Why are companies changing logos to flat designs?<span class="wtr-time-wrap after-title"><span class="wtr-time-number">18</span> min read</span>

Why are companies changing logos to flat designs?18 min read

Before we conclude on the reason why most companies changing logos flat designs

Here are few best companies with their previous and present logos,

19. Adidas

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Year Company Founded: 1920

Year Logo Introduced: 1949

Logo Designer: Adi Dassler (1949), Käthe and Adi Dassler (1971), Peter Moore (1997)

Company Founder: Adi Dassler

The adidas logo was designed and created by founder, Adi Dassler, who first used the three stripes on adidas footwear, making the company instantly recognizable. The stripes haven’t changed over the years; they’ve only changed in form. In the ’60s, Käthe and Adi Dassler created the Trefoil logo as an additional mark of the adidas brand, to be used on apparel. It later became the company’s corporate symbol. In 1997, Adidas introduced the slanted three bars as an integrated corporate design, and it was made to look like the shape of a mountain to symbolize challenges to be faced and goals to be achieved


18. 7-Eleven

companies changing logos flat designs jeeiee

Year Company Founded: 1927

Year Logo Introduced: 1946

Logo Designer: Fran Gianninoto & Associates (1969)

Company Founders: Joe C. Thompson Jr., John Jefferson Green

The company was started pre-depression by John Jefferson Green when he started selling bread, milk, and eggs out of the ice houses of the Southland Ice Company. He eventually bought the Southland Ice Company and continued operations, despite going bankrupt during the depression. In 1946, as part of the post-war effort, the stores’ names were changed to 7-Eleven, and the logo became the company name written a cup inside of a green circle. This design was used until 1970, when it was modernized to become the logo we see today.


17. Microsoft

companies changing logos flat designs jeeiee

companies changing logos flat designs jeeiee







Year Company Founded: 1975

Year Logo Introduced: 1976

Logo Designer: Scott Baker (1987)

Company Founders: Bill Gates, Paul Allen

Microsoft first introduced a logo in 1975, and it’s one that would remain in use until 1979. The 1975 logo was designed following contemporary trends and is a logotype which has been described as “groovy.” In 1980, Microsoft stepped away from the more complex logo to become an angular, sleek logotype that read “Microsoft” and which placed the entire word on a straight line. 1982 saw the rise of the “blibbet,” Microsoft’s logo which featured an intricate “O,” a feature that would gain a cult following and one that was mourned when it was retired in 1987. The now iconic Microsoft logo came to replace the blibbet in 1987 and remains in use to this day. The simple “Pacman Logo” of 1987 was designed by Scott Baker with one defining slash between the “o” and “s” that is supposed to symbolize speed. Microsoft conquered the technology industry in the 1990s and early 2000s, allowing the simple, not very distinctive logotype to acheive iconic status.


16. MTV

companies changing logos flat designs jeeiee

Year Company Founded: 1981

Year Logo Introduced: 1981

Logo Designer: Manhattan Design (Frank Olinsky, Patty Rogoff) (1981, 1981-2009), Popkern (2009)

Company Founders: Robert Warren Pittman, Warner Communications

First designed in 1981 by Manhattan Design, the MTV logo was the collaborative effort of Frank Olinsky and Patty Rogoff, overseen by original creative director, Fred Seibert. From the very beginning, the MTV logo has been constantly changing in color, patterns, and images, that filled the block “M” on which “tv” is scrolled. During the 1990s and 2000s, MTV opted for a simpler white logo, while maintaining the original design of a bold “M” and scrolled “tv.” A 2009 re-branding overseen by Popkern reintroduced the idea of filling the “M” with various images, with the “tv” becoming a non-disruptive white.


15. NASA

companies changing logos flat designs jeeiee

Year Company Founded: 1958

Year Logo Introduced: 1958

Logo Designer: James Modarelli (1959, 1992), Danne & Blackburn (1974)

Company Founder: Government of the USA

NASA’s first logo dates back to 1959 when the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics became NASA, which has three logos: the NASA insignia (the “meatball”), the NASA logotype ( the “worm”), and the NASA seal. The seal was approved by President Eisenhower and later modified by President Kennedy.


14. American Airlines

companies changing logos flat designs jeeiee

Year Company Founded: 1930

Year Logo Introduced: 1930

Logo Designer: Massimo Vignelli (1967)

Company Founder: AMR Corporation

In 1934, American Airlines unveiled a logo which featured an eagle flying over the globe with two bright red “As” flanking it on both sides. The two As of American Airlines remained an important element of the company’s image until 2013. In 1945, the logo was simplified to an illustration of an eagle in blue, with the Two As on both sides. The same element of “Eagle and Two As” was used in the new logo in 1962, with the addition of the logotype “American” below the illustration, and a bold red ring encompassing the logo. In 1968, American Airlines introduced a logo which would become symbolic of the company over the next 45 years. The 1968 logo maintains the “Eagle and Two As” elements and the red and blue color scheme, which have been synonymous with the company since 1934. “American Airlines” boldly underlines the illustration of the eagle, highlighting the brand name in addition to the Two As.

In the aftermath of bankruptcy, American Airlines unveiled a new logo on January 27, 2013. The company did not abandon the “Eagle and Two As” completely, although they downplayed it to a small stripe on the side of “American Airlines,” which is written in a grey simple font. The stripe is said to symbolize a stylized “A” morphed with an eagle in flight.

13. IBM

companies changing logos flat designs jeeiee google logo IBM

Year Company Founded: 1911

Year Logo Introduced: 1888

Logo Designer: Paul Rand (1956, 1972)

Company Founder: Charles R. Flint

The IBM logo was first introduced in 1924 when the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company was renamed as International Business Machines. The renaming of CTR to IBM was the company’s attempt to modernize; following this, the IBM logo introduced in 1924 was an updated version of the 1911 CTR logo used by the company. The intricate, entwined design of CTR was replaced by bold lettering of “International Business Machines,” configured to mimic a globe, emphasizing the “International” in IBM. In 1947, with the modernization of the company’s technology, the globe logo was replaced with a simplistic “IBM,” which remains the symbol of the company. In 1956, Paul Rand transformed the outlined logo into a solid black “IBM” to impress stability and balance. In 1972, Rand returned to update the image of the company from solidity and stability to “speed and dynamism” (that was supposed to be implied by the striped logo).


12. Warner Bros.

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Year Company Founded: 1918

Year Logo Introduced: 1923

Logo Designer: Saul Bass (1972)

Company Founders: Albert Warner, Harry Warner, Sam Warner, Jack Warner

The now iconic Warner Bros. shield logo has been there from the very beginning, in some form or another. The Warner Bros. Shield logo was first introduced in 1923 and featured a photo of the studio above “WB” which curved to the shape of the shield. The picture of the studio remained until 1929, when the logo became just the “WB” curved to fit the shape of the shield with the words “Warner Bros. Pictures Inc.” curved above and “Presents” curved below. Briefly, from 1936 to 1937, Warner Bros. introduced the “Zooming Shield” which eliminated all words from the logo and simply kept the shield. In 1937, the logo was updated into a 3D rendition of the WB-Shield, and was kept until 1948, following the introduction of color to the screen.

The 1937 logo also introduced a banner across the WB-Shield, reading “Warner Bros. Pictures Inc.” with the word “Presents” below the shield. The banner remained a key design element of the company’s logo and is in use to this day. From 1948 to 1967, Warner Bros. used a golden yellow 3D “WB” over a blue shield with a golden rim. The shield was widened, and the colors were brightened to best showcase the new color films. 1967 saw a dramatic change to the company’s logo, following the acquistion of a controlling interest by Seven Arts productions. That logo was used from 1967 to 1970, and the WB-Shield became contrastingly angular and simple, with the words “Seven Arts” added below.

In 1970, Kinney National Company acquried Warner Bros – Seven Arts, and again re-invisioned the logo, this time with “A Kinney National Company” boldly written over the WB-Shield. Briefly in the 1972, Warner Bros. used a logo very similiar to the 1948 Shield logo. Nonetheless, a radically different logo by graphic designer, Saul Bass, was unveiled in the same year, and went on to be used by the company until 1984. Bass’ stylized “W” resembled three rounded lines and was drastically simpler than previous Warner Bros. logos. 1984 saw the return of the 1948 gold and blue WB-Shield, though with bolder colors and a more slick, polished finish than before. Between 1984 and 2013, the Warner Bros. logo was polished some more, though the company did not stray far from the 1984 design. During recent years, the logo underwent the trend of tweaking production company logos with each movie, so there have been many variations on color and animation, but the original shape of the gold and blue 1948 WB-Shield remains.


11. Walmart

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Year Company Founded: 1962

Year Logo Introduced: 1962

Logo Designer: Don Watt (1992), Lippincott (2008)

Company Founders: Sam Walton

From the introduction of their first logo, Walmart has not strayed beyond a simple and appealing logotype. The 1962 logo was “Walmart” written with stretched out, angular, and simple letters—a font chosen randomly by a printer. It follows that soon after, in 1964, Walmart unveiled a new logo. For the 1964 logo, the company selected the “Frontier Font Logo,” a departure from the previous simple logo. The Frontier Font Logo may have inspired thoughts of the Wild Wild West, but it remained the company’s logo until 1981. In 1918, Walmart went back to its roots with a simpler design in brown. In 1992, the company replaced the dash in between “Wal” and “Mart” with a star, and changed the font to a dark blue from the brown. In 2008, Walmart introduced the now iconic logo which eliminates the break in the company’s name and incorporates a yellow “Spark” for a much-needed splash of color and design.


10. Google

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Year Company Founded: 1998

Year Logo Introduced: 1998

Logo Designer: Sergey Brin (1998, 1998), Ruth Kedar (1999, 2010)

Company Founders: Larry Page, Sergey Brin

The Google logo was first envisioned in 1988 by Sergey Brin, one of the the founders of the company, using the graphics program GIMP. It was an unpolished rendition of the now iconic logo, with an added exclamation mark meant to mimic the Yahoo! logo. Introduced in 1999, Ruth Kedar’s polished Google logo (with no exclamation mark) stayed in use by the company until 2010. Kedar’s logo gained instant recognizability over the 11 years it was in use, making it one of the most iconic logos of all time. On May 6, 2010, Google launched its latest, updated logo featuring a slightly more orange “O” with more subtle shadows, but the end result did not stray far from Ruth Kedar’s original design.


9. Burger King

companies changing logos flat designs jeeiee

Year Company Founded: 1954

Year Logo Introduced: 1954

Logo Designer: Sterling Brands (1998)

Company Founders: James McLamore, David R. Edgerton

As the second largest hamburger fast food chain in the world, the Burger King logo has developed a recognizability second only to that of the McDonald’s “Golden Arch.” Starting with a simple logotype of “Burger King” in 1954, the company introduced the complex logo of the Burger King character sitting atop a burger the following year. The character of the King remains in use to this day in the brand’s advertising, though the logo faced a monumental evolution in 1969 with the introduction of the “Bun Halves” design. Now instantly recongnizable, the Bun Halves design of 1969 remains a key element in the Burger King brand image. Going through two updates in the 1990s, the “Bun Halves” logo of 1998 incorporated an encompassing blue ring and added dimensionality to the one still used by the brand today.


8. Levi’s

companies changing logos flat designs jeeiee

Year Company Founded: 1850

Year Logo Introduced: 1890’s

Logo Designer: Landor Associates (1967, 1969)

Company Founder: Levi Strauss

The Levi’s logo today exists in two forms: the simple white logotype on a red background and the Two Horses logo, which dates back to the foundation of the company in 1886. The Two Horses logo is, to this day, used on the patches of Levi’s jeans, in its original form, which was supposed to demonstrate the strength of Levi’s jeans. However, the now equally iconic red label of Levi’s came to be only in 1936, when the brand tried to distinguish their jeans. In 1967, Levi’s introduced the Batwing logo, which was designed by Walter Landor & Associates, and has, over the years, become symbolic of the brand itself. 2011, Levi’s removed the white brand name from the red logo of their Curve ID line.


7. McDonald’s

companies changing logos flat designs jeeiee

Year Company Founded: 1940

Year Logo Introduced: 1940

Logo Designer: Jim Schindler (1962)

Company Founders: Richard McDoland, Maurice McDonald

When McDonald’s first emerged, the company was known as “McDonald’s Famous Barbeque,” hence the 1940 logo that fittingly featured the name of the company with two parallel lines emphasizing the “Famous.” In 1948, the company was renamed “McDonald’s Famous Hamburgers,” and from 1948 to 1953, the company logo featured a slightly creepy animation of a cook. In 1953, McDonald’s introduced Speedee as the mascot for the franchise, and he remained until 1960 when the Golden Arches were born. Stanley Meston, the man behind the Golden Arches, drew on the architecture of the McDonald’s restaurants at the time for his design of the two arches forming an “M” with a dash cutting across.

In 1968, the company simplified the “M” and turned the “McDonald’s” logotype black, creating an almost Halloween-like color scheme, which would stay in use until 1983. In 1983, the logo was transformed into what is now associated with the world’s largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants. Atop a red background, the logotype became white, and the arches went back to being golden. In 2003, “i’m lovin’ it’ was added below the golden “M,” a slogan that was translated into various languages and went on to be splattered all over the company’s packaging and restaurants. Part of a “Forever Young” redesign in 2006, McDonalds introduced its most simplified logo of all time, a plain and iconic golden “M” that suffices as a symbol for the company world-wide to present day.


6. Mercedes-Benz

companies changing logos flat designs jeeiee

Year Company Founded: 1926

Year Logo Introduced: 1902

Logo Designer: Gottlieb Daimler (1909), Henrion Ludlow Schmidt (1989)

Company Founders: Karl Benz, Gottlieb Daimler

The original DMG (Daimler Motors Corporation) logo, introduced in 1902, did not feature the now iconic three-pointed star, but was a logotype of “Mercedes” in an oval. Mercedes was a product name selected by DMG, inspired by founder Gottlieb Daimler’s daughter’s name. Seven years later, in 1909, Daimler, registered a three-pointed and a four-pointed star as trademarks of the company. Of course, it was the three-pointed star that was selected as a symbol for Daimler’s ambitions for motorization “on land, on water, and in the air,” and from 1910 on, every DMG car had a 3D three-pointed star adorning its radiator. In 1916, the three-pointed star became surrounded by a ring, bringing together the current Mercedes-Benz logo concept. Nonetheless, from 1916 to 1921, the logo featured an inner ring, which encompassed the logotype “Mercedes.” The now iconic sleek silver star, with a simple ring surrounding its tips, was introduced in 1921, only to be replaced with a design reminiscent of the 1916 design. In 1926, following the merger of DMG and Benz & Cie. to create the modern day Mercedes-Benz brand, the new company introduced a logo which was a morphing of the two companies’ logos. The 1926 design incorporated the DMG three-pointed star and the laurel wreath of the Benz logo. The words “Mercedes” and “Benz” were placed around the inner circle, which now encompassed the star. Mercedes-Benz stayed with the 1926 logo until 1996 when they returned to the sleek and simplified DMG design of 1921, bringing the company to its current iconic logo.


5. Pepsi

companies changing logos flat designs jeeiee

Year Company Founded: 1893

Year Logo Introduced: 1898

Logo Designer: Gould & Associates (1967), Landor Associates (1996), Arnell (2008)

Company Founder: Caleb Bradham

Caleb Bradham, the founder of the company, scribbled a design which would become the logo for the company. The design was changed only slightly until 1962 when the word “cola” was dropped, and it just became Pepsi. The logo was a bolded “Pepsi” with a red, white, and blue bottle cap in the background. The logo was modernized 5 times from 1971 to 2005, each time becoming more sleek and defined.


4. Apple

companies changing logos flat designs jeeiee

Year Company Founded: 1976

Year Logo Introduced: 1976

Logo Designers: Ronald Wayne (1976), Rob Janoff (1977), Landor Associates (1984), Apple (1998, 1998-2007)

Company Founders: Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ronald Wayne

The Apple logo began with an intricate design by co-founder, Ronald Wayne, and was inspired by Isaac Newton’s discovery of gravity, incorporating the Wordsworth quote, “Newton..a mind forever voyaging through strange seas of thought…alone,” and featuring the words “Apple Computer Co.” Instructed by Steve Jobs to replace the complex design with something not “too cute,” Rob Janoff created the 1977 logo featuring a rainbow-striped apple illustration and the word “apple.” It was supposed to appeal to young people and highlight the computer’s unique ability to reproduce colors. The 1977 logo also featured the now iconic “bite” taken out of the apple, which was supposed to distinguish the illustration from a cherry.

In 1984, coinciding with the release of the Apple Macintosh, the company decided to simplify the logo to the lone apple, thinking it iconic enough without the accompanying word. Since 1984, the company has tweaked the design of the Apple logo, modifying colors and shading, though it has never steered away from the now distinctive symbol of the company.


3. Ford

companies changing logos flat designs jeeiee

Year Company Founded: 1903

Year Logo Introduced: 1903

Logo Designer: Childe Harold Wills (1907)

Company Founder: Henry Ford

Ford Motor company was actually Henry Ford’s third automobile company. The first went bankrupt, and he left the second, which went on to become Cadillac. The original logo for the Ford Motor Co. was an embellished circle with the location and name of the company. It was changed to the famous blue oval in 1927 with the release of the Model A.


2. Coca-Cola

companies changing logos flat designs jeeiee

Year Company Founded: 1886

Year Logo Introduced: 1886

Logo Designer: Frank Mason Robinson (1887), Lippincott & Margulies (1968), Desgrippes Gobe & Associates (1998), Turner Duckworth (2009),

Company Founder: John Pemberton

The Coca-Cola logo was created by Frank Mason Robinson, John Pemberton’s bookkeeper, in the Spencerian script typeface, which was the principal style of formal handwriting at the time. In 1890, the company re-designed the logo to be more complex, featuring swirls and what appear to be cherries hanging from the “Cs” of “Coca-Cola”. Of course, the logo did not stick, and we still see Frank Mason Robinson’s design on every Coca-Cola product for what has become one of the world’s most recognizable brands.


1. Nike

companies changing logos flat designs jeeiee

Year Company Founded: 1964

Year Logo Introduced: 1971

Logo Designer: Carolyn Davidson (1971), Nike (1978, 1985, 1995)

Company Founders: Bill Bowerman, Philip Knight

First founded as Blue Ribbon Sports, an import company, Nike did not come into existence until 1971, when the company expanded into the production of their own sports footwear. The now iconic Nike “Swoosh” was selected half-heartedly by co-founder Philip Knight who said “I don’t love it, but it will grow on me.”

Carolyn Davidson, who at the time received only $35 for her work, was inspired by Nike, the namesake Greek goddess of victory, to create the Swoosh which implied movement and speed. Updating the logo in 1978, Nike opted for a bolder, all-caps font and a slight re-positioning of the Swoosh. The Swoosh went on to become one of the most iconic images in the world, so much that in 1995 the company chose to remove the brand name of the original design, leaving the Swoosh as the sole symbol of the company..



1) Brand Followers Looking For New Trend:

Just like fashion followers, digital marketers are also following new trend in the market. Thus, to make our users connected with us it becomes a needy task to refreshen your logo as per the new market trend. The base of company success is because of their potential customers, and providing them what they are looking for will make a strong bond with users.

2) Flat Designs Are Mobile Friendly:

The trend is a crucial aspect but along with that, technical reason is also an important point to focus. In today’s world 99% users are using mobile, hence the appearance of the logo matters the most. The flat logo is easy to download, less power consuming, also the bold and bright colors look good on phone in comparison to a 3D logo.

3) Comfortable To Use For Various Platforms:

The 3D logo contains a lot of inclines, shadows, effects, and glossy, which becomes big trouble while using the logo on a different platform like banners, Ads, posters, booklets, etc. In a comparison of a 3D logos, flat logos are very easy to use, they may look simple but they are the most colorful ones.

4) Globalization And Diversification:

Apart from users’ view, entrepreneurs’ view, a flat logo is more likely to represent the brand in different countries and easy to understand. Globalization and Diversification are also being the reason for changing 3D logo to Flat logo. The company should also change their logo if they are adding or deducting products from the portfolio.

5) Simple, Clean And Easy To Design:

The flat logo may look simple but it looks more clear on the mobile screen in comparison to a 3D logo. Also, flat logos are easy to design and save a lot of time for designers.


From the above points we can conclude that flat logos are more impressive and beneficiary for both market and marketers, that is the reason why most companies are changing their logo to flat designs.


Source:-Complex | Making Culture Pop , Quora



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