The Evolution of Brand Logos



Dakalo Nemasetoni

October 16 2020

A rebrand can be looked at as something that can improve the ‘trust factor’ of an organization. There are several elements as to why an organisation would even consider a rebrand. One would be wanting to reach out to a different market, to highlight the organization’s identity or to show their stakeholders that they are a priority. Here are a few organizations that had iconic rebrands. 

Pick n Pay 

In 2007 Pick ‘n Pay announced that it was embarking on a transformation of the brand, which included a new logo, new colours, in-store signage, new brand lines and more. The rebrand was one of the biggest in the country with a R110 million budget and was inspired by the desire to improve customer experience and provide customers with a wider variety of products. The chairman of the Pick n Pay board, Raymond Ackerman said that they conducted consumer research to “find out what consumers want, apart from: courtesy, warmth, caring” to properly mirror their “Inspired By You” brand line. 



Irrespective of carrying the name “Apple”, the company’s first logo did not describe the physical shape of an apple as we know it today. The first logo was created by co-founder Ronald Wayne, in 1976, who wanted to depict Newton’s law of gravity that is inspired by an apple. That logo did not last a long time as Steve Jobs decided to explore something different because he felt it was too old fashioned. He then hired graphic designer Rob Jannob who created the world renowned bitten apple which over the years has changed from a rainbow striped apple to a more modern monochromatic look. An interesting fact about the direction this rebranding took is that Rob Jannob wanted the ‘bite’ to signify that it was an apple instead of what people would assume to be a cherry.


The word Shell first appeared in 1891, as the trademark for kerosene shipped to the Far East by Marcus Samuel and Company. The small London business dealt originally in antiques, curios and oriental seashells which Victorians used to decorate trinket boxes. Thereafter they formed the basis of the company’s profitable import and export trade with the Far East. Over the years the emblem has changed from a mussel shell, to a scallop shell and then finally as a pectan which is what we recognise the brand by. The emblem has changed gradually to meet the trends of graphic design. 


In 2016 Uber unveiled its redesigned logo with an aesthetic which conveyed a message that the company is more positive and accessible and puts functionality and practicality first. But this isn’t the first time Uber has changed its look. Since it debuted as UberCab in 2010, Uber has gone through design phases to show how different values and issues have become important to the company.


Microsoft underwent their rebrand in 2011 and before that they had gone about 20 years without one. But with competition on the rise they decided to embark on it and fit into the 21st century. The logo was redesigned and their products were updated and although the changes were minor, they were effective enough to regain their leading status.

Comedy Central

Comedy Central released a ‘C’ tucked in an upside down ‘C’ and initially it was not well received by their audience. What many people were not aware of is that in keeping with the brand’s identity of ‘making jokes’ the logo stood as a symbol to represent that. It was then revealed that the new logo resembled the copyright symbol therefore depicting the brands outgoing personality.

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