Time For A Facelift: Iconic Branding and Logos

While you are reading this, you might be drinking a Grande Triple Mocha and you might be noticing the caffeine taking effect. What you might not notice is that there is now something missing from your cup. To mark their 40th anniversary, Starbucks decided to do something radical: change their company logo. They might have gotten rid of the lettering but they have kept the iconic mermaid as not to deviate too far from their original branding.

Most major companies go through an updating process with their company image. Even the seemingly classic Coca Cola logo has been “refreshed” over the years. There are many reasons for this process. First and foremost, it is done to stay relevant. To stay relevant doesn’t mean to make drastic changes in the design strategies of a company but it does mean to be conscious of design trends that are occurring.

Here is a Coca Cola logo from 1894 and their present logo. Now at first glance these may look to be the same but you will notice very minor changes such as the width of the letters, the thickness of lines, and the use of gaps and spacing. These are conscious changes that were necessary for the logo to remain current and modern. With the advent of color printing the Coke chose a simple red as their signature and stuck with it. The smaller width of the letters may have come from changes in the advertising industry and the need to save space. Despite the ever changing times, Coke has done an excellent job looking hip and fresh while still keeping the classic and iconic feel that America fell  in love with so many years ago.


One industry that is constantly having to update the artwork of the past is theatre. Time and time again classic Broadway shows are being revived for current generations to enjoy. Classics such as Oklahoma!, The King and I, and West Side Story have all gone through changes over the years. West Side Story, having been on Broadway four times since it originally appeared in 1957, has moved from a very simple image and text combination to a much more industrial and grungy feel indicative of the story itself.