Logo redesigns can serve a range of purposes. The aim might be to update an old brand to keep it fresh and appeal to new audiences or simply to make the logo more versatile and easy to apply in uses that weren't originally envisioned, such as app icons.
We've seen plenty of good examples of both of these – but there are also lots of logo redesigns that just didn't work at all. One Tiktokker has been tearing into some of these in a series of rapid-fire breakdowns of the worst logo redesign fails (see our tips on how to design a logo for ideas on how to get it right. And you might also want to make sure you have the best graphic design software).
The power of logo design is undeniable, and good logo design can create huge brand recognition. Bad logo design, on the other hand, can be confusing, can harm brand recognition and can ultimately harm sales.
Zachary Winterton is a logo designer who often shares his tips and analysis of logo designs with his 64K followers on TikTok. And while he's generous with his praise for logo designs and redesigns that he thinks are successful, he also provides quick breakdowns of the logo designs that he thinks failed. That latter category includes some surprisingly big brands in everything from food to clothing and tech. Here are five of his sharpest bite-size critiques.
Logo redesign fail 1: Kraft
The Kraft logo redesign debacle of 2009 felt like an example of a big brand working through iterations in its design process in public. It replaced its well-recognised design with a colourful redesign that felt completely empty, then it swapped that for another one. Then it ditched that whole idea altogether and revered to something much more similar to the classic logo it had started with. In 2015, the company merged with Heinz.
Logo redesign fail 2: Mi
Winterton pokes some fun at Xiaomi for taking so long to redesign it's Mi logo from an orange square with 'Mi' written inside it to... an orange 'squircle' with 'Mi' inside it. Apparently, the company experimented with 24 different shapes to get just the right one.
Logo redesign fail 3: Gap
The classic serif Gap logo is simple but widely recognised and has a lot of character, perhaps through its long association with the brand. The 2010 logo redesign felt like the blandest thing ever. Gap sensibly took note of the almost universally negative reaction and rowed back just six days after making the change.
Logo redesign fail 4: JM Smucker's
Sometimes a logo design just doesn't seem to gel at all with a brand's identity. The JM Smucker is a legacy food company founded in 1897, but Winterton thinks its logo redesign would be more befitting of an early 2000s software company. Sensibly, the company didn't put the new logo on its products, reserving it as the corporate identity of the parent company only.
Logo redesign fail 5: Juventus
Redesigning a Sports team logo is almost guaranteed to provoke fury among fans, and the Juventus logo redesign was no exception. The Italian side has stuck with its decision, but we have to agree with Winterton on this. While there's a place for modernisation and minimalist design, the logo of a 120-year-old internationally recognised football club probably isn't it.