Best Logo Redesigns and How They Were Applied


1. Instagram

I am starting with Instagram right off the bat because the Instagram logo redesign of May 2016 was actually a good thing. Since we have all had some time – 1 year and 2 months – to adjust to the new Instagram logo, hopefully we can step back and make a decision on if we truly do like the new logo and interface of Instagram.

Yes, the new rainbow color scheme does look a bit like a built-in PowerPoint template or a poster from Apple’s 2013 Developer Conference. But let’s consider the whole family of apps. Instagram’s branding for their old family of apps felt disconnected from the main Instagram app icon. The new brand family makes much more sense.

Instagram also updated its app interface in 2016. They went from a black and blue options-and-status bar, which used to be at the top and bottom of the app screen’s interface, to a stripped down black and white version. The User Experience (UX) designers wanted the app to become more about the visuals in the feed than about a header and footer that weighs down the screen.

Instagram redesign

Watch the making of the Instagram logo here >  

2. Netflix

The days of receiving DVDs in the mail are long past us – and so was the old, drop-shadow Netflix logo. The new logo became more flat and bold – bringing the vibrant red color of their branding to center stage – especially when displayed against black. This was the start of breathing new life into the brand’s identity.Netflix logo redesign

From there, new (UX) code was written into Netflix’s streaming platform. Instead of becoming overloaded by looking at pages and pages of movies and shows, you can now focus on what you are watching instead of what you say you like. You may watch an Academy Award-winning movie and give it five stars because it was an eye-opening experience, but you may also watch two episodes of The Office every day when you get home from work. There is so much competition from Amazon Prime, Hulu, and HBO Go that Netflix doesn’t only have to flex its branding muscles, but it also has to flex its UX muscles.

Netflix redesign

3. Pizza Hut

Personally, I’m more of a Dominos girl, but Pizza Hut’s new logo has me intrigued! Pizza Hut has always been known for its signature slanted roof – part of me wishes it was still on their buildings – they had to keep it in their new logo. In fact, they basically kept their old logo and removed the stroke on the slanted roof and the underline. That’s it! Reversed it out and put it in a red circle that not only evokes the feeling of hunger, but also looks like sauce spread on a pizza crust. The smallest adjustments make the perfect amount of impact. I’m also digging their boxes with the red on black on craft paper.

Pizza Hut redesign

4. MailChimp

Just like PizzaHut, MailChimp created some very slight modifications that led to effective improvements. The new logo is a lighter gray than the original color and the leading is adjusted to be more legible without moving away from a loose, script font. MailChimp is an innovative, dynamic company and these subtle changes reinforce that energy. MailChimp also is a great example of how you don’t have to completely scratch your existing brand to find a new identity. Instead, you can update what you have to refresh your brand.

MailChimp logo refresh

5. Pandora

Pandora’s redesign is another one that people have gotten up in arms about. I’ve heard how they “can’t unsee the PayPal logo” and “OMG, it’s so generic, uninteresting.” But, as I stated in the Instagram review, let’s consider the bigger picture.

Pandora logo redesign

Pandora logo

Pandora is a music streaming service that recommends songs based on a user’s created stations. It is about the music. It’s about discovering music. It’s about the feeling you get when you hear a song for the first time and think, “Dang! What is this?!” The flow of lyrics, the thud of the earbuds, and the idea that no song or station is the same, just like us. Pandora executed this well with its new Wordmark and monogram. Each letter of the Wordmark carries the same curves, and the geometric sans serif icon has the same circular shapes. The only critique I have is the Registered Trademark symbol. It’s very big for the Wordmark. Overall, however, the user experience is reflected in the monogram “P” – ever changing, evolving, and jamming.

Pandora redesign

6. OpenTable

Open Table logo redesign

I never cared for the old OpenTable logo. I got it. Everybody got it: Circles look like the tables and one is red, so, it is open for you. There is nothing wrong with that, but I think it reminded me of staged furniture from the 80s in a doctor’s office.

80s chair

Right?? Okay, maybe not, but it was outdated. The new OpenTable logo keeps the round table approach but in a more minimalist style that could be interpreted in several different ways: the red dot (that is the negative space of the red circle) is the meal that is being delivered to the table. Or the dot is a lonely diner at a table making a reservation for a group of people (see animation below). Or the negative space in the big circle represents that it is open and the dot is the person making the reservation that is going to fill it. However you interpret it, at the end of the day, it’s a nice, simple icon that works well on its own.

Open Table logo redesign

7. Google

Stop the press, literally, because I don’t think there has ever been any logo redesign in history that received so much social media coverage. Google has always come across as if they opened Photoshop, picked a font, typed ‘Google’, and called it a day. But that is the beauty of their logo. This company brings the Internet to the world in the form of white pages with tons of plain black text. The new logo came out and we could all agree it was clean, straightforward and more modern. However, it’s Google, so they had to add a bit of playfulness to the ‘e.’ This drives most typography designers crazy, but it perfectly embodies Google’s personality as a company.

Google logo redesign

IHOP’s redesign is by far one of my favorites. I don’t find this place nostalgic, it’s not my favorite late night eats, and I don’t ever crave their pancakes. BUT, when I saw the new logo for the first time I literally giggled. GIGGLED! Some people say it looks like a creepy clown face, but I have to strongly disagree. It reminds me of pure happiness. “Smiley faces on pancakes” happiness. “I get to draw on the menus” happiness. This is exactly what they were going for.

IHOP logo redesign


What all of these companies have in common is that they got it right the second time around. Managing your brand is all about listening to your audience and making changes – larger or small – to maximize your company’s name.

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