A look at logo evolution:

Unique to your business, your logo is one of the first things people will notice when they come to deal with you. A strong logo sets you apart from your competition and goes some way toward communicating the ethos of your company. By association your logo will come to represent the core values of your business; reflecting the service you offer, the experience you provide and the quality you deliver in a single image or wordmark. This one single piece of your brand identity separates you from the competition, instils confidence and signifies professionalism. Why then would any business, big or small think about changing it?

When we think about rebranding, it can be very tempting to throw everything that has gone before in the bin and start over with something completely new – but there are some very good reasons why you shouldn’t do this. Let’s look at some big brand logos and how they’ve subtly evolved over the years.

Evolution not revolution:

The thing about branding is it takes on a life of its own in consumers’ minds and becomes something personal to them. Your logo is the entry point to your brand, which over time builds equity. Brand Equity is the value derived from the perception of the brand name, rather than from the product or service itself. This equity, and with it any brand heritage can be easily lost with a drastic brand makeover; i.e. your established audience might not realise the rebrand is you.

That said, as time goes by logos can get tired. Colour and typeface trends change, the mobilised world requires legible logos at ever smaller scales. Making evolutionary changes to your branding rather than starting over can refresh your logo and be a key step to revitalising your brand.

You don’t need to wave goodbye to all that has gone before when thinking of updating your logo and to illustrate what I mean, here are some big brands you’ll recognise. They retain their heritage through the various iterations and in doing so, move fluidly into the modern era and still remain instantly recognisable.


Google Logo evolution

Everyone’s favourite internet search engine started out as a homemade graphic, created by co-founder Larry Page. It was revised when Google officially launched with the order of the now synonymous brand colours being settled upon in an update in 1998. The logo has consistently worked toward being simplified from the outset. Over time, bevels have been dropped, shadows removed and the once prominent exclamation was axed. In 2015 the logo saw its biggest revision to date when it emerged free of serifs (the flourishes that finish the strokes of the letters) in its own bespoke typeface. The visual identity remains, but the new typeface made the logo look more modern. Coupled with a stand-alone G icon, Google keeps its familiarity whilst spearheading the thrust into being effortlessly flexible, ultra-slick and timelessly simple.

You can see a cool video of Google’s logo evolution here


BMW has taken its logo on an evolutionary journey. You can see from its conception over 100 years ago that it has barely changed in all this time. It features the colours and pattern (albeit reversed) of the Bavarian flag. They’ve modernised the typeface several times, stepped away from gold in the logo and over the years added depth with textured gradient highlights and shadows. These changes have been made over many years and each time they’ve been very subtle but ensure the logo keeps pace with contemporary design with an up-to-date feel.


Guinness Logo Evolution

Probably one of my favourite brands of all time, Guinness draws on its rich history with the latest iteration of the logo. Unlike Google and many other brands Guinness has gone against the theme of simplifying and the latest version of the famous harp is a beautifully textured and detailed mark. It is a brand not scared to tread its own path. Along the way though, they have stayed absolutely true to the brand elements, making small evolutionary changes as the years have gone by. Because of this, their most recent logo allows them to call back on long-standing heritage and that is why this most recent logo works so well. It’s authentic, recognisable, modern and yet it looks as though it could have always been this way.

You can read more about Guinness’ latest redesign, undertaken by DesignBridge here

To Summarise

What these examples show us is that by making simple refinements over time you can keep your brand looking fresh and current without diverting entirely away from what your audience has come to know, recognise, understand and trust.

You don’t have to be an industry giant, if you think it’s time to assess and refresh your own logo we would love to hear from you.


Is it time your logo had a refresh?

If the answer is yes, we’d love to hear from you! Call 01732 920 236

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Mivvy Creative is a boutique design agency.

We are a creative agency offering branding and design solutions for businesses. Through print, photography, video and digital mediums we seek to engage your clients and showcase your business’ personality. We look to build relationships and a deep understanding of our clients, their customers, employees and the products and services they offer and we take ownership of the challenges you may be experiencing.

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