5 April 2022
Our favourite recent rebrands
Branding is big business.
Each year, we help brands across the world to rethink the way they present themselves to the world.
We’ve recently undertaken a rebrand project ourselves, and wanted to share some of our favourite recent rebrands which other businesses have gone through – which could help inspire some fresh creative thinking of your own.
The Korean car brand has undergone a huge market repositioning over the last 20 years, going from minnows to an industry big-hitter (in January 2022, they were the biggest-selling brand in the UK for the first time in its history).
Its rebrand was revealed in spectacular world-record-breaking fashion, using an army of drones over the Seoul night sky to illuminate a new logo and brand slogan.
It’s one of many recent rebrands launched by car companies (BMW, Renault, Volvo) where detail-heavy, 3D logos have been swapped for simpler, flatter designs – which are being prioritised as digital technology takes on a bigger role in our lives.
Kia’s new font is stridently futuristic, and is just one of many examples of long-established brands abandoning ornamental, serif fonts that could otherwise anchor them in the past. Ditching the oval shape of its badge creates differentiation between Kia and its parent company, Hyundai, as well as competitors like Toyota.
Also reflecting the switch to flatter, more two-dimensional designs is snack favourite Pringles. Their mascot, Mr P, has been given a makeover – retaining the same basic shape, but with some of the visual ‘noise’ removed.
His hair has been replaced with eyebrows, which now match his simplified moustache, and his bow-tie has been supersized to house the brand name, clearly rendered in new all-white, all-caps typography. The effect is restrained, refined and more premium, with a hint of American mid-century vintage that harks back to the brand’s 1960s origins.
The rebrand also gives Pringles the chance to tap into our collective love for emojis; Mr P’s expressive new brows mean he can communicate lots of different emotions – and help the brand tap into the zeitgeist on social media.
The fast-food giant is another that’s delved into the past for its latest update. Its maximalist 20-year-old logo has been ditched for a new, minimalist design that’s a near carbon-copy of the logo it used from 1969 to 1999.
The heritage feel continues with stylised, 70s-evoking illustrations and a new proprietary font that echoes the plump, rounded shape of their burger buns (it’s hard not to describe the typography as ‘groovy’!).
The rebrand was timed to reflect the brand’s scrapping of a huge number of artificial flavourings and preservatives from its menu; every touchpoint – from uniforms and signage, right down to the wrapper your burger comes in – is rendered in a colour palette of shades occurring naturally in its flame-grilled food: greens, reds, yellows and browns.
Their restaurants are getting a makeover too, with woods and metals being used liberally – it’s part of a wider trend towards ‘biophilic design’.
Combined, Burger King’s rebrand brilliantly (and subconsciously) communicates the simple, natural, old-fashioned ingredients that go into their meals.
The global payments giant launched a simplified new visual logo in 2016, then simplified it further in 2018 by removing the wordmark after learning two-thirds of consumers would recognise the brand with the intersecting red and yellow circles alone.
But we want to talk about 2019, when it introduced a new sonic signature. This short melody acts as an aural confirmation of payment – a reassuring signal that everything is working as it should.
The need for a sonic ‘tick’ has been driven by the proliferation of smart speakers. Confirmation of payment through this audio-only channel could have been said with words, but they need translating; a sonic logo is universal.
Midol has been many women’s go-to medicine for decades when experiencing period symptoms, but the found they were struggling to connect with Millennial and Gen-Z consumers.
Their rebrand aimed to reposition its image so it better reflected the way consumers think of themselves; medical blue and white were replaced with a vibrant palette of hot pinks, greens, purples and yellows that reflect the joy of a pain-free life.
Not only that but the typography is bolder than before, reflecting a shift in attitudes: gone are older values of daintiness and passivity, and in are strength and independence.
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