Rebranding is an important process that any business will have to consider at some point in their development. The landscape is always changing. As new technology, products and services come in, the old ways of doing things become outmoded or obsolete. A good brand should be flexible enough to survive those changes, but sometimes there is simply a need to reestablish a brand’s value in the marketplace.
Here are some of our favorite rebrands in technology from 2016 and 2017:
Since its creation in 1998, Mozilla has promoted free and open-source software and a collaborative web community. Mozilla’s challenge was to express this ethos within a new mark and brand identity. The protocol style of the new mark (shown above) is an acknowledgement of Mozilla’s core values and their origins in the early web. It doesn’t feel forced and reads very well, even with the protocol slash marks. The idea fits Mozilla’s brand and values just perfectly.
“Our brand identity – our logo, our voice, our design – is an important signal of what we believe in and what we do. And because we are so committed to ensuring the Internet is a healthy global public resource, open and accessible to everyone, we’ve designed the language of the Internet into our brand identity.”
Typotheque created a custom font, named Zilla Slab, specifically for the new rebrand. It has a humanist feel that is very comfortable to code with. The angled terminals on the “a” and “z” improve readability and fit very cleanly with the angle of the protocol slashes. By sharing this font, Mozilla has stayed true to its commitment to open source web resources and design. Mozilla remains one of the web’s most respected companies, and it shows here.
- Zilla Slab can be downloaded at GitHub:
- Keep an eye out for more design tools related to Mozilla’s new branding system to be released in the near future:
Watson is IBM’s cognitive AI system. It was first used to answer questions on the quiz show Jeopardy. In 2011 it defeated all human challengers including previous 2004 champion Ken Jennings. But its purpose was not merely entertainment. Watson was designed to analyze and interpret data with a more human-like thought process. In 2013 Watson was used to help doctors make treatment decisions in lung cancer patients. The new mark appears clean, expressive, friendly, and responsive. The old logo now feels very cluttered by comparison. The animated logo looks as if it can speak to you. But even in its static form it very much takes on a life of its own. The Watson mark is inspired by the “Smarter Planet” logo (below) and retains much of the visual language.
Kodak’s new branding is a great example of modernizing an old style and bringing it back to life. After multiple rebrands, a logo can sometimes begin to seem distant from the values that shaped the company it represents. Think of “New Coke” as an example of losing focus on the strength of a venerable brand. Kodak has had to keep up with emerging image technologies without abandoning everything that had made it a great photography company in the first place.