The year 2021 was, in many ways, a year of restart, reinvention, hope, and opportunities, and many brands reflected on their past, analyzed the present and shifted gears for a better future—much internal change, manifesting company culture and solidifying their brand foundation. With it came a lot of visual changes and evolutions. I’ve been watching those rebrands over the last year, and here are the most successful big ones, in my humble opinion, not just from a visual standpoint but the entire band all around.
Burger King: I love the simplification, colors, and vintage vibe. Burger King has a nostalgic quality for so many of us, and this rebrand exemplifies that.
CIA: definitely evolved and much better. A lot was going on. It’s bold, modern, and timeless. But it could also be anything now. Very nondescript. So, perfect cover 😉
Renault: common redesign recipe… strip it down to its essentials and leave some familiarity. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Here it does. And it added more movement and depth than the very 3-dimensional logo before.
abc: simple, straightforward, and still recognizable. This brand refresh is proof that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to reenvision.
udemy: knowledge is uplifting, and udemy points us north. It’s all there in one little logo mark.
fisher-price: refined, subtle, and timeless, with such great details. The three oval shapes on the bottom represent the three founders, and all lower case and the smiling hyphen reinforce who they are for: kids!
Lime&Co Brand Evolutions
At Lime&Co, we didn’t do many rebrands this year but instead built many new brands from scratch. But here is one significant brand evolution that we are very proud of for our dear client Zettist. You can see the entire process and case study here.
So what do these rebrands tell us about the logo trends in 2021?
- It’s all about legibility. Logo typography chooses clarity over personality, so a logo is clear, bold, and easy to read.
- Return to nostalgia. While most rebrands aim for a timeless modern upgrade, some retain a vintage vibe—a minimalist retro style.
- Essence is key. Many brands identify the most quintessential and recognizable part of their brand. They keep that and strip away everything else.
- Ditching enclosures: stripping away the unnecessary and exploring if the core can stand on its own. Often it can, and does not need a circle or other shape around it.
- Versatility: moving into a primarily digital space, many brands aimed for greater accessibility and versatility. That means simplified typography, stripped-down color palette, simple shapes, and a flatter appearance. And it’s not just one primary logo but a whole logo system that can be used in many different ways.
As you can see, it does not always have to be big to be impactful. Even the slightest change can help to make a brand feel refined and refreshed, especially if it goes beyond the logo. A fresh look at the brand foundation usually informs a brand if it needs to evolve. It brings clarity, and clarity brings direction.
Refreshed and ready,
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