Several brands gave their image a face lift this year. Here our look at the Top 5 that made an impact in 2010. In our opinion, a couple are very well done and a couple leave plenty of room for second guessing and improvement going forward.
1. CNN – This media giant gave their Spanish channel a new and more contemporary look. This is an excellent example of simplifying a brand mark and using a twist of creativity to get the point across. The basic logo remains unchanged, but the clever use of the ~ over the word mark fully communicates the Spanish flavor and allows the tagline to be removed, giving a more simple, but impactful design.
2. Girl Scouts – The Girl Scouts of America wanted to leverage their existing brand equity, but to give the brand a more contemporary and modern look and feel. The new font with lower case has softer curves that are friendly and approachable, yet is has power and confidence carried by the black color. The icon with the girls faces retain the look and feel of the past, but include subtle enhancements to give it a more modern feel. Placing the icon to the upper right of the word mark provides a sense of dynamic movement that shows the organization is energized and moving forward.
3. Continental and United Airlines Merger – The combination of these two airlines required a consolidation of the logos. Unfortunately, they seem to have lost the best of their brand identity in the process. The new name remains United Airlines, but the imagery chosen for the combined entity is the Continental globe icon. This may be equitable, but the globe icon is busy and looks dated while the United iconography with the stylized “U’s” is a timeless classic. Hopefully, they will consider returning to the double U icon in the future after the merger is completed.
4. Seattle’s Best Coffee – The coffee business needed a boost at Seattle’s Best and this included a package redesign and a new logo. While the packaging is fine, we feel the logo redesign leaves a lot to be desired. While the old logo was getting a bit “long in the tooth” it was a distinctive and proprietary brand mark with a formidable shelf presence. It was strong and confident and made a bold statement that stood out in a crowded market. The new mark is simple, more contemporary and a bit more approachable, but it is a weak brand mark that lacks the self-assuredness required to compete against the likes of Starbucks and other leading coffee brands.
5. Big Ten Conference – The Big Ten Conference expanded from 11 institutions to 12 and needed to make a change in the logo to reflect this last addition. The previous logo cleverly managed the “11? schools by the use of negative space in around the letter “T”. With the addition of the 12th school, this had to be removed. The new design focuses on dialing up the name of the conference itself, “The Big Ten”, without regard to the number of institutions. They retained the notion of playing with the font to incorporate the number by taking the “I” and the “G” and making those letters represent the number “10?. In this way, the name Big Ten is encapsulated in a single word. While this has a cleverness about it, we would prefer to see the word “Ten” spelled out so it the full name “Big Ten” is easily readable and fully presented.