The Biggest Logo Redesigns 2016/17: Calvin Klein, BBC Three, Mozilla, Kodak & more

Examining the most controversial and radical rebrands and logo redesigns of 2016 and 2017 so far, including a new Calvin Klein logo, BBC Three refresh and Kodak's retro new logo.


2016 was the year of the people - the consumer - when it came to brand redesigns. Companies reassured the public it was them who inspired the change, whether or not the new aesthetics were publicly praised or ousted.

Designs used bold colours and vector shapes, and true to all effective digital marketing, the redesigns were splashed across all social media platforms. 

2017 looks set to follow suit with BBC Three's redesign by Studio Output rolling out with interchangeable palettes for digital and broadcast environments. 

We take a look at some of the more controversial and radical logo redesigns, beginning with Calvin Klein's new logo.

Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein has discreetly released its new logo on Instagram in the last week – describing it as “a return to the spirit of the original”. 

Acting as “an acknowledgement of the founder and foundations of the fashion”, the new logo follows a recent trend to return to company roots in a simplistic manifestation.

The new logo, all in capitals, appears to be an easier design to transform across many digital and social platforms, but doesn’t stray too far from the previous logo. 

It has been created by British graphic design luminary Peter Saville in collaboration with Calvin Klein’s creative director Raf Simons. Not much more is known about the rebrand.

Originally a Belgian designer, Raf Simons joined the American fashion label in August last year after working for Chistian Dior. 

Peter Saville came to fame for his record sleeves for Factory Records, where he acted as director. Since then he moved from Manchester to London are became art director of Dindisc, founded design agency Peter Saville Associates and worked on rebranding the Metrolink tram system in 2008.

More recently, Peter became creative director of Manchester city and designed the England football team home shirt. In 2013, Peter Saville revealed he was designing an identity for Kanye West.


BBC Three

Studio Output designed the refresh for BBC Three, allowing the brand to stand alone from the BBC stamp yet possess an interchangeable digital presence.

Studio Output created a visual toolkit stemming from Red Bee’s original ideas in 2016, with the aim of providing content that could roll out across all digital and broadcast platforms. 

BBC Three’s new visual identity is bold and simple with two bright palettes for flexibility across different content. 

Using four Red Bee logos and simplifying these, Studio Output was able to free the ‘Tricon’ logo from its retaining stamp device in BBC environments, and make it into a flexible brand asset.

As well as its flagship broadcast content, BBC Three is a constant presence across social media with shareable articles and memes.

Studio Output aimed to have a brand system that flexes to its environment and topic to suit this interactive audience, with looser type treatments, pops of colours and draft illustrations coming into play.

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Mozilla

Mozilla (yes, there is more to the company than just Mozilla Firefox) opened the gates of its redesign process to the public in a lengthy process last year – and has finally settled on a winning new logo.

The company, along with design consultancy johnsonbanks asked for help on its blog to whittle down seven possible re-identities to four narratives, which were then moved to iterative design work.

Anyone was able to comment on the process – from creative strategy, to conception, refinement and the final step - guidelines.

The new Mozilla logo and brand assets include a bespoke typeface, colour palette and proposed approach to imagery.

Peter Bil’ak of Dutch type foundry Typotheque created the typeface Zilla.

Although the colour palette needs to be developed, a suggested range has been created. It’s interesting to note that beyond the wordmark no one image or icon will represent Mozilla – but instead the company intends to use a changing set of visuals.

Statements explaining Mozilla’s role and purpose – such as the phrase “We stand for the internet” – will appear underneath or to the right of the logo. 


Kodak

Kodak decided to revisit a previous design for its first rebrand since 2006.

Work-Order has revived Kodak's first official symbol designed by Peter J. Oestreich in1971. It was used in various forms for over 35 years, and is probably their most recognised piece of branding. 

The wordmark within the red symbol is now stacked (due to the symmetry of the capital letters), reminiscent of street signage. Work-order intend for the logo to be the first read and the name is the supporting mark, even removed altogether when the icon is a smaller size. 

And of course, the warm yellow, red and black colours that are rooted in the company’s brand identity remain.


NatWest

FutureBrand has designed the rebranding for NatWest – basing it on the original logo mark created in 1968.

The new icon consists of three chevrons turned into a three dimensional shape - as you can see at the top of the image.

When NatWest was first formed as National Westminster Bank Limited in 1968, the three cubes represented three separate banks coming together under one brand – originally National Provincial Bank, Westminster Bank and District Bank.

Colourful graphic illustrations and 3D typography are also part of new visual rollout, in a bid to attract younger bankers.

The rebrand of NatWest is part of FutureBrand’s wider redesign for the RBS Group. NatWest’s rebrand is currently rolling out on merch, posters and online, and will appear on storefronts soon.

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BT

BT has adopted a new simplistic logo ahead of a major brand overhaul due to take place next year.

The old connected world logo from 2003 has been replaced with a flat multi-coloured circle with blue and red BT in the middle. The change is yet to be formally signed off, according to the Financial Times.

It is understood the logo is planned to be the centrepiece of the brands shift into pay-TV sports and mobile phone market.

Image: BT logos from 1980, 1991, 2003, 2016 reading top left to bottom right


Deliveroo 

The team at Deliveroo has expanded rapidly since its birth four years ago, and a more mature rebrand was needed. The timing isn't great - as the public might link it with some recent bad publicity about the Deliveroo driver strikes in August - - even if we all know a rebrand like this would have started many months before that.

Designers from DesignStudio carried out customer service shifts, became riders themselves and (of course) ate lots to get a sense of what Deliveroo is about before the rebrand.

Throughout the process it was realised that the kangaroo roots needed to stay with the brand, but the new logo became a 'Roo' that was less literal and more vector-based.

A new bright new rider kit was designed so employees could be seen easily on the roads, and a new series of hyper-real, close-up photography of a variety of food to match.


Subway 

"It’s a new commitment – a bold move. Even a fresh start."

This is the underpinning message of Subway’s massive redesign - logo, brand, and identity - that’s expected to roll out by early 2017 in all restaurants. 

The fast-food chain is shamelessly plugging authenticity and raw humanity in an attempt to "search for better".

Short videos have been released to its social media pages depicting inspiring stories of a variety of American individuals and their remarkable journeys – cancer-survivor Sheila getting her first tattoo at 62 years old, and Andrew who lost his leg in an accident but still works out at the gym.

The new logo is bright yellow and green, instead of white and yellow and the typeface is much more minimalist. The dated bottle green outline has been dropped. 

The new symbol consists of one yellow and one green arrow, forming a simple ‘S’ shape inside the thick arrows.

Image: The former Subway logo is placed on top of the redesign.

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Instagram

Instagram may have burnt a few bridges when launching its new logo in May, but a fresh look was inevitable for the rapidly growing social media giant.

Its move from a dull-coloured skeuomorphism camera to the white curvy outline of a camera in front of a bright rainbow gradient was bold. 

As well the new icon, Instagram launched a crisp new interface and algorithms, but nothing that would upset too many users experience.

As the company said itself, the Instagram community has evolved over the past five years from merely the average Joe Blogg uploading filtered photos to a place of professional photo and video capturing, and the brand needed to reflect that progression.

Image: The former Instagram logo is placed on top of the redesign.


Uber

Taxi-app Uber’s redesign was organically created from an internal design team, with huge input from chief executive Travis Kalanick, despite his non-design background.

The brand didn't keep much from its old identity, or anything that would be recognisable to the average user. 

Kalanick didn't commission a third party advertising studio, but instead worked alongside Uber design director Shalin Amin and the team, studying up on concepts and colour palettes.

It was a long to the eventual evolution of the simplistic icons – and the company faced huge criticism almost immediately. 

Uber fused the idea of atoms and bits as part of its new campaign. Everyday situations and authentic human interaction mixed with technology 

Young designer Bryant Jow drew five boxes and popped a geometric shape around each for the logo.

Image: The former Uber logo is placed on top of the redesign.


Netflix

Netflix slowly integrated a secondary icon for its phone app and social media sites – but made sure it was not to be mistaken as a complete redesign. 

The red ribbon-like N sits on a black background, instead of white, and was created in June to work interchangeably alongside the existing Netflix brand.

The company used drop shadow on the ribbon facets of the N to make the icon look 3D.

Netflix says the icon will be incorporated into other product integrations in the near future.

Image: The current Netflix logo is placed on top of the secondary icon.

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Mastercard 

Mastercard’s new logo was the company’s first design change in 20 years - and it was well overdue. 

As one of the fundamental names amongst payment platforms for the past 50 years, Mastercard knew it had to stick with the two bright red and yellow overlapping circles.

Mastercard did away with the comb effect where the two circles merge, and replaced it with an orange colour. The Mastercard wordmark was positioned outside of the circles so they could be used as a recognisable symbol on their own.

The logo mainly appeared in the corner of payment cards and in shop windows previously, but with the company’s new digital payment system, MasterPass, the logo needed to be flexible and legitimate.

Image: The former Mastercard logo is placed on top of the redesign.


British Steel 

British Steel teamed up with Lincoln-based studio Ruddocks Design to create its new brand identity - a combination of a B and an S - doing away with the iconic David Gentleman logo used from 1969 to 1999.

Ruddocks Managing Director Peter Hogg says the new brand was designed to reflect the company’s strength, and the concept of "building stronger futures". 

The Molten-orange combination of letters is also meant to resemble three strips of steel. It sits against a navy background.

Doncaster-based Moirae worked on British Steel’s digital presence.

Image: The former British Steel logo is placed on top of the redesign.


BBC iPlayer Kids

BBC's on demand video platform for children has been redesigned by Moving Brands, who have created an upbeat animated wordmark sequence.

BBC iPlayer Kids is an app aimed at children one to nine years old – the modern version of Saturday morning cartoon binge watching. 

The 'Kids' typography bursts onto the screen crashing into the 'iPlayer' typography, mixing the youthful colour of pink with the professional white and black. 

Image: The current BBC iPlayer logo is placed on top of the iPlayer Kids redesign.

Moving Brands also work on the sound design – creating in-house xylophone and wobble board combinations to accompany the text.

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