Sam Barrett – Designer
So, the ten-year challenge has been doing the rounds on social media. In case you’ve missed it, the ten-year challenge involves people sharing photos of themselves ten years ago alongside photos of them now. I thought I’d take the opportunity to take a look at how two iconic brand logos – Burberry and Mastercard – have evolved in the past decade, and why.
Burberry’s new logo reveal in 2018 caused somewhat of a stir. This was the first time the fashion house had changed its logo in twenty years, which came shortly after it incited outrage by admitting to burning unsold clothing stock worth over 28 million euros. The re-design was led by Creative Chief Riccardo Tisci, who brought on board Peter Saville, the designer behind the new word mark and monogram.
The new logo ditches the knight-and-horse icon and replaces it with a simple sans-serif, all caps typeface. The new monogram, inspired by archive material and a Burberry logo from 1908, is an interlocking pattern of the letters T and B, paying homage to the company’s founder. A refreshing colour palette of orange, honey and white was also introduced.
Saville has followed ‘design trend’ where the word mark is concerned – it would seem dropping the serifs and keeping everything in caps is in fashion. Burberry, Rimowa, Saint Laurent, Balmain and Diane Von Furstenberg have headed down a similar route, and that’s just to name a few. But have they dropped their personality in following the trend?
It had less than positive reviews on social media, with one follower asking, ‘How basic is the new Burberry logo?’. Scrolling through their feed, the number of vomit emojis indicates that followers are less than impressed. Is less always more?
Enter Mastercard. In early 2019, global branding agency Pentagram removed the name from Mastercard’s logo, moving forward with only the red and yellow circles. The change follows research conducted by Mastercard that found more than three-quarters of people asked were able to identify the brand from the circles alone. The move draws positive comparisons with other brands who are instantly recognisable by their logos alone, such as Apple and Nike.
Micheal Bierut, Pentagram Partner states “Mastercard has had the great fortune of being represented by two interlocking circles, one red, one yellow, since its founding in 1966. Now, by allowing this symbol to shine on its own, Mastercard enters an elite cadre of brands that are represented not by name, but by symbol: an apple, a target, a swoosh.”
I couldn’t agree more; the draws effectively on heritage and powerful symbolism, dating right back to when Mastercard first introduced the interlocking circles. Yes, it follows the simplification design trend, but it’s well researched, and is future-proofing the brand for the ever-evolving consumer and commerce landscape.
Unless you’re as bold and symbolically recognisable as Mastercard and brave enough to drop the type all together however, could you just end up looking like a version of everyone else? I’m a fan of a great sans-serifs logotype with kerning, but I’m sure there will come a time when this is oversaturated too.
Are you looking to evolve your brand? Let’s have a chat!