emptiness.  It just doesn’t work.

Comedy Central

I really want to like this because if my love for clean, impressionistic logo design.  But, it’s such a departure from the original and doesn’t feel funny, clever or whimsical. It has a corporate feel because of it’s simplicity of color and design – clearly not a good thing for this brand. It feels like a lot of other logos too.  I’m not really sure what the need was for the drastic redesign.   Perhaps just a slight update would have been much better. Chances are it won’t matter given the visibility.  We’ll all get used to it.

CNN en Espanol

So cool. Takes an element (the ~) that everyone associates with what the brand is trying to convey (Spanish).

Seattle’s Best

This redesign is drastic.  The company has gotten larger and wanted to appear more established and clearly more modern.  It seems like design for design’s sake though.  It’s so generic and modern that it feels cold.  It could be for many different products.  The only thing retained from the original brand is one of the colors, and the gray color doesn’t not feel like “coffee.”  The original felt so “established” and warm.  Guess we’ll see what happens with this one.

Library of Congress

This is a great update.  A flag and a book.  So clean, so obvious, yet subtle.

Democrats (DNC)

This was another highly criticized redo.  I’d have to agree with the criticism in general.  There isn’t much strength in this mark. The lighter blue is especially weak for this brand.  It looks a lot like the Chicago Cubs logo.  It would be interesting to see what some of the other ideas were on this one.

Let us know what you think…