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Warner Records gets a sunny rebrand

For the first time in 61 years, American music label Warner Bros. Records has rebranded itself. Say hello to Warner Records, which was launched earlier this week with a new brand identity and logo created in partnership with the world's largest independent design consultancy, Pentagram.

Previously the label had been recognised for a good part of the last six decades by the famous Warner Bros. shield logo. Subtle variations over the years saw it accompanied by the word 'records', while a merger with Seven Arts in 1967 saw the brief use of a more angular design based around the letter 'W'.

Pentagram's new logo (below) breaks from convention though as it sees the name Warner Records put front and centre. Accompanying the name is a simple sun graphic that appears to be rising thanks to a subtle but effective piece of cropping.(To learn more about the art of logos, see our post on logo design (opens in new tab).)

Warner Records logo

It's the dawn of a new identity for Warner Records. [Image: Warner Records]

The Pentagram (opens in new tab) rebrand follows some behind-the-scenes reshuffling at Warner Bros. Records. Having been sold by Time Warner in 2004, the label was under obligation to keep trading as Warner Bros. records for the next 15 years – a decision that stipulated that the label kept using the same name and logo.

That agreement has now expired, allowing Warner to usher in the rebrand. And in a way it couldn't have come at a better time. The Warner label has seen a recent leadership change, and in March the company relocated from Burbank to downtown Los Angeles.

A press release from Warner Records says that, "[f]or the first time in the label's history, we've had the opportunity to create a distinct, modern identity entirely of our own."

It goes on to say that the new logo will succeed thanks to its "artful simplicity and impactful typography that are ideally suited to the digital world. The circular icon—suggesting a record, a sun, and a globe—is a nod to the label’s past, present and future. The openness of the design gives it the flexibility to embrace all Warner Records artists and all genres of music around the world."

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Dom Carter is a freelance writer who specialises in art and design. Formerly a staff writer for Creative Bloq, his work has also appeared on Creative Boom and in the pages of ImagineFX, Computer Arts, 3D World, and .net. He has been a D&AD New Blood judge, and has a particular interest in picture books.