This ability to adapt is one of the most important traits a brand can have, but it’s also one of the most difficult to attain. When evolving a logo, brands must balance modern trends with classical brand elements. If your brand is ready for an updated logo or you’re just inspired by brand logo evolution, here’s how 5 iconic brands have adapted over time.
1) VH1: Minimizing a Classic Logo
Video Hits 1 debuted in 1985 in an attempt to target a more sophisticated audience with soft rock and urban contemporary performances. The most popular VH1 logo came out in 1996–the year of the Pop Up Video–and was just in time for the music channel’s big break. The current logo is very much inspired by the original logo from 1985 and infused with simple, minimalist design trends from our modern era.
2) Reebok: Celebrating 50 Years
The original Reebok logo displays the Union Jack, paying homage to the brand’s beginnings in Britain. The logo underwent a number of color rearrangements, and the brand name was removed from the main image twice. In 2001, the brand switched to Rbk to appeal to a younger target market and appear more fashionable. This only lasted until 2008, when the sports brand returned to its original name in celebration of their 50th anniversary.
3) Pabst Blue Ribbon: Making a Brand Comeback
After winning its first award in 1876, Pabst’s Best Select went on to win so many blue ribbons that the company began adorning each and every beer with a hand-tied blue ribbon. This was officially discontinued in 1950, but the trademark ribbon was such a part of the brand that it earned a place on the label that we now know today. After a few decades of decline, this beer brand made such a huge comeback with millennials that the logo is now a symbol for contemporary hipster culture.
4) Mercedes: Mastering Minimalism
This luxury car brand logo is the result of a merger between two high-end car companies, Daimler and Benz & Cie. The three-sided star of the Mercedes logo is intended to symbolize the brand’s dominance over land, air and sea. As time progressed, the brand’s logo continued to shed more design elements, including color and text. The current logo reflects the effortlessly sophisticated Mercedes brand voice.
5) Warner Brothers: Incorporating Iconic Elements
Warner Brothers’ original logo echoes the flickering, ghostly ambiance of silent films while still showing off the classical shield-shaped WB logo. The iconic Warner Brothers banner was introduced only a few years later and became an important design element that is still used today. The current 3-dimensional logo is highly adaptable to different movies and programs.
Michelle Polizzi is the Content Coordinator at Brandfolder, a user-friendly tool for brand asset management. When she’s not busy creating content, you can find her bicycling around Denver or catching a live concert. She’d love to connect with you on LinkedIn.