As we are nearing the end of the year, we thought it only right to review some of the best and worst rebrands of 2022.
Here at Canny we review company rebrands weekly, whether a large organisation changes their logo, or a start-up changes their whole look.
Either way, we want to explore it.
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Rebrands can involve everything from new logo designs, brand new websites, new packaging, or a transformation of a company’s brand identity or strategy.
Therefore, during the rebranding process it’s important to get every element right in order to fully encapsulate a company’s values and core purpose.
In this post we will be exploring all rebrands, the good, the bad and the ugly, looking into why companies made decisions, and in some cases what went wrong.
So, let’s get started.
In June of this year GSK, one of the world’s largest biotech companies, rebranded with the help of British design agency Wolff Olins.
We will start off by saying, this rebrand gets a tick from us and is certainly in the column for one of the best we’ve seen this year.
The old identity of the brand was becoming outdated, and in need of a refresh due to the shift in focus from a healthcare brand, to a solely bio-pharmaceutical technology business.
One of the main changes to the branding was the change in logo, starting with the typeface. The previous font within the logo was rounder and smoother and appealed more to customers when searching for products on the shelves.
The newer logo leans into the science side of the business, with a more geometric style typeface to mimic the sharper focus on biotechnology.
Each letter has been pinched at certain points to create a unique shape to avoid a regular square looking logo.
These pinch marks have been carried throughout the branding, and the iconic orange colour didn’t go far but instead was used in collaboration with pale pinks, against a contrasting charcoal background.
This rebrand was necessary to match the focus of GSK, and they have managed to update their branding but hold onto key elements of their identity to remain recognisable to their audience.
Check out this post for more great examples of medical and healthcare branding.
We aren’t biassed because Sage are based in the North-East (we promise) however, their rebrand in Spring this year caught our eye in more ways than one.
The British software giant changed not only the logo but incorporated more visuals and illustrations into the website, and used animations to their advantage.
The logo of course was a much needed update, and with the new swirled and rounded typeface, it became more inviting than the logo of the past. Each letter is clear, however the edges don’t connect, for example the G could look like an S to some, which adds to the softness and works with the new branding overall.
The green logo and animations are now on a black background, and the green is slightly more subdued. However the “Sage flow” of how each letter moves on screen mimics more of a gradual neon sign, as the cursor flows to create each visual.
Sage have equally now incorporated animated “stick men and women” if you will, to bring more personality to the branding, each of which have extra long legs and arms, and tiny heads.
These character animations are a small quirk that spice up the otherwise standard software solutions website.
Equally, on the site, Sage uses space well, incorporating relevant information using bullet points and neat rounded boxes, as though not to overwhelm website visitors and keep information concise but presented well.
The decisions made for this rebrand were important in order for Sage to further stand out in the software solutions industry and avoid falling into the pattern of using a basic website design and similar colours to competitors.
Although Hootsuite is a platform we use for scheduling social media content and tracking analytics, there are elements to their rebrand that we can’t quite get our heads around.
First of all, having an owl mascot landed the company into a competitive landscape with several other brands such as TripAdvisor and Duolingo using the same bird, and using it well.
Therefore, there is added pressure to get it right when claiming a popular mascot as your own.
In our opinion Hootsuite didn’t hit the mark, as the mascot is all wrong, from the shape of the head, to the pointy ears, it reminds us more of an unfinished version rather than the final logo.
“Owly” has a clumsy look and the old logo looks more like an owl than the current one.
Equally, the body of the owl doesn’t gel well with the head, in fact the body looks more owl-like but in proportion to the head it’s slightly off.
However, on a more positive note the colour palette used for this rebrand incorporates shades of blue that work nicely together and provide a good contrast to the saffron red that is used for the majority of Hootsuite’s branding.
Despite the colouring getting our stamp of approval, the tone of voice used after the rebrand doesn’t quite speak to the audience using the platform.
With phrases such as “rats!” and “kaput”, the owl comes across as more of a cartoon character than a company mascot.
It’s fair to say this rebrand has us torn, with a mascot and messaging we can’t quite get on board with, and a contrasting colour palette that steals the show, we are still deciding whether the original Hootsuite branding was better suited to the platform.
B2B financial service, Tranch, offered something a bit more unique, and dare we say odd, in their rebrand this year and the theme of chopping and slicing is captured throughout, neatly tying all brand elements together.
The icons are hands down the best part of this rebrand, as they add a bit of fun and charm to the financial world, and the same chopping and slicing theme is included here too.
Tranch have used various shapes and objects being chopped with axes or knives to hammer home their brand messaging of “handling finances in bite-sized chunks’”.
The colour palette used is a blend of purple, blue, and green with the bright yellow cutting through,which we think is very effective.
It’s nice to see that the company isn’t afraid to play around with colouring, and this is extended throughout social media platforms and advertisements.
However, this isn’t seen on the company website, and instead the use of white and charcoal backgrounds are used which instead help the bright colours to pop.
This is helpful in terms of CTA’s as the brighter neon colours are used for buttons and icons, meaning website visitors’ attention is drawn to those website sections immediately.
Tranch made bold choices for this rebrand and it worked in the companies favour, as they successfully made links between the services they offer, brand identity and design.
A recent trend when it comes to rebranding is taking things back in time and using a retro style for logos, colouring, and overall brand identity.
Burger King certainly didn’t shy away from this trend.
Although the concept of the logo is similar, with the Burger King text inside of the burger bun shape, design agency Jones Knowles Ritchie, simplified and neatened up the original version to create a brand new look.
Instead of a shiny 3D looking design, the new logo is scaled back down to a look that is more 2D and uses straight horizontal lines compared to the slightly tilted logo of the past.
Ironically, the latest logo is far more similar to the logo of 1994, with rounded burgundy lettering inside of the thick tasty looking burger bun.
This has been extended to create one of the best monograms we’ve seen in 2022, with a red letter K encased inside the logo bun to create an overall B shape that’s certainly effective in its design.
The colouring used creates a slightly more luxury feel, to the fast food chain, and takes away the ‘affordable’ element of the packaging all while still being an affordable option!
Burger King is up there with one of our favourites from this year even just for the monogram alone.
Zapier is an integration and automation tool used by thousands of companies, and in the summer of 2022 they had rebrand success.
The original logo was nothing to write home about, as the typeface was squared and simple, and all one shade of orange.
For the refresh, the company decided to go for black lettering that is thicker, rounder and contains ink traps to create something slightly more friendly than the thinner simpler logo.
The rebrand’s purpose was to tell the story of possibilities and celebrate how businesses had used the platform after all!
Although the company name is now in black, the use of orange wasn’t discarded as a thick orange underscore is now included at the front end of the logo.
The colouring, although a unique mix, works well for Zapier, with a blend of blues, green, white, cream, and brown to compliment the main reddish-orange shade.
It’s fitting for this rebrand that the company enhanced the personality of not only the logo but everything to do with branding, in order to reflect how customers were using the platform for such a wide range of tasks.
When we see the branding of Evri, we wonder what was wrong with the previous Hermes brand identity.
Although nothing special, we can’t help but think we preferred the original branding even if just for its neatness and simplicity.
The Evri logo uses different lettering for each letter which may seem like a quirky idea, but the end result is more messy than charming.
The essence behind using different lettering for each letter within the logo is that everyone can benefit from using the Evri delivery service as they are able to deliver to everyone everywhere.
However, we feel that this could have been presented in a nicer way.
Interestingly enough, you can make nearly 200,000 combinations of the logo due to the range of typefaces available and different mixtures are used on vans, adverts, and signage across the country.
With that in mind we can’t help but think there must have been a nicer combination to use for the official company logo.
Due to this the branding is all over the place.
However, one of the nicer elements to the branding is the print and website layout, which is far more effective as it’s neat, the typeface used is friendly and welcoming, and the blue is as eye-catching as ever.
Unfortunately, the lettering makes the branding confusing overall, and what is an inclusive and positive brand message is slightly tarnished by the mixture of too many typefaces.
This is a rebrand we can get on board with, as vehicle manufacturer Skoda were in need of an update, and luckily we think they got things just right.
The colour palette is a particular element we enjoy, as the company decided to switch things up entirely and use earthy tones but mainly forest and neon green.
They provide a great contrast with one another and are used in tandem in the logo and across the website and identity.
It’s clear that Skoda have taken ownership of the colour pairing and it works for them, as the colours suit the brand far better, compared to the more immature bright green used in the previous logo.
Speaking of the logo, it seems Skoda is another brand who have decided to go back to a more 2D style and moved away from traditional car logos encased in a silver ring.
Instead the winged arrow has been simplified and surrounded by a simple green circle, which sits above the Skoda lettering.
The typography is another part of the branding that is entirely different, as the lettering is square and geometric, and the caron above the S has been removed.
Instead, the nod to the Czech heritage is incorporated into the top section of the S itself, making for a sleeker, more updated look, particularly with the blend of angles and rounded corners.
Overall, the branding is very neat, as the two main colours mixed with original brand photography provides a seamless look to the website and advertising materials.
For this example, you’re probably thinking, what has changed?
If you take a look at the icon itself, particularly the before and after comparison, the gradient has been enhanced quite drastically.
The placement of colours remained the same for this rebrand, with the orange in the bottom left, purple at the top and pink to the right, as did the Instagram camera icon in the centre. However, you can see as clear as day that the colours have been dialled up to create a brighter looking application.
This gradient reminds us of a neon sunset, and lights up the branding of the social media platform altogether.
So, if you were totally confused and thought you were the only one who saw a difference back in May of this year, don’t worry you were right.
In addition to this was the introduction of the Instagram Sans custom typeface, that is distinct, and versatile, due to the wide audience using the platform.
The range of typefaces encourage creativity and individuality within the app as various lettering can be used through instagram stories and reels for users to add a unique spin to their content.
Not only this but Instagram incorporated unique quirks such as the design of the @ symbol, and some of the letters including Q, H, A, and G, which adds a little something extra to the typefaces.
Although the rebrand may seem slight (and full disclosure the logo changes are minimal) the newer brighter colours definitely pop more and helps to keep the Instagram platform fresh and relevant in the sea of social media platforms available to us now.
Onto another one of our rebrand favourites of this year with Morphy Richards who have taken a unique route to create stand out branding.
Starting again with the typeface, the company took a different approach, switching from rounded lettering to a more squared and traditional font.
This is nice and not often done,but helps to incorporate the heritage of the business into the branding.
Equally, the logo works perfectly either in a single line, or stacked as the tails of the P and Y, fit neatly into the spaces above the H and the D.
The brand’s mission statement is “Happiness engineered” which is a simple idea that reflects both the partnership between Richards and Morphy, the two business founders, and the happiness of using their appliances in the home to make life easier.
The logo and mission statement aren’t the only neat and tidy elements of this rebrand, as the product packaging is split neatly into two. One side showcases the product within, while the other provides a line drawing of the appliance, which adds a bit of interest while in-keeping with the sleek and tidy look of the branding.
The illustrations are where the branding gets more exciting as the company used a mix of styles, using product photography, a brush stroke, then rough drawn details to create small characters using the products.
These illustrations add some well needed fun to this more traditional rebrand, as they are both static and animated so are a welcomed addition.
Finally, the updated colour palette is far more sophisticated as Morphy Richards now used toned down colours rather than bright tones, to create an almost ‘grown up rainbow’.
They used peach, navy, forest green, beige, and yellow across all product photography and advertisements, to create versatility depending on the appliance.
Kraft’s Mac n Cheese
This rebrand may look subtle however, Kraft changed multiple elements to their Macaroni and Cheese the first being the name.
To create branding that was more relatable and relevant to customers, the company decided to change the entire product’s name to “Mac & Cheese” compared to the original “Macaroni & Cheese Dinner”.
You may agree that the latter just doesn’t quite have the same ring to it!
This name change was needed as it represents the brand far better, as customers use this name already when referring to the product.
An element that remained however, was the iconic blue colour of the box, however for the rebrand it was deepend and made the main focus of the branding.
This blue colour is what jumps out to customers when sat on the shelves so it made sense for Kraft to take note of this and amp up the blue even further.
The Macaroni noodle is possibly the best part of this rebrand due to its dual meaning (well at least we think there are two meanings!)
The pasta shape mimics a smile and has been updated to a 3D design, which includes a drip of cheese that could be a watering mouth, or just to showcase the goodness of the mac & cheese itself.
The new accompanying typeface is softer and gooier, using rounded lettering to mimic the product inside, which again was a nice touch to this rebrand helping to tie the entire identity together.
The previous packaging was lacking in personality and looked rather generic, and possibly something you would imagine to be mass produced and without a proper brand identity.
So, again Kraft took note and simplified their packaging, using a bright cobalt blue base colour for the entire box, as this colour is the trigger for customers to remember who Kraft are, and why they are a cupboard staple for so many.
Ice cream parlour Baskin Robbins rebranded this year and took inspiration from an earlier logo, which didn’t exactly work in their favour.
We are torn with how we feel about this rebrand as some elements work nicely alongside one another, whereas others feel child-like and mismatched.
First things first, the logo incorporates both BR for Baskin Robbins, and 31 for an ice cream flavour for each day of each month.
We understand the concept and like the idea of blending both together, however it’s slightly messy and it could have been more seamless.
For example, blending the 1 and the R together hasn’t worked as well as the previous logo and it becomes unhidden and glaringly obvious, rather than a subtle hint to a brand value.
The choice of font is an unusual one for an ice cream parlour logo, but a nicer element of the rebrand, as the company has stepped outside of the rounded or geometric style logo that so many competitors go for.
However, this makes it unclear as to who they are reaching out to in terms of their audience, as the typeface and logo in general is both mature and immature at the same time.
The colour choices are equally unusual, and in some instances work quite well, for example the use of pink and brown on the cups and cone wrappers.
It’s unfortunate the brand doesn’t use the white and blue across all of the branding as this blend of four colours adds a lot more dimension to the products, advertising and applications.
HotJar were in need of an update in order to steer their brand identity away from something that was looking too similar to the dating app, Tinder.
The similarity came from the flame used in both companies’ logos, and with the colouring being nearly identical it was time to switch things up to differentiate from each other.
At the turn of this year between 2021 and 2022, HotJar rebranded to craft a brand ready for the future.
It was important for the company to focus on showcasing exactly what the product can do in terms of analytics and insights, so keeping the logo fairly simple was a must.
The lettering looks to be similar, however certainly not as bold, as the flame was the focus that needed to be remodelled.
Instead of the pinkish flame above the J, the logo now includes two heat waves before the H, in a more appropriate orange colour.
This helps provide a better link to the main feature of HotJar, that being the heatmaps that help to identify user behaviour.
The colouring has equally been updated, and used throughout the branding and website are all shades linked to fire, flames and heat.
Therefore, Hotjar uses a range of reds, yellows, purples, blues, and oranges, which work nicely together and add just enough depth and personality.
Equally diverse are the illustrations used within the site, that provide a nice link to customer insights, as each character looks different to one another, which reflects customer personas for companies who use HotJar.
St Francois County, Missouri Seal
We know this is quite a statement but I’m sure you will agree, that the St Francois County Missouri seal is quite possibly one of the worst rebrands we’ve come across as an agency.
The seal is a mismatch of everything and it just doesn’t work.
Technically this is a slight hiatus from the other rebranding examples in this post, as this seal has since been updated from the original rebrand we are discussing below! As you can see from the image above, the seal we are discussing in this section has now been replaced with something more suitable (as shown on the right) however we couldn’t skim past the first rebrand as a creative agency and just say nothing!
In fact it doesn’t look like a serious US state seal, but more of a school art project, if even that!
The font is plain and simple and the images look like they are copy and pasted from clip art or taken from Google images.
There is an American flag, eagle, map, bible and cross, and garden spade and pick axe thrown into the middle section of the seal with no rhyme or reason to the layout.
The colouring of the seal is plain, which is the only element that provides calm in the chaos, as a pale lilac-blue shade is used as the base colour for imagery and text on top.
We dive into US state seals in our State of Branding posts on the Canny blog, and we have seen some that are beautifully designed and some not done so well.
However, all we will say is we are glad the state of Missouri decided to rebrand again, and rebrand quickly at that!
State of Branding Missouri may just be on the cards purely so we can unpack the latest seal!
Automobile manufacturer Buick rebranded this year and although some elements may work for some, for us we much preferred the original branding from 2016 onwards.
The change of the logo cheapens the brand slightly as if we start with the typeface, it ultimately looks squashed beneath the new badges above.
For us, despite the original lettering being less like traditional car lettering, it offered something unique in the vehicle manufacturing industry and reminded us of the typeface used for Waitrose and John Lewis.
Something different for sure!
The new lettering used doesn’t seem to match up with the look and feel of the car, and would be better suited to something like a construction company.
Perhaps if the lettering had been given room to breathe it might sit better and not look so harsh.
The badges above are sleek and fit the brand slightly better, however removing the bright sections of colour and swapping this for less doesn’t really add anything to the branding.
The only place the logo seems to sit well is in the middle of the steering wheel, whereas on the front of the car the original badges encased in the circle looked far more crisp.
This rebrand doesn’t match up to the luxury feel of the car, however it makes sense when it comes to the evolution of vehicle branding in recent years, and Buick is clearly following the trend.
Best and Worst Rebrands of 2022
There we have it, Canny’s list of the best and worst rebrands of 2022.
Although, we may have scrimped on the bad examples, this is because this year has been somewhat of a showstopper when it comes to company rebrands.
We have particular opinions when it comes to rebrands, hence why we thought it important to highlight these examples and discuss exactly what went right and what went wrong!
As much as we like to take notes from where brands have gone wrong, we equally like to praise and explore rebranding examples that hit the spot and are a welcomed change!
Here at Canny, we work with businesses to create specific branding that works for both the company and their customers. Whether that’s a full rebranding project, or an identity or strategy refresh, we know what it takes to create great branding that won’t be easily forgotten.
If you feel your business could benefit from a bit of help in the branding department, get in touch with our team today!