Thursday, March 7, 2013


By: Tymeco Pyles 
(our COOL new contributor!)

For decades, the companies above have established great reputations for themselves. Wendy’s will always be known for their old fashioned hamburgers, JC Penny has the best deals on clothing, and the GAP will forever have the best every day wardrobe staples. American Airlines distributes the optimal flying experience and Kraft will always be cheesy! Every home in America is familiar with these brands, no doubt about it, but how can they compete with the modernization and constant changes in today’s society? For most companies, the solution is simple…a facelift, a redesign, a new identity, a fresh look, but is that always the right thing to do for an established brand? When is the right time for a logo rebrand?

There are so many factors to consider when thinking about redesigning a company’s image.  Updating to a more modern brand image is the most common reason companies give their logos a facelift, says Tim Calkins, clinical professor of marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. When a company has been around for decades, it might be time for a new look, in order to appeal to the youthful, tech savvy market. However, these companies should be prepared for the opinions of their loyal customers who, obviously, do not like the concept of CHANGE.

Another reason why companies decide to rebrand is, of course, THE MONEY! If a company is starting to lose the flare they once had, a complete makeover is needed in order to regain that exposure. I mean, look at Dominos pizza! Their pizza used to be the worst, so they began listening to their consumers and decided to rebuild. The move has resulted in increased sales, awareness, and conversions.

Let's take a look at some of the most recent and iconic rebranding stories:

Wendy's modernized their brand with cleaner, 
streamlined graphics. One of the most important
characteristics of modern design is SIMPLICITY.
The old logo was just so busy and Wendy's
just started stripping away all the extra stuff and
ended up with this cleaner, more design friendly
brand identity. Cool points awarded for simplifying.

American Airlines is one the best rebranding
designs we've seen lately. We'll be posting a 
full story on that pretty soon.

Sometimes, rebranding can be a huge FAIL. This was the case for the GAP. They got so much flack about this new logo that they backpedaled and decided not to release it. Sometimes sticking to what you know can be the best thing for everyone.

There are a handful of pretty COOL factors that determine how we feel about company’s logos:

Primary colors tend to be the most commonly used in logos. As consumers, we tend to process that stimuli more easily. If you’re trying to fit in, you might use red or blue. If you’re trying to stand out from the rest, you might use magenta or orange.

Increasingly, it seems companies can take or leave words — even their company name — when it comes to their logos. Humans think visually. A picture is really worth a million words, and great brands have readily identifiable icons – just ask Nike or Apple or Shell – strong simple images that connect with customers.

Tradition-minded brands today tend to use fonts with serifs for their logos. Serifs give a feeling of precision and formality. But this trend, like others, is evolving. For instance, italics were all the rage a generation ago, but now they’re as outdated as Gothic script.

It’s not just the letters getting rounder; it’s the logos themselves. Typically, roundness is associated with approachableness, friendliness, and harmony. There’s also the question of whether images and lettering are placed on a straight horizontal line or on an angular path of some sort. When you put elements at an angle, it conveys energy and life. And when things are straight it conveys more formality and solidness.

See more COOL here.