You might notice some commonalities among large company rebrands in 2019. Or rather, you might not have noticed they rebranded at all. And that’s exactly the strategy they share. In 2019, many large heritage companies went for what you might call a brand refresh rather than a redo; making small design shifts in the service of function in the digital space, and for a more performative brand across platforms. To make a haircut metaphor: major companies all opted for trims that might make you ask, “Did you do something different?” No one went for full-on bangs. Let’s take a look at just a few of the brands that have adopted this strategy of incrementalism, opting for a touch-up rather than an overhaul.

[Image: Ikea]


The Swedish furniture company underwent a few brand changes over the past year, beginning with its classic blue-on-yellow logo lockup in April 2019. Stockholm-based Seventy Agency adjusted the type to increase digital legibility by enlarging the negative space between the forms of each letter, like the lines that make up the E and the counter, or triangular hole in the letter A. Meanwhile the curved serifs of each letter were reduced, making each letter feel even more blocky. The brand name itself was enlarged within the yellow oval shape behind it.

Really, if you’re adapting to the digital age now, you’re late to the game. ”

A month later, Ikea shared further developments in what it called its “logo evolution,” with the release of the new logo system called Fönster. This is a fitting way to describe the process, as the changes are so slight, the adjustments could be comparable to the scientific process itself. 72andSunny iterated on the original blue-and-yellow logo consumers are familiar with to create one that would be flexible enough to work in tandem with an array of digital content. So, the agency gave the lockup a transparent background and made the type white—essentially making it a window into whatever image was placed behind it. The move met an opportunity to brand lifestyle and social media images in a subtle way, and allowed the company to meet consumers where they are: on their couches.

[Image: courtesy PBS]


In early November, the PBS logo lockup got a facelift, too. The 50-year-old public broadcaster has over 300 independent local affiliate channels and a reach of more than 215 million viewers who watch it via traditional television. It was ranked one of the most trusted institutions in 2019, according to Marketing & Research Resources. It has brand appeal. And any change in the logo had to fill  two needs: help the brand deliver on its growth strategy beyond TV by creating visual cohesion across its burgeoning digital platforms, and oh yeah, be broadly appealing without being boring.

Connie Birdsall and her team at Lippincott accomplished this in a few ways. First, the team had to make the logo be quickly identifiable no matter where it was seen. To do so, the Lippincott team built upon the logo created by Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv in 2009 and created a standard look that began with a new, proprietary color: bright blue. They made other slight adjustments to simplify the lockup as well: the typography was simplified and enlarged to equal the size of the head within the inner circle. The head’s eyes were enlarged, and its nose was adjusted to tilt the gaze upward. The type and head as a unit were enlarged too, just like the IKEA logo a bit earlier in the year.

[Image: courtesy Pentagram]

Warner Bros. Studios

This one is another example of a logo having to serve two seemingly opposing functions: be highly adaptable and yet maintain strong recognizability—whether as an icon that’s 1 centimeter wide or opening on an 80-foot wide screen. What’s more, the shield logo is iconic. So Emily Oberman and her team at Pentagram again made small shifts to modernize an icon of the last century for the 21st century.

Like PBS, the Warner Bros. Studio key logo took on a bright blue color. And like Ikea’s Fönster logo system, the Warner Bros. shield was developed so it too, could be a window to introduce secondary content and color palettes, like that of a movie’s individual branding. The WB letterforms were heightened and thinned out, and the shield was attenuated to the Golden Ratio. The Pentagram team also developed an original Warner Bros. Sans typeface, so that the brand was felt even without the logo. For DeeDee Myers, Warner Bros. Studios’ executive vice president of worldwide corporate communications and public affairs, the results of many slight changes “connected [the brand] to the past, but with eyes firmly ahead.”

[Image: courtesy Twitch]


We start to see the same model on a smaller scale with Twitch, the gaming and streaming platform owned by Amazon. But it was solving for the opposite problem of heritage brands like PBS and Warner Bros. Studios: As a 9-year-old live streaming service, it has a successful digital business model. So the company’s not exactly archaic. This rebrand was more “an attempt at corporate maturation,” Fast Company reported in September 2019. But it had many of the same goals relative to both customization and consistency, so with assistance from New York-based creative agency Collins, the creative team at Twitch streamlined and simplified the branding system in many of the same ways as heritage brands did this year.

Twitch became more visually adaptive as a brand by first making small adjustments to its key logo: The team filled in the transparent body of the blocky letterforms with white, thinned out the outline of each letterform, simplified the drop shadow for a cleaner look, and recolored all those ancillary components in black for high contrast. It then went a step further by making two additional logos: a two-tone extruded logo that users can co-brand based on their personal Twitch landing pages, and their pièce de résistance—an animated three-tone rainbow version of the mark as a visual indication of company voice.

How many decades of margin do we allow brands to adapt to a century that we’re a fifth of the way through? ”

Adaptive Logos Are Nothing New

Of course, the evolution toward streamlined, adaptive logo marks had already started before 2019. American Express and MasterCard both simplified when Pentagram refreshed their visual looks in 2018 and 2016 respectively. In fact, Pentagram’s case study described the MasterCard project as a “brand identity to emphasize simplicity, connectivity and seamlessness.” MasterCard, which calls itself a “technology company in the payments industry,” took it a step further by removing its name from the logo mark entirely in January 2019. That, of course, makes it easier for MasterCard’s branding to appear recognizable, no matter how small the device you’re viewing it on.

Steve Heller, co-chair of the School of Visual Art’s MFA Design Department, “frankly” doesn’t see the move toward more digital-friendly branding as a trend. Instead he suggests that changes like these are so slight that they’re just part of a brand refresh all heritage brands go through. “We know that heritage brands go in for refresh every so often,” he says. “And we’re two decades into the 21st century, so I’m not surprised that some brands are trying to demonstrate they’re not in mothballs.”

In other words, these slight recalibrations we’re seeing might simply be tactical. All companies with visual identities that have been grandfathered in from the last century will to make these changes if they want to stay afloat. Really, if you’re adapting to the digital age now, you’re late to the game. But you know what they say: better late than never.


  1. Hi, everything is going well here and ofcourse every one is sharing information,
    that’s truly excellent, keep up writing.

  2. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot
    about this, like you wrote the book in it or something.
    I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is great blog.
    An excellent read. I’ll certainly be back.

  3. Hello there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading this post
    reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept talking about this.
    I will forward this page to him. Fairly certain he will have a good
    read. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Greate pieces. Keep posting such kind of
    information on your page. Im really impressed by your site.

    Hi there, You’ve performed an incredible job. I’ll certainly digg it and individually
    recommend to my friends. I’m confident they’ll be benefited from
    this website.

  5. This piece of writing provides clear idea designed for the new people of blogging,
    that really how to do blogging.

  6. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was curious what all is needed to get setup?
    I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost
    a pretty penny? I’m not very internet savvy so I’m not 100% certain. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Appreciate it

  7. Simply desire to say your article is as amazing.
    The clearness for your post is just great and that i
    could suppose you are a professional on this subject. Well with your
    permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to stay updated with imminent post.

    Thank you 1,000,000 and please carry on the gratifying work.

  8. Do you have a spam issue on this site; I also am a blogger, and I was wondering your situation; we have developed some nice practices and we are looking to exchange techniques with others, be sure to shoot me an e-mail if interested.

  9. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.
    I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and
    was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this.
    Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly
    enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

  10. hi!,I love your writing so so much! proportion we be in contact extra about your article on AOL?
    I need a specialist on this area to unravel my problem.
    May be that is you! Having a look ahead to see you.

  11. This design is incredible! You certainly know how to keep a reader entertained.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Great job.
    I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that,
    how you presented it. Too cool!

  12. Wonderful goods from you, man. I have keep in mind your stuff previous to and you are simply extremely wonderful.

    I really like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you are saying and the best way through
    which you assert it. You’re making it entertaining and you continue to
    take care of to stay it smart. I can’t wait to read much more from you.
    That is really a tremendous website.

  13. What’s up to all, how is the whole thing, I think every one is getting more from this web page, and your views are good for
    new people.

  14. Wow! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a completely different subject but it has pretty much the
    same layout and design. Outstanding choice of colors!

  15. Thanks , I have recently been looking for info approximately this topic for a while and yours is the best I
    have found out so far. However, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you certain concerning
    the source?

  16. Greate pieces. Keep posting such kind of information on your page.

    Im really impressed by it.
    Hey there, You’ve performed a great job. I will definitely digg it and in my view recommend to
    my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this web site.

  17. Asking questions are truly pleasant thing if you are not understanding anything entirely, but
    this paragraph offers fastidious understanding yet.

  18. Hello, i think that i saw you visited my web site thus
    i came to go back the favor?.I’m attempting to find things to enhance my
    site!I suppose its ok to make use of a few of your concepts!!

  19. I am sure this article has touched all the internet users, its really really fastidious
    post on building up new blog.

  20. Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article!
    It is the little changes which will make the most important changes.
    Many thanks for sharing!

  21. Hi, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your website in Chrome, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up!
    Other then that, great blog!

  22. I don’t know whether it’s just me or if perhaps everyone else encountering issues with your website.
    It appears as though some of the written text in your posts are running off
    the screen. Can somebody else please comment and let me know if
    this is happening to them too? This might be a issue with my browser because I’ve had this happen before.
    Appreciate it

  23. Every weekend i used to pay a visit this site, for the reason that i wish for enjoyment, as this this web site
    conations actually good funny stuff too.

  24. I am extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your
    weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it
    yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a great blog like this one these days.

  25. Hiya very cool blog!! Man .. Excellent .. Wonderful ..
    I’ll bookmark your site and take the feeds additionally?

    I am satisfied to seek out so many helpful info here in the put up,
    we want develop extra techniques on this regard, thanks for sharing.
    . . . . .

  26. Good post. I learn something new and challenging on websites
    I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It will always be useful to read content
    from other writers and practice something from other sites.

  27. We’re a group of volunteers and opening a new
    scheme in our community. Your site offered us with valuable information to work on. You’ve done a formidable job
    and our entire community will be grateful to you.

  28. I am genuinely glad to glance at this website posts which includes tons
    of helpful information, thanks for providing such

  29. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.

    I do not know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if
    you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

  30. I was wondering if you ever considered changing the
    layout of your site? Its very well written; I love what youve
    got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.

    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two images.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

  31. I think this is one of the most important info for me. And i’m glad reading
    your article. But want to remark on few general things, The website style is wonderful, the articles is really excellent : D.

    Good job, cheers

  32. Hey There. I discovered your weblog the usage of msn. That is an extremely well written article.
    I will make sure to bookmark it and come back to read extra of your
    helpful information. Thank you for the post.
    I’ll certainly comeback.

  33. You’re so cool! I don’t suppose I’ve truly read through a single thing like this before.
    So wonderful to discover somebody with a few genuine thoughts on this subject.
    Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This web site is one thing
    that is required on the web, someone with a bit of originality!

  34. Howdy! I simply want to give you a big thumbs up for your
    excellent info you have right here on this post. I am coming back to your web site for more soon.

  35. It is really a nice and useful piece of information. I am
    satisfied that you just shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us informed like this.

    Thanks for sharing.

  36. Good site you have here.. It’s difficult to find excellent writing like yours nowadays.
    I honestly appreciate people like you! Take care!!

  37. I just like the valuable info you provide in your articles.

    I will bookmark your blog and test again here regularly.
    I am relatively sure I’ll learn lots of new stuff
    proper right here! Best of luck for the next!

  38. I absolutely love your website.. Pleasant colors & theme.
    Did you make this amazing site yourself?
    Please reply back as I’m wanting to create my own blog and would love to
    find out where you got this from or what the theme is called.


  39. I have read soo many articles or reviews regarding the blogger lovers except this paragraph iss really a pleasant
    piece of writing, keep it up.

    Look inhto my site … Nydia

  40. First off I want to say excellent blog! I had a quick question that
    I’d like to ask if you don’t mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your head before writing.

    I’ve had a hard time clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out there.
    I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first
    10 to 15 minutes are usually wasted just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or
    tips? Appreciate it!

  41. It is appropriate time to make some plans for the
    future and it is time to be happy. I have read this post
    and if I could I want to suggest you few interesting things
    or suggestions. Maybe you can write next
    articles referring to this article. I wish to read even more things about it!

  42. This design is incredible! You obviously know how to keep a
    reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to
    start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Wonderful job. I really loved what
    you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
    Too cool!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.