Logo Redesigns That Went Badly Wrong
Branding is a critical part of the success of many businesses, and the most important part of a company’s branding and iconography is its logo, which represents not only the business but also the values, skills and ideals that brought them to this point.
For a design agency in Hull, the most recent example of a redesign that went badly wrong locally is the decade-long saga of Hull City AFC’s iconic tiger logo.
In 2013, then-owner Assem Allam attempted to rebrand the local football club as Hull Tigers based on a somewhat-misapplied marketing principle regarding brevity and removed the original name from the club’s logo for five years as a result.
Ultimately, the logo would be redesigned again to return Hull City to the top of the crest and with the club under new ownership, the rebranding saga has slowly become a cautionary tale about ensuring that rebranding does not come at the expense of a hard-fought identity.
However, Hull City AFC is not the only brand that has suffered a questionable logo redesign, as the following stories will showcase.
Much has been written on the terrible week-long Gap rebrand in 2010, but no list of bad logo redesigns would be complete with the change from Gap’s simple but understated serif typeface to a gradient box and Helvetica font that would better suit a logistics company.
The one positive of the rebranding is that it did not last and whilst the company struggled for the rest of the decade, it at least had some temporary goodwill from reversing a terrible decision.
In some ways, the complete rebrand of the company formerly known as Weight Watchers is completely understandable.
As health and lifestyle brands move away from a focus on calorie counting towards a more complete focus on wellbeing due to concerns about disordered eating habits, a brand as stark as Weight Watchers was destined for a rebrand.
However, the problem with WW is that it took a minimalist approach way too far, and when the rebrand started its rollout in 2018, the widespread reaction to the change was confusion, as WW did not seem to relate to anything and ultimately the change did more harm than good.
People either do not know what the company does or still call it Weight Watchers, which is the worst of both worlds.
In what can only be described as a metaphor for the ever-struggling photography company, Kodak returned from bankruptcy in 2013 and three years later planned to bring back its iconic “K” logo.
Unfortunately, the company managed to spoil it somewhat by having the text aligned vertically rather than horizontally, which made it far more difficult to use than their existing logo for digital marketing purposes.
What makes this worse is that they could have simply used their 1987 logo or the typeface of their 2006 rebrand and avoided this problem altogether.
The 2010 rebrand of then-struggling social media giant Myspace was almost too clever, as it replaced the word space with an actual space, with the idea that the word “space” could be replaced with images and other five-letter words.
It created some media interest but much like WW did not help to turn the company’s fortunes around. When Justin Timberlake took over, he kept the typeface but reverted to the logo style used before 2010.
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