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Branding, Design, digital, Talks

Recent Re-Brands: Hot or Not?

by Claudia Carr

on 2nd October 2018

When keeping up with the ever-evolving market, brands often seek to refresh and rebrand themselves. Whether this is a minor tweak or a complete overhaul, as designers, we always get excited to see how agencies tasked with the job have brought a vision to life and the creative direction they have taken.

We asked the design team for their thoughts and opinions on some of the most recent rebrands and redesigns to hit the market.

John Lewis Partnership

Pentagram has recently given the iconic British company John Lewis Partnership, home to John Lewis and Waitrose, a revamp. Placing emphasis on their business model, whereby every employee (all 85,000 of them) have a stake in the company, ‘& Partners’ has been added to the names.

Inspired by the original pattern for the brand that was originally created in the 60’s, the parent brand, John Lewis and Waitrose are unified by the use of ‘brandlines’ – with a variety of weighted lines for each entity.

So, what do the Bluestep designers think?

“The new style has transferred well across the brand materials whether that be the logo to tote bags, using the same essence of their brand allows continuity, but keeps the different section of the companies fresh. By rebranding the companies together, it brings the two closer and more recognisable as a joint venture whilst still keeping their own personalities.”

“I particularly love the new typeface and linear font created for JL. This is used on the new bags that have the enlarged text bleeding off – a modern design element which you wouldn’t really expect from such a traditional brand. I like the use of lines – makes for a flexible identity which can be applied to a variety of applications and is a nice way to connect the two parts of the partnership by both using the parallel lines but in different orientations. However, it looks a lot like M&S in my opinion with a similar typeface and the use of black and green.”

 

Uber

The global ride-sharing and ride-hailing app Uber has revolutionised the way people get from A to B. Uber needed an identity that would work and translate universally across cultures, and so sought the help of Wolff Olins. The result is a stripped back, simple brand look.

Over to the Bluesteppers…

“I really like this – much simpler and cleaner than the old one, gives it a much-needed modern refresh! You can tell they’ve drawn inspiration from transportation icons in the arrows and rich blue colour that you see on road signs for easily legible text – a nice way to coherently transition the brand by using elements that are already commonly associated with the road/ transport/ travel.”

“I think the choice of a softer typeface and the move away from an all-caps lockup allows for a different tone of voice and universal brand message, this can only help with all the bad publicity that the brand has received in the past year. A more dignified and classier look will add a little more luxury when travelling and using the Uber brand where its seen to be a quick and cheap alternative to calling a taxi. This rebrand is a nice step forward from the rebrand that took place in 2015, which was highly criticised. “

Carlsberg

Bringing things closer to home, with their head office in good old Northampton, we couldn’t pass on talking about Carlsberg’s (albeit small) changes to their brand identity. This new look has been rolled out onto the bottles, cans and glassware, creating a unified new product family. This comes at a time where the brand is releasing revolutionary innovations, such as the ‘snap pack’ in a bid to reduce plastic waste.

Here’s what designer and part-time beer drinker Andrew has to say:

“The revamped logo has seen small but effective changes, with small tweaks to the typeface and enhanced colour pallet, it sees the brand become lifted and refreshed. With the introduction of a clean and crisp typeface to partner the elaborate logomark, it brings a whole new look and feel, which almost brings hipster vibes with the cleaver typesetting and brand colours. Carlsberg has stripped back all the extravagance and have allowed for the brand to speak for itself with flat colours and a signature mark of approval on every bottle.”

 

So, what do you think? Do you agree with what our designers have to say?

We have worked on a handful of great rebrands here at Bluestep, which you can find out more about over on our case studies page.
If you are looking to give your brand a little re-vamp, get in touch with us today!

 

Images in this post are courtesy of ‘Brand New’

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