Logo redesigns have gone wrong: What happened and how to learn from it

logo designer

When you’ve been in business for a while, there’s always the temptation to want to change things up. Maybe your website needs an overhaul.

Maybe your Facebook page needs a new direction. Perhaps your marketing department has gotten older and slower than the competition. And there’s always the company logo.

There seem to be two kinds of companies when it comes to logo design: Those who love their logo and can’t imagine ever wanting to do anything to it other than some minor tweaks and maybe an accent color or two, and those who would burn the whole thing to the ground tomorrow if they could and start from the ashes as soon as possible, rifling through their Rolodex for logo design service companies.

The problem is that it is ever so difficult to know when your logo is actually getting stale and needs refreshing. Key decision-makers inside a company often can’t see past the end of their own nose to understand how their company and the logo that represents it are being viewed by loyal customers and newcomers to the brand.

When they see rivals putting out new logos and new ad campaigns, they get that terrible, itchy trigger finger to respond in kind. They can find it very difficult to understand that customers see the logo as something to trust, something to stand by, something that has always been around and makes you feel good that it always will be.

If you still need convincing, check out the following companies, all of them long-standing successes, who couldn’t leave a good thing well enough alone. When they decided to change their logos, things got ugly, and the results speak for themselves.


The orange juice company owned by PepsiCo took the plunge for a new look about 10 years ago. Gone was the well-known straw sticking out of an orange design, and it was a very simple logo with a white background, green lettering, and a simple glass of orange juice on the container.

Formerly known for its dazzling colors, Tropicana’s products were now being mistaken for the generic brands sold by grocery stores. Customers were complaining that Tropicana products were gone from stores, but they just weren’t seeing them. In two months, sales dropped a staggering 20%, and the powers that be pulled the plug and went back to the original look.


The American retail clothing company had been popular for decades by 2010, making the most out of simplicity with white text in a blue box. Short and sweet, right?

Well, apparently that’s not what corporate thought because they suddenly pulled the logo and replaced it with a snooze-worthy, Helvetica-powered replacement with black text barely touching a small blue box. Social media was powerful enough by then to unleash its fury, and the Gap backtracked quickly, reverting to the other look after just one week.


You think one clothing retailer would have learned from the other’s mistake, but that wasn’t the case for JCPenny, which took its long-term logo and made it into the world’s worst postage stamp, with JCP crammed into a tiny blue circle at the top of a red square.

The brand creator trashed the company when it reverted to its own form after a few months, and the brand even issued an apology asking others to come back.


The 1985 debacle known as New Coke is the stuff of advertising legends. They changed the font, the logo, the name, and the recipe. And here’s the worst part, it was terrible.

Pepsi loomed largely and Coca-Cola seemed to be on the verge of waning in the great software wars until the powers that be admitted their miserable mistake and wiped out New Coke in a heartbeat, bringing back the glorious swooping cursive lines of the original.

Image source: Freepik Premium

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