Not sure what to say really maybe 'What were they thinking?'
Can someone explain why companies think they have to redesign their logo, even though their existing one is already a strong one and familiar with people already?
The old Patreon logomark was very recgonisable. Why change it? What was wrong with it?
No comment on new colours and typeface.
"Why change it? What was wrong with it?"
This is the right question! My best guess after 5+ years of following rebrands closely is that there is an addiction to the "new" and the belief that "new is better" from all perspectives even when it defies all logic.
Brand systems, when done right, can be timeless. I see this as a sign of wisdom when brands like Apple, Nike, CBS and PBS get it right either the first time, or as soon as they could afford to prioritize visual branding. They created something simple, dynamic, and memorable early on.
The only two scenarios where I think rebrands are justified are when (1) a brand experiences one or more bad PR phases and they need to separate themselves from their broken promises that are associated with their visual cues or when (2) they didn't create a thorough system the first time around and they had an incomplete system (a workmark-only logo when they actually needed a symbol + wordmark, for example).
Those are good reasons. I think most rebrands today are for the bad reason of believing that a logo with a more recent publish date is inherently better. To that I say that there are logos from 100+ years ago that put this rebrand to shame. Even the use of the Christian cross is a more effective symbol that represents an idea, and that has been used for at least 1800+ years.
There is a real craft in branding, but that craft is cheapened when many people in the industry think that they need to re-do it ever couple of years. Its especially painful in cases like this where they went from what I would describe as a 9/10 system to a 6/10 system. :/
Are we looking at the same brand? The previous Patreon brand identity had problems and was certainly not a 9 out of 10. If you look at it objectively, as a designer, you must recognize that there were some glaring issues. While this update might not be perfect, a lot of the problems are solved and it’s a step in the right direction.
First of all, just look at the old logo. I mean, what’s going on with that ’e’?? It’s unbalanced. The foot of the ’a’ and the cross stroke of ’t’ are not distinct enough. The t/r/e blends together. It’s far from perfect.
Secondly, the updated typography clearly improves readability. The new icons are also a lot more connected with the typography and overall brand identity.
Comparing a young company like Patreon with corporations (or Christianity, lol) that has had decades to iterate and fill their brand with value feels pointless. They didn’t get it right the first time around either.
If your take away is that this re-brand is bad, a critique of the actual work would be more interesting than a general ”the industry just thinks new is better”.
Yes, the new identity might have some problems. It feels a bit bland. The kerning in the logo seems a bit off. But I think it solves more problems than it causes.
My apologies for the slow reply. First, I should clarify that the bulk of my criticism is towards the logomark/symbol. I realize that a brand is SO much more than just the logo and just the symbol. Its maybe 10% of the system. However, I stand by my 6/10 rating because I would argue that the execution and the usage of the new "P" symbol is so awful, that it has a larger impact than the 10% weight it should carry.
I agree that the old rotated e was awkward. I much prefer the new workmark, I think it is clearer and much more professional. The icons, type, motion, and colors are all fine; attractive even.
As for the examples I mentioned, I didn't say they got them right the first time. But in many of those cases, they had the general visual concepts set early on relative to their entire history (95%+ of their history in most cases).
Perhaps I wasn't clear, but I have critiqued the actual work. With that said, it would be dishonest of me to ignore the broader ideas within the industry that have clearly influenced this example. Here's my core critique, the symbol isn't unique, it barely represents a P (I looks like 1° [degree]), and it has no meaning or story behind it. Now, does that mean that it can't work? Obviously not. There are plenty of "bad" logos based on my criteria that represent effective brands that people love. I get that.
Side note: My friend matched the old symbol with the new workmark and it looked fantastic: https://files.slack.com/files-pri/T03TAKEK4-F5V7P4T8V/screen_shot_2017-06-16_at_3.36.16_pm.png
I always felt there was a strong resemblance between Patreon's logo and Polytron (the developers behind Fez)
I read the title as "Patron Rebrands"
Imagine my surprise when I clicked and was expecting to be greeted by tequila.
Anyhow, yeah, stale branding.
Then again, we're at peak branding.
These days with rebranding, I throw these into the camp of reading Rorschach tests, reading tea leaves and horoscopes, and making shapes out of the clouds in the sky.
"Tell me what you see and what it's saying"
It gets redundant, everyone is trying to cobble together bits and retroactively infuse some kind of meaning into these assemblages of type and sprinkles of graphic junk.
Mere hallucinations - of sitting around the campfire and seeing a ghost in the smoke.
Further, for "brands" where 98% of the brand's assets and visual system lives on screens, the point is further moot.
These rebrandings are often an inward facing, monotone effort - where that effort and productivity would be better cast on better understanding and connecting with the customers they serve and earning the brand (mindshare of the audience) versus coming at them with the visual equivalent of - me, me, me.
Music to my ears Jon. :)
"reading tea leaves and horoscopes, and making shapes out of the clouds in the sky"
Also rather confused when I went to that page and was expecting to be greeted by alcohol :(
Oh my dear god their logo is horrendous! It looks like they hired a kindergartener to open up paint and place two shapes together.
If it was the logo by itself without the word patreon, you wouldn't know that it's supposed to be a 'P'.
Totally, the P is hardly there! Its almost as silly as Uber's rebrand where they could have kept it as a subtle U by rotating it 90 degrees clockwise.
I like it. The new logo and language is elegant, clean and simple. The old logo was certainly looking very tired and rather cheap.
Not sure what else to say to the naysayers, other than embrace change.
Beauty is clearly in the eye of the beholder.
I know you don't mean it this way, but embracing change as a catch-all approach isn't always a wise approach. What if that change is build on bad ideas and poor values? In this case, I would consider this reband reactionary to bad ideas. Again, that is highly subjective. Just my 2 cents. ;)