Change is inevitable

Rebranding is a big step for any business. You risk losing the identity you’ve worked so hard to build, and the only way to know if it’s a success or not is to release it into the snake pit that is planet earth.

We all saw Leeds United’s horror show and the endless memes that followed. What about the time when Animal Planet removed the animal and the planet from their logo and seemingly tranquillised the ‘M’ in the process.

Here’s one major rebrand that I have personally struggled to grasp.

I was born in 1993, the same year Formula 1 introduced this logo.

I used to watch Formula 1 every Sunday with my Grandad. The logo meant absolutely nothing to me, I was so engrossed in the action (and busy eating my Sunday dinner), I don’t think I ever really gave the logo a second thought… not consciously at least.

As I grew up and my career in design started to take shape, I began to pay more attention to the finer detail that design had to offer. The hidden bear in the Toblerone logo and the ‘secret’ arrow in FedEx, I’d started to appreciate the way things were done and the reasons behind them, and I’d paid closer attention to the F1 logo than I had initially thought.

Fast forward to a really cold, dark, miserable day in 2017… I was scrolling down my Twitter feed when I saw it…

I was gutted.

I don’t know if it was because there would be an unrecognisable new icon in the bottom corner of my TV screen every weekend, or the fact I could no longer inform people of the ‘1’ that had lived in the negative space for the past 24 years. Either way this was an unwelcome change of identity for me.

A brand new mission statement was revealed; ‘Formula One also unveiled its mission statement with five key behaviours – revel in the racing; make the spectacle more spectacular; break down borders; taste the oil and feel the blood boil.

It was said that the change represented a new era in the sport. The logo would be ‘easier to work with,’ ‘widen the appeal of the sport’ and ‘lead it into a digital future.’

As expected when a large brand changes their image, there was a bit of backlash online about the ‘overly simple,’ and ‘rushed’ look of the design. The old saying, ‘If it’s not broke, don’t fix it’ was sprayed around like champagne on the podium.

For me, it’s hard to argue with the reasons behind the change, but the new identity doesn’t have the same appeal to me as the previous one did. It’s not even that I dislike the new design, it’s just not the identity that I’ve always known, and it’ll take some getting used to.

I suppose what we can take from this is that you can’t please everyone. Change is inevitable, and design is subjective. Not everyone is going to love everything that you create, but if you have a strong enough reason to believe it is the right thing to do; Just Do It. (Thanks Nike).

Does anyone know how Lewis Hamilton is getting on? I’ve only watched one race since the new era was unleashed.*

 

 

 

*Lack of viewing may not necessarily be directly linked to the new identity, I just needed a dramatic end to my first blog.