The 10 biggest logo redesigns of 2012

Several leading companies reinvented their brand identities in 2012. We look back at 10 logo redesigns that rocked the design world.

Whenever a well-known logo design gets remade, the design community tends to be up in arms. The Twittersphere is comments along the line of "Awful!", "Terrible!" and "My five-year-old sister could have done a better job!". But is this just a case of people not liking change? In the fullness of time will these logo redesigns be recognised as an inspired step forward, a necessary step in modernising the brand?

Well, here's a great opportunity to take stock and decide, as we take a look back at some of the biggest logo redesigns of 2012. With the benefit of hindsight, what do you think of them now? Do let us know in the comments below!

01. eBay

Ebay straightened out its logo in 2012

In September, after 17 years of trading under its famous 'rummage style' style jumble of letters (below), ecommerce giant eBay redesigned its corporate identity. The new logo gave a more sleek, professional and - dare we say it - dull look to the company.

The old logo was a much-loved hot mess of lettering that reflected its dot com boom origins

02. Microsoft

The new logo unveiled today by Microsoft

Though they're separate companies, the eBay and Microsoft logo redesigns seemed to go hand in hand thematically. The computer software giant's logo redesign in August had a similarly slimmed-down and straightened-out aesthetic, based on Microsoft's preferred Segoe font. The chunky bold type of old, with its 'go-faster' slant, looked immediately dated in comparison.

The old logo had become massively dated

Most significantly, the new logo incorporated the Windows colours, in the form of four neat square tiles. This was a clear nod to the changes in the Windows UI as the company brought together its diverse range of products - Windows 8 PCs, Surface tablets, Windows Phones and Xbox 360 - into a more unified and interdependent offering.

03. Wendy's

new wendys logo

Wendy's opted for a sleeker look with its new logo, to match a change in company strategy

In October, America's much-loved burger franchise decided to give its 1983 logo a long-overdue makeover. As well as stripping back things to its basics - a common strategy in logo redesigns - Wendy herself was also altered to look a little older, paving the way for the company's transformation into a higher-end hamburger chain. As we write, Wendy's is planning on making changes to its restaurants which include natural lighting, flat-screen TVs, and comfy chairs.

04. Arbys

The old logo (left) has lost some of its character in the redesign (right)

Another fast food chain - indeed one formerly owned by Wendy's itself - launched a new logo itself in 2012. One of the more fun fast food logos (oversized and with an appeal to Western nostalgia), it retained its essence while become a bit more modern and a bit more professional, forcing out some of the quirkiness we loved.

05. ITV

ITV's logo redesign fronted a new, more unified identity for the broadcaster

In November the broadcaster behind international hit drama Downton Abbey shared the first details of a major branding overhaul, including a unifying brand identity for ITV plc, ITV Network, and ITV’s content and distribution businesses, domestic and international.

There was a new logo to accompany the change, and its curvy, colourful new look was striking. The new branding will roll out in January 2013 across all ITV channels.

The old logo now looks slightly drab in comparison

When the logo appears on coloured background, such as marketing images for ITV programmes, it will adapt and change according to the background colour scheme of the image. This means the logo can be dynamic, shifting tone along with the content, reflecting and blending with the mood of different shows.

Different backdrops demonstrate the colour picking technique employed by the creators

06. Corvette

A brand new logo for a brand new car

The new Chevrolet Corvette will make its debut at the North American International Auto Show in January 2013, and to mark its release, General Motors unveiled this brand, spanking new logo in October.

The previous 2005 Crossed Flag logo

The famous crossed-flags emblem has been worn by all series-production Corvettes built since 1953, appearing traditionally on the nose, trunk lid, and cabin. Said Ed Welburn, vice president for global design at General Motors: "The [new] flags are much more modern, more technical and more detailed than before, underscoring the comprehensive redesign of the entire car.”

07. Transformers

The new logo mixed the Transformers Decepticon logo with the number 4, representing the fourth movie in the current series

The Transformers juggernaut seems likely to go on forever, and with the announcement of the latest sequel came a variation of the famous logo. The new shiny-yet-grimy metallic logo mixed the classic Transformers' 'Decepticon' emblem with the number 4 to create an intriguing piece of promo art. Hopefully the movie will live up to the level of imagination shown here.

08. Jaguar

The new logo is similar to the old one, but shinier

As you can see from comparing the new (above) and old (below) logos, this logo redesign wasn't the most radical. But both the image and the typeface were changed in significant ways. The animal icon got a metallic fill and shadow, while the typography became wider, sleeker and shorter.

The old logo hasn't been abandoned, just improved upon

09. Kraft

The new logo harks back to an earlier age

In October 1, grocery giant Kraft Foods was split in two: the North American business was spun off into Kraft Foods Group, Inc, while the worldwide snacking company changed its name to Mondelez International. Neither company kept the 2009 logo (below); instead the former chose to reflect its heritage by tweaking a version of its classic shield to create a new corporate logo.

Kraft Foods old logo was outdated once the company was split into two

10. Dominos

Dominos new logo stripped away the word 'pizza'

The simple logos are generally the ones that work the best. And if you thought that Dominos' logo couldn't get any simpler then think again. The pizza chain's identity got minimised even more in August. Is there anything left to take away, we ask ourselves...

The old logo was simple, but there was still some way to go in stripping it back

What did you think of 2012's logo redesigns? Discuss the pros and cons of the year's rebrands in the comments below!

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