It has been a big year for logo design with some of the world’s biggest brands making changes to their branding. The year isn’t over yet and we are sure there will be a few more surprises (aka logo disasters) in the logo design industry before the year is out.

If you are considering rebranding your business or changing your company logo design then take some tips from some businesses that have been there and done that. When looking into logo design ideas are inspired by logos like Coca-Cola, Ikea and Starbucks who have only slightly changed their branding over the years.

It is also important to look at other who has crashed and burned, those are the ones you can learn the most from. Let’s look at the top 5 logo design disasters that will maybe make your rethink your drastic branding change.

Tropicana Logo Design

Tropicana had one of the biggest logo design fails that we can remember. When Tropicana invested 35 million dollars in an advertising campaign to promote its new packaging things did not go to plan.

Back in January 2009, Tropicana launched new packaging for its best-selling product in North America, Tropicana Pure Premium. The product outsold all of its competitors and was ahead with sales revenues, reaching more than 700 million dollars per year.

Once the new design started to circulate, Tropicana fans started to criticize the new design on social media. This was only the beginning of the brands problems and two months later, sales dropped by 20%, which all together resulted in a 30 million dollars drop in revenue for Tropicana.


Gap Logo Rebrand

During Christmas 2010, Gap launched a new logo design as well as rebranding their company logo. The original Gap logo had been around for more than 20 years and customers were disappointed that the branding disappeared from without any warning.

Soon after the design was released to the general public the internet came together and collectively agreed that they didn’t like the new design.

Gap reacted quickly to the backlash and they soon became the company that had fastest branding turnaround of all time. It was only six days the brand lasted with a new logo design and it appears they will not be choosing logo design, ever again.


Pepsi Company Logo Design

Unlike their ultimate rival Coca-Cola, Pepsi have struggled getting their branding just right over the years. Branding is something that seems to come naturally to Coca-Cola and it must be hard living up to that!

In 2008, Pepsi rotated the circular icon and incorporating a “cheeky smile” into the logo’s design. This was accompanied with a not so popular typeface and left the company losing out of money.

The cost of rebranding the entire Pepsi Company is said to be $1.2 billion over 3 years with the logo mark for Pepsi alone coming in at $1 million.

BP Logo Design

Four words, one question. What were they thinking? BP made a huge mistake in 2000 when they replaced a strong logo that their company had treasured for over 70 or so years and replaced it with their current logo design.

The brands went completely modern and chose a “Helios”. This logo design was completely different and many customers felt confused to why they chose something which was so different from their original logo.

Netflix Icon/Logo Debate


The Netflix Icon/Logo debate is the most recent company logo fail. Netflix have left their fans confused changing their branding to something completely different. Fans took to twitter to slam the brand for changing their logo design, however it turns out it was only their icon they were changing.

“We are introducing a new element into our branding with an N icon. The current Netflix logo will still remain, and the icon will start to be incorporated into our mobile apps along with other product integrations in the near future”.

Good news for fans as for now the logo will remain the same. The new company icon will also represent the brand. This new logo features a red letter “N” that flows like a ribbon against a black background.

What Can You or Your Company Learn?

Before jumping in with both feet and adding bells and whistles to your logo, consider what company logo design experts have to say;

“Some of the world’s biggest organisations have simple business logos — but they are very effective!”

Changing a logo to confuses your brand message and risks you alienating your audience. Typically the stronger emotional attachment we have to a brand, the more negative our reactions are when they change their design. Tropicana and Gap failed to let their audience know they were rebranding, which was their crucial mistake.

We internalize brands we love, and when we see the face of the company change we automatically think the brand is changing too — and not taking us with them.

When companies are rebranding who are fortunate enough to have budgets in the multi millions are still failing at logo design it can put off smaller companies doing the same. It’s always advised to let your customer know if a change is coming in order to soften the blow. Ask yourself, does this redesign need to happen? Ian Spalter, head of design at Instagram drives this message home with his blog post regarding their logo change:

“Brands, logos, and products develop deep connections and associations with people, so you don’t just want to change them for the sake of novelty”.

So, if a redesign seems self-indulgent, step away or risk alienating your audience. If the redesign is totally necessary just remember to tread carefully!


ABOUT THE GUEST AUTHOR: This article was provided by Suzanne who works for graphic and logo design agency She uses her knowledge to help small businesses achieve branding success.


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