We saw many companies rebrand with fresh logos and assets in 2018. Some made us scratch our heads, but many made us “ooooh and ahhhh.” The following brands all went through logo updates worthy of mentioning. Here are our favorites– the best rebrands and logo refreshes of 2018.
Even though Uber has had some issues recently, their design team is absolutely incredible and they have the best brand guidelines we’ve seen in a long time.
Uber has a case study of the entire breakdown of their logo on their site and I recommend this case study when considering your own brand identity and how you should design for it. While the actual brand is a minor change to a much better typeface, the real identity is in the guidelines and the design system of the brand.
Uber.design goes into details of motion, typography, color, icons, illustration, tone, and photography to give life to this branding. Every step is meticulously thought out, inspired by their user base, and checks every single box on usage and transparency in meaning.
Without competition, the Uber rebrand was the best of 2018 because its design system sets a new standard and shows the talent of the designers over at uber.design.
Ogilvy is easily one of the largest names in advertisement and design for years. They are a worldwide company that is at the forefront of advertising agencies. (The Ogilvy name was part of several of the best agencies in Denver too!) What made this rebrand so important was that it was a unification that brought together every single agency under Ogilvy into one name. Across 132 offices in 83 countries, every Ogilvy agency adopted the name and logo.
Along with this rebrand came a new website (that we love), a beautiful new logo with beautiful ligatures, new messaging, and a new goal to “Make brands matter.” I highly recommend checking out their new site.
The strategy and identity for the new Ogilvy were done by New York, NY- and San Francisco, CA-based COLLINS. COLLINS is a renowned branding agency that made something special with Ogilvy. See their case study about the brand here. Surprise, COLLINS is so good that they are responsible for a couple brands in this list.
Mailchimp rebranded this year and well… It was BOLD, to say the least (puns).
Besides literally making a bold typeface in their brand, Mailchimp has made some drastic changes to their identity and I would consider it a huge evolution in their design system.
Designed by COLLINS once more, Mailchimp’s new design system focuses on creativity and structure. In their own words “We have a lot of creative people with unique voices under one roof, which can be inspiring — and messy.”
COLLINS worked with the internal Brand Team of Mailchimp to make a system that was “a potent combination of wry humor, modest celebration, and a dash of absurdity.” and “…a new brand system that, in each element, works to maintain a precise balance between the sophisticated and the surreal (bucking reductive, over-simplified design trends), to better chart the company’s unique path and expression.”
We love the new Mailchimp identity and its buck to the helvetica-ization trend currently happening. Instead of simplifying their brand and slapping a gradient on it they went completely surreal and set a trend of their own that we expect to see a lot more in 2019.
Crispin Porter Bogusky
Okay, we’ve got a little love for this local brand because this new identity to CPB really blew us away.
Crispin Porter Bogusky+ is the new arrangement of what used to be Crispin Porter + Bogusky (or CP+B is now CPB+). Regardless, if you work with advertising you know these guys. They’re the ones that take a crazy concept, spin it on its head, and make something truly amazing.
CPB has always been the pink elephant, wild advertising, and really unique concepts. With this rebrand, they pushed to a new direction that “convey a DIY spirit. ‘We wanted something that felt slightly industrial, slightly maker-y,’” (source)
CPB+ has always had a real punk and brutalist feel to them. They hit you with the unexpected at every turn and gave you something to think about. We loved that feeling on their old website and even more with their new site.
‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’
It would be a sin to talk about the Best New Logos of 2018 and not mention Pentagram, so let’s talk about The Crimes of Grindelwald.
A logo from Pentagram is always going to be amazing, I don’t think they’ve ever made a bad logo, but there’s something really special here that I don’t think a lot of people know. The logo itself has a lot of elements of the movie (including the three deathly hallows) but what makes this one of the best logos of 2018 is that Pentagram made an entire typeface dedicated to this branding called Crimes New Roman.
This is one of those times where we all thought it was great, but then Pentagram took it one step further and completely blew us away with a fully custom alphabet that embodies the look and feel of the movies while also hinting at the story.
Read the full story of the logo mark on Pentagram’s website.
Firefox is a bonus on our list of best brands because it sits in a grey area. The new brand for Firefox hasn’t actually been chosen yet.
Firefox decided that their current branding doesn’t embrace all of the Firefox products in their pipeline, so they got three design studios (Firefox’s in-house user experience (UX) design team, London-based branding studio Hicks Design and San Francisco-based digital studio Ramotion) to build Identity systems centered around the main brand icon. There is a full breakdown on Design Week you can read that shows the work of these studios and the different paths they are looking to do.
This makes the best rebrands list because even though this project started in January 2017 we still have yet to see the final direction. Also, this should be on the horizon of designers and brands because rarely ever do we get to see the branding process of these large agencies.
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