LOGO or NO-GO? 2014’s Biggest Logo Redesigns

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Agencies always have an opinion on logo rebrands, especially those of big brands with BIG budgets. So we picked 3 key logo revamps from 2014 and asked our expert panel of judges to share their opinions (or rants in some cases) with you all, to find out what’s a ‘LOGO’ and what’s a ‘NO-GO’!

But first, meet our panel…

Hot Or Not; 2014's Biggest Logo Redesigns


So, what does our panel think?


Airbnb Logo – The butt of the joke?

Hot Or Not; 2014's Biggest Logo Redesigns


Airbnb don’t just offer a place to stay, they offer the chance to build connections and belong somewhere –  a concept at the core of their brand. Airbnb wanted to redesign their logo to represent this feeling and thus introduced the Bélo – “the universal symbol of belonging.”  To find out more about their story and mission, check out their blog and meet the Bélo.

Meg – “One of the most talked about rebrands of recent years, the birth of Airbnb’s Bélo (as the icon is called) proved controversial in more ways than one. To me though, the new logotype and icon are a complete triumph; by producing Bélo, Airbnb have created something tactile, dynamic, animated, and as the company itself puts it, “something that anyone can draw”. Much like the Nike tick or the McDonald’s golden arches, Bélo is, at its core, a simple shape that makes the brand recognisable to everybody. It is adaptable and functional, and from an aesthetic point of view its contemporary, clean, and uncomplicated appearance is irresistible to a logo geek like myself. Two thumbs up from me.”

Aran – “Ah, Airbnb – a brand I’m sure most designers and marketers would love to work with. The logotype is much cleaner and contemporary and a great step forward from the Lobster-esque style of old.  The new Bélo icon is flexible and fun and gives hosts the chance to put their twist on the brand (and for others to draw cocks and boobs) whilst maintaining recognition for the brand. I’m sure they will use the flexibility internally to refresh the logo as time and trends move on. Thanks to less stipulations in guidelines the logo can be used as the format requires it to be -this’ll enable designers to create more engaging designs and I can see Airbnb being a very aspirational brand in the future.”

Andy –  “The new driving force in creative accommodation solutions, Airbnb is becoming very much a household name. The brand is secure with itself enough to update their image and the style of the new logo definitely reflects this. Early criticism and accusations of their new logo looking like genetalia aside – they use a soft rounded typeface that visually transcends into an appealing form very well. The emblem is a new addition to their brand – moving away from the overly bubbly and very 2008 ‘bello-esque’ start-up brand and evolving into a more serious yet inviting emblematic brand mark. Get used to it, it’s going to be around for a while!”

The Panel’s verdict: LOGO


Netflix Logo – A snooze-fest?

Hot Or Not; 2014's Biggest Logo Redesigns


Netflix updated their logo without any fan-fair or comment. Why? Were they concerned that their audience wouldn’t connect with the new more modern logo, which some are calling ‘boring’? After all, there is a lot of love for the old rather iconic logo, with its references to classic cinema.

Andy – “I stare upon this logo much more these days, with myself going almost fully online with my viewing habits, it’s important to me that the branding I am presented with remains fresh and relevant, after all, why not? We are living in a digital age so lets use that to our advantage! The new logo has less of the ‘hipster-retro-cinema’ vibe to it and more of a simple yet iconic typography. A powerful name like Netflix doesn’t need power emblems and symbols to support it, the name alone holds the weight and a simple typographic tweak and styling change now and then is the perfect recipe for this digital powerhouse.”

Aran – “I’m a big fan of the new Netflix brand and can see it being around for a while. They simplified the existing logo by removing the dated drop shadow and increased legibility by adding width to the letters. The old logo was ubiquitous and it was a smart move not to move too far from it. By making their logo more legible they didn’t need to create a logo for their app icons. Head and shoulders above other video-streaming brands like Amazon Instant Video.”

Meg – “Not as much of a winner for me. Call me old-fashioned, but I love the personality of the type in the old logo, bursting from the cherry red background like the title of a movie from the front of a 1960s movie theatre. It had character, style, and the kind of retro spirit that a romantic like me just cannot resist! I understand the thought behind the rebrand – the old logo felt slightly too niche for a global brand and the new logo has more of an epic, modern cinema feel – but I’m an old soul at heart, and for me, Netflix has gone from the glamour of the golden era to feeling like a soulless corporate entity.”

The Panel’s verdict: LOGO

PayPal Logo – More than a ‘Parking’ sign?

Hot Or Not; 2014's Biggest Logo Redesigns


Fed up with its logo being confused with a ‘parking’ sign, PayPal decided it was a time for a rebrand. The aim was to make the logo much more distinguishable and memorable to shoppers and forms part of a wider plan to explain what the brand can offer customers.

Meg – “I’ve had one positive and one negative, so it feels apt that the Paypal rebrand leaves me firmly on the fence. I had no major issues with PayPal’s old logo; a nice duo-tone typographic mark that felt modern but not like it had a use-by date on it. The muted colours were beginning to look a little dated as brights become more favoured over pastels in the design world, but it worked. The new logo is equally average; it doesn’t blow me out of the water with its innovation, but I don’t dislike it.  The arrival of the overlaid ‘P’ icon gives the brand the shorthand that it lacked before, and the new typography is slightly neater, albeit a little lacking in personality. Not a massive leap forward for PayPal, but at least they’re trying!”

Aran – “PayPal is what I like to call a ‘Gold-digger brand’.

“Oh, look how cute and rounded I am now. Can I have 5% of your money?”

No PayPal, I’m not you sugar daddy. I’m fed up of your stupid dubbed English accent, and your ‘People rule’ catchphrase – you’re not fooling anyone. Anyway, I’m seeing Transferwise now, she’s cheaper and much more fun than you.”

Andy – “Re-branding a company such as PayPal carries certain risks. Many are familiar with the PayPal through the parent brand Ebay and other independent sellers world-wide, and they recognise the brand and have seen the original broadening many times. Banking is huge business and this goes for online payment gateways too and the ambition to install trust in it’s customers is paramount. When you change the logo, the emblem you are assuming everybody is on board with your brand for more than just the image – but trust the name too. A bold move for PayPal but I for one am glad to see the updated logo.”

The Panel’s verdict: NO-GO

So, now you’ve heard our thoughts, tell us yours! Dare to disagree?