Every brand needs a well-designed, memorable logo, and sometimes it takes more than one attempt to create one. A strong rebrand can breathe new life into a company's public image--but when it doesn't work, it can turn the brand into a laughingstock (looking at you, Tronc). Here are the 13 most successful and most embarrassing logo changes and rebrands of 2018.

1. The Guardian

U.K. newspaper The Guardian revamped its print and website layouts in January and introduced a new logo and font. The new design swaps the all-lowercase blue nameplate for a bolder, black one--though the new uppercase "G" monogram bears a striking resemblance to that of golf magazine Golf Digest.

2. Evernote

Note-taking app Evernote updated its logo, an elephant nicknamed Mads, in August. The new Mads is green instead of gray, with a curled trunk, rounder edges, a larger fold in his ear, and a more neutral eye shape. (The previous eye, according to the company's blog, "had been described alternately as 'smiling' and 'angry.'")

3. U.S. Open

To mark the tennis tournament's 50th anniversary, the U.S. Tennis Association overhauled the U.S. Open's logo in March. It replaced the flaming tennis ball design with an all-lowercase, sans-serif, minimalist version meant to work better on digital platforms. Bonus: The "u" and "n" are rotated versions of each other.

4. Papa John's

Papa John's removed the likeness of founder John Schnatter from its logo on some packaging in July, after Schnatter used the N-word in a conference call. The pizza chain then trademarked a version of the logo without an apostrophe, which could further dissociate the brand from its founder. (The company said it does not have immediate plans to start using the new logo.)

5. IHOP

To promote its burger offerings in June, pancake chain IHOP inverted the "p" in its logo to a lowercase "b." It changed the logo back a month later, but not before some pointed out that the font looked a lot like that used for the logo of tampon brand O.B. (An O.B. representative said the company was "flattered" by the similarity.)

6. Dunkin' Donuts

The coffee-and-doughnuts chain announced in September that it was dropping the "Donuts" from its name, though it would retain its pink-and-orange color scheme and font (and would still sell doughnuts). Though many customers had already been using the shortened name, some were dismayed by the change, which will take effect at all locations in January 2019. 

7. Best Buy

In May, Best Buy redesigned its big-yellow-tag logo. Now, a small yellow tag sits at the bottom right corner of the company name, which is set in a slightly different font. The company said this design is "more modern and easier to read," but Twitter users were quick to deride the new logo, comparing it to that of  Bud Light.

8. Uber

Embattled ridesharing company Uber updated its logo and typeface in September, less than three years after its previous redesign. The new app icon, which is just the company's name in rounded, high-contrast black and white letters, is more legible, the company said. It replaces an ambiguous shape that was widely criticized. 

9. Mailchimp

The marketing platform's chimp icon, Freddie, had previously appeared separately from its name; in September, the two were joined in a bright yellow and black logo. Mailchimp also introduced a new typeface and changed the "C" from uppercase to lowercase to indicate that the company provides more than just email services.

10. Animal Planet

In October, the TV channel replaced its 10-year-old, spiky green logo with one that features lowercase, rounded text under a leaping blue elephant, which recalls Animal Planet's original logo (an elephant and a globe). Some Reddit commenters called the new logo too generic, while others praised its simplicity.

11. Travel Channel

Another cable channel also underwent a redesign in October. Travel Channel swapped its logo's red-white-and-blue color palette for yellow and purple, tweaked the font, and removed the vowels in "travel"--although the channel's name hasn't changed. One commenter wrote, "I know attention spans are getting shorter but this is ridiculous."

12. Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers rebranded as WW in September. The company says it's now focused on wellness and health rather than just weight loss. Notably, the abbreviated name has twice as many syllables, and ww.com still redirects to weightwatchers.com, so the old brand might be hard to shake off.

13. Rinse

Laundry startup Rinse rolled out a new logo and color scheme in July. The company traded in its blue-and-white water droplet design for a stylized orange "R" on a teal background. The ribbon shape of the R "symbolizes the extra care we put into every order," Rinse's co-founder wrote.

Published on: Dec 21, 2018