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.
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.