Brand New is a website dedicated to examining the most consequential (for better or for worse) rebranding efforts across the world. It is a stellar resource because they take an in-depth look at several new rebrands every single day, five days a week – and this matters to us as designers because so much of our work involves designing for a brand.
There are several things that Brand New is really great at doing. They begin each post with the “Before & After” of the brandmark, which is very useful to understand the decisions that the design team made and the motives that the company had to begin a rebrand effort in the first place. They always include some of the “official” reasoning behind the final look of the rebrand. This can, of course, can range from:
arbitrary ‘corporation speak’: “Indigo is the result of the intersection of red and blue and symbolises LATAM’s efficiency and elegance. Coral represents the brand’s passion and care for their customers."
iffy/abstract justification from the design team: “The visual language utilizes precise data inputs informed by the sunrise and sunset time cycles, as well as real-time weather and geographic information. As the final output, each piece, analog or digital, is marked with a unique data stamp.”
all the way to brilliant cohesion of the visuals with the company mission: “The new identity plays with the unique idea of the 4 spaces and the different type of shows in each one. That’s why we use the numbers 1, 2, 3 & 4 and a different type for each one. We want to explain the different personality of each room. Every space has its own type for the communication program to easy identify the type with the room number.”
Just remember that having insight into any of those circumstances is excellent context and an interesting window into the current state of affairs in the corporate design world. You can learn a lot about what to do and not do from paying attention to these.
Brand New also does a great job of showing a wide range of applications of the brand mark and the extended system, which is where we can see the visual brand thriving or dying in the real world. This is also where some brands that have mediocre brand marks can really come to life via patterns, applications, and motion. Remember that a brand ultimately IS the reputation of that company among its users and in the public and that the brand IS NOT just the logo, and that the most successful brands have system of meaningful visuals that express the reputation and feel that the brand wants its users to have of it. These secondary elements are easily forgotten, but are critical to a successful rebrand and should not be ignored.
And, finally, Brand New always includes an insightful editorial opinion of the rebrand – it is subjective, but whether or not you agree with it, it is very useful to hear and consider the expert opinion of Armin Vit, who is an ex-designer at Pentagram and who writes all the posts and who thinks about this stuff all day, every day.
Finally, Brand New is obviously a great way to keep up on the cutting edge of what is going on in the design world, and is a fantastic source of inspiration. It can be very productive to spend some time there just observing what typefaces, color palettes, and other design elements are being used on the most successful and interesting rebrands. It can also be productive to read the comment sections to see what other designers are saying, this is actually context that can be very hard to find anywhere else on the internet. And, trust me, you will at some point in your career find yourself working somewhere that is about to undergo a rebranding effort, and it will pay large dividends to have expert knowledge of the current world of branding – and there really isn’t better way to do that than by paying attention to Brand New. Bookmark it, keep the tab open all the time, add it to your RSS feed, visit it often…you will not regret it.