UK Rebrand Successes

Everybody loves a revamp of a brand. So long as it is done well, it is nice to have a refreshing change in order for brand to grow and evolve with the times. Below are 5 strong examples of British brands that have done exactly that.

British Steel

Their original logo was used for 30 years before the company merged with another and the name ‘British Steel’ was no more.  It was designed by David Gentleman and I consider it to be a fairly strong logo design. It is a prime example of a logo standing the test of time, which is even more impressive as Gentleman was primarily an illustrator so to create a sleek typographic isn’t what would be expected of him. The colour scheme is industrial to say the least and successfully screams ‘steel’.  The logo is supposed to represent steel rods that have been bent into an ‘S’ shape, overall a decent looking brand.

So, after losing the name when it was merged with another company, British Steel ended up being purchased by Tata Steel in 2007 and then in 2016 the new ‘British Steel’ was born. Technically, it was a new company but considering the names origin we will call it a rebrand. The new logo combines the letters ‘B’ and ‘S’ whilst looking like three strips of steel. The molten orange adds a little excitement to steel industry, whilst the grey/blue font still shows its professional and well… the steel industry. I like the new design, it’s neat, it has a simple colour scheme and I think it represents what is supposed to more so than the old logo. The sans-serif font is fairly basic and corporate and I also think the letter spacing is a little too cosy but overall, a successful rebrand.

The Co-operative Food Company

Co-op cheated with this so called ‘rebrand’ because it isn’t, it is an original idea that has been brought back and my god, am I happy they did so. Through time, the company had tried and developed new logos and it seems like they had strayed away from being a local shop and tried to be too corporate and serious instead. The navy logo that was brought about in 2005 was boring and was in dire need for a change. Ben Terrett, the group design director, suggested this point and thought it was pointless to design something new when they had a perfect logo in their archives. So, they teamed up with ‘North’ and revamped the original ‘clover leaf’ design of the logo from 1968- adding a new, more stimulating colour scheme. In my opinion, I think it was a smart move. Despite digging the design from their archives they managed to reboot it in a way that’s modern and lively. Well played Co-op, well played.

Premier League

The top level of the English football league, everybody in the world, never mind the UK, has heard of the Premier League. Therefore, when the time came for a rebrand, Design Studio had a massive pressure placed upon them to do it well. Naturally, the Lion was an important feature of the logo and therefore had to be retained in the design of the new logo. As we have been associating the Lion with English Football for years it seemed appropriate that it represents the pinnacle of English football. Despite the old logo being well known it quickly became outdated. As times changed and technology became a bigger part of technology the footprint of the logo was too bulky and misshaped. The font was harsh and almost retro looking and needed to be buried with the era of far-to-short football shorts. It didn’t fit well as an app or as an icon on social media so a new flexible logo was just begging to be created. I think that Design Studio executed this task astonishingly. The lion remains the main focus yet incorporates the sphere shape of a football. The sans-serif font is smooth and well-rounded and I believe it fits well to the world of sports. The colour scheme is eye-catching and complements itself well. Overall, it’s a great example of a brand evolving to fit the times.

Fitness First

Fitness First started in 1993 and they’re now one of the largest privately owned gyms on the planet. Their original logo is… okay. The script typeface looks almost polite and, despite it being an acceptable logo I think it just failed to represent the fact that the brand aims to help people get fit. To me, it looks more like branding for fat-free yoghurt than it does a gym.

A London-based design agency called ‘The Clearing’ was in charge of rebranding the company in 2014 and they did so rather drastically. I think it’s safe to say that they really embodied the fact that it was a fitness based company and packed the new design with energy and power. The whole design flows and the bright red colour scheme is bold in a way that looks fierce. The logo involves a sly little ‘IF’ monogram which I think if quite effective for the concept of the gym. They’ve ditched the script typeface and replaced it with a more substantial sans-serif font. I hold issue with the fact that the ‘Fi’ ligature remains but I guess that they have to pay homage to the original logo somehow. To conclude, I think that the new logo represents the company far better than the older, gentler approach. I’ve read loads of comments that complain about it looking a lot like the Formula 1 logo but I personally think that they’re quite different and it wasn’t until I read the aforementioned comments that I even considered the fact that it could look remotely like it.

JD Sports

They don’t even look like the same company! The first logo is seriously outdated. The narrow typography, paired with the questionable primary colour scheme just doesn’t look like a place that you’d shop for top of the range sports items. It looks like it should be selling second hand kids clothes. The new logo has similar lettering to the old yet it is far more iconic. They got rid of the tacky aesthetic and replaced it with a monochrome colour scheme and a logo that earns the right for them to be one of the biggest sports fashion providers in the world. The footprint is precise and small enough to be flexible in that will fit on many different mediums. Again, its modern, its sleek and is another great example of a successful rebrand.