As we say goodbye to the first half of the year, it’s time to look back at logo redesigns of 2019 so far. We’ve seen a lot of action from big brands in tech, fashion, finance, real estate, and more!
From the more subtle updates to major overhauls, check out these 10 rebrand highlights from the past six months.
Slack kicked off the year with a major logo update, courtesy of Pentagram. The company scrapped its hashtag symbol for a distinctive “octothorpe” shape that features four colors instead of the previous 11. The new design also features a bolder typeface in black.
What we like: An original symbol and pared-down color palette means Slack’s logo is more versatile at different sizes. Part of the octothorpe is made up of tiny speech bubbles, a subtle nod to what the company is all about.
What we don’t: The octothorpe shape took a bit of getting used to because the Slack hashtag was so recognizable. But there’s really nothing bad we can say here!
Zara unveiled a significant logo redesign in January, spearheaded by the French design firm Baron & Baron. The fast-fashion company went from a spaced-out wordmark logo to one with tightly kerned, overlapped letters — a redesign that drew plenty of criticism in the design community.
What we like: The elongated typeface is more elegant than what appeared in the previous logo, making the brand feel more upscale. It’s also nice to see Zara veer away from the status quo by not changing to a sans-serif font.
What we don’t: While the tighter kerning is sophisticated, the new logo is hard to read, especially at small sizes like the website favicon. Some skinnier elements of the typeface (especially on the over-extended As) make the company name difficult to digest and view in print.
3. The Knot
After more than 20 years with a light-blue wedding industry logo, the website moved to a more modern design. The new typeface is a more casual cursive style, and the new color — a vibrant, deep coral — feels contemporary and gender-neutral.
What we like: That color! The brand is still recognizable, but looks fresher and friendlier than before, and aligns with the company’s mission to “support all couples and their wedding, regardless of style, culture, sexual orientation, scale, or budget.” While the old logo had a childish vibe, the new one appeals to a broader audience.
What we don’t: The monogram version of the logo used in the favicon and on social media looks sparse, making it hard to tie back to the brand. But that could change over time as the new logo gains recognition.
4. Lord & Taylor
Moving away from its slanted handwritten logo, Lord & Taylor went for a dramatic redesign — a sans-serif wordmark stacked in a yellow square. While there’s nothing particularly offensive about the new look, it feels disconnected from the brand’s history.
What we like: The new logo is more compact and readable, while the “L+T” monogram provides flexibility across channels. The yellow gives the company a chance to use a distinct brand color across its marketing assets.
What we don’t: As mentioned, this redesign is too dramatic a departure from the previous logo. The brand recognition that came with the black script logo (as seen on bags, signs, and more) has disappeared with this iteration. The new logo also wastes space, as there’s no value in the gaps above and below the company name.
5. McKinsey & Company
The management consulting firm’s wordmark logo redesign wasn’t a dramatic one. But it’s a prime example of a tasteful update, with more attention paid to the custom typeface and kerning.
What we like: The stacked-text design works better for the length of the company name, taking up less horizontal space. The bolder custom typeface is more memorable, and many of the characters have quirky features (like the little notches on the ends of the lowercase “a” and “c”).
What we don’t: Nothing to criticize here!
6. Coldwell Banker
Following in the footsteps of Century21’s major rebrand last year, Coldwell Banker eschewed its old look for a modern, overlapped monogram logo. The rebrand received angry criticism on social media, signalling it was perhaps too dramatic of a change.
What we like: We appreciate the effort to modernize the logo while keeping the traditional deep-blue color.
What we don’t: The redesign feels like it loses the good parts of the old logo: history and name recognition. And the star symbol feels both generic and confusing — what does it mean? Luckily, the company said the logo would be “tested in the field” before being finalized on signage and other marketing materials in 2020.
The vacation-rental company VRBO is another brand that falls into the “dramatic new look” category. The logo went from a tame green wordmark to a line-drawn design with shades of blue and splashes of orange and green.
What we like: It’s hard not to appreciate the punchiness of this redesign. The style and colors of the new logo says “vacation!” in a much clearer way. The monogram stands out on its own because of the multi-colored lines and negative space in the “V.”
What we don’t: While the new typeface is splashy, the line composition makes it harder to read at small sizes. When the monogram is used on its own (as seen on the company’s social platforms), it doesn’t have enough contrast on a dark background.
The embattled department store updated its skinny, sans-serif wordmark logo (launched in 2010) by adding a bright green loop symbol. The new logo irked many designers (what does the symbol mean?!) and drew comparisons to Airbnb’s logo.
What we like: We’ve gotta say it: nothing.
What we don’t: This redesign seems misguided — why add a symbol and what does it mean? The gradient in the symbol also feels like a poorly thought-out choice. While gradients have become trendy because of companies like Tinder and Instagram, this logo shows it doesn’t work for every company.
Just as Audi removed the 3D chrome effect in its logo redesign last year, Toyota said goodbye to its shiny symbol. The flatter design introduces a black typeface and a bold red square around the brand’s sized-down symbol.
What we like: The symbol-in-container layout is a welcome update, working both on its own and in the full logo. The redesign has better visual hierarchy than the previous logo because the eye is drawn to the company name first and then the symbol.
What we don’t: We’re all for simple car logos, but the new design feels a little bland. It’s helpful to see it in the context of ads, paired with the slogan “Let’s go places” for more excitement.
In another move toward logo simplification, Scotiabank removed the globe symbol from its logo and made subtle wordmark updates. While the globe still exists as a flat symbol in marketing materials, it’s a departure from the classic look.
What we like: The new typeface is bolder and slightly elongated, making it easier to read. The new uppercase “S” and lowercase “t” are standout characters.
What we don’t: The globe gave this logo design more personality — why remove it? The symbol still exists in the company’s ads and on its social channels, but it feels like the bank could’ve found a way to keep it in the logo.