Wisdom.Applied Wednesday: Brands Get A Makeover

Yesterday, Google rolled out a complete overhaul of its logo to reflect the ever-evolving way in which users are accessing the company’s tools. For this week’s Wisdom.Applied Wednesday, Katie Schrantz takes a look at some other brands that have recently updated their logos, as well as the design trend that’s currently all the rage.


It’s out with the old, and in with the new. It’s been a year of change for a number of brands, most recently culminating in Google’s announcement of a revamped set of logos.



Earlier this summer, IHOP introduced a new logo, which was their first redesign in over 20 years. The new design features a curved line beneath the “O” and the “P” to look like a smile, because who can’t smile while eating pancakes? IHOP also dropped the boxy red and blue framing around the lettering, which makes it look 2D. This simple redesign follows the trend other brands such as Netflix and Airbnb have started, by making their logos flat and without shadows.


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When Apple introduced iOS 7 in 2013, they were one of the leaders in the flat design trend, as the update included a redesign of all Apple Icons to a flat design. The trend is not only advantageous for brands stylistically, but flat design is also practical. It’s much cleaner than using shadows, and the logos look uncluttered. Further, flat design translate better to mobile. The success of iOS 7 for Apple has led other brands to follow their lead in revamping their logos to reflect the flat design trend, especially when it comes to icons. Bold colors also make a lasting impression on users. Using vibrant colors makes the design stand out more, and consumers are much more likely to remember it.


Knowing how important it is to not only update logos, but to use current trends, IHOP successfully used flat design to stay fresh and connected to their consumers. IHOP, which has been around since 1958, is known for their world-famous pancakes. Consumers generally don’t think of IHOP as “glamourous” or as a place to get the highest quality food, it’s the well-known breakfast classic. However, after a while without any changes or updates to a brand, classic can start to mean outdated. It’s difficult to break out of that rut, but IHOP successfully proved they can adapt to changing times, despite being a 57 year old brand.


“Our guests have told us for many years that coming to IHOP, and in many cases just thinking about our world famous pancakes, makes them smile,” said marketing VP Kirk Thompson in a statement. “We believe this new logo captures the essence of the IHOP experience, which consistently delivers our guests not only craveable food, but also great memories shared with family and friends.”


Upon announcing its revamped logo, Airbnb released a video relating its logo change to the company’s wider mission of connecting people and places.



Updates to logos such as these are not undertaken likely, and often have deeper significance relating to the company as a whole. Logos personify a brand, and can make connections between themselves and consumers. By constantly evolving and staying current with trends, consumers feel they can trust that the brand will fit nicely in their ever-evolving lives as well.


Which logo redesigns have worked for you? Which didn’t? Let us know in the comments!


Katie Schrantz is a Junior Executive at SJG. She will be a senior at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the fall, where she is studying advertising with a minor in communication. Outside the office, Katie enjoys catching up on social media, discovering new shows on Netflix, spending time with friends and is an avid reader and devoted coffee drinker.


Cover Image courtesy of Rawpixel, via Shutterstock; Logos courtesy of Netflix Media Center and Airbnb Media Resources