- Most logos change little by little, but some logos undergo huge transformations.
- There are logos that have been deliberately untouched, like Coca-Cola’s.
- Then there are brands that have constantly changed their look, from Pepsi to Microsoft Windows to Starbucks.
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Most logo changes by big brands are subtle.
Think Coca-Cola — since the 1880s, its logo design has barely evolved. The Coca-Cola logo is ubiquitous and consistent, and it pays off: Coca-Cola is widely regarded as the most recognized brand worldwide.
Some, however, are so drastic that they look as if they’ve been created for completely different companies.
It can be risky to redesign a major logo, but many big brands are still willing to take the plunge. It doesn’t always end well. Clothing retailer Gap, for example, changed its logo in 2010, then reverted back to the old design just days after serious customer backlash.
Here are the most drastic logo redesigns in brand history.
When it came to design, the latter half of the 20th century marked a time of simplification. IBM’s logo evolution reflects this trend — its current design dates back to 1972. It’s meant to evoke "speed and dynamism," according to IBM’s website.
Pepsi represents the path that many brands have taken — phasing out lettering entirely until all that remains in a logo is the symbol itself.
Pepsi’s first logo is illustrative of the design emphasis of the late 19th century. The more intricate a design, the better. In 1962, Pepsi introduced its sans serif logo that eventually inspired its current redesign.
Adolf Hitler is often credited for designing an early version of the iconic VW Beetle. The pre-WWII logo for the car manufacturer bears Hitler’s influence as well, a swastika-like symbol clearly outlining the letters.
VW dropped the shape in 1939 for a cleaner design that resembled teeth on a gear. That design eventually became today’s button-like logo. The blue color wasn’t added until 1967, and Volkswagen has barely changed its look since.
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