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The Great Debranding: a look at Bloomberg’s recent video on the simplified logo design trend

If you are into digital design trends, then you have likely already seen Bloomberg Opinion’s recent video featuring Ben Schott. If you haven’t, then go ahead and check it out: “Debranding is the Hip New Branding.” Although short, it artistically captures and dissects the recent business trend to “debrand.” Many multi-billionaire dollar companies have debranded their logos, simplifying them by cutting back on the depth and details, often whittling it down to its basic shapes and colors.




Schott explains the historical flow of branding trends, and the role technology played throughout the rise and now fall of 3D logos. While back in the day most everything was designed in 2D, but with the progress of design software allowing for more showy 3D logos, many companies jumped on board. Although now, logos need to be recognized on small mobile devices, often crammed into a square app box, and thus many companies are returning to simpler designs.


However, this simplification can open a door of possibilities for certain companies who dabble in a variety of products or venues. Schott used the Warner Brothers’ debranding example to reveal the flexibility simplification can bring. While they may have stripped some of the elements of their world-renowned 3D gold design, it allowed for the logo to better adapt to different genres and platforms. But the important question we should be asking is whether or not you and your business should jump on this debranding trend. You may not be a multi-million dollar company (or maybe you are), but if these big businesses are doing it, maybe there’s something to it.


What are the risks?

Debranding is a lot simpler than rebranding, because you are still maintaining the essence of your logo. Thus, you don’t have to worry about loyal customers not recognizing your brand. So, outside of the design costs it may not be a big risk. Even so, if you have recently made any changes to your company’s logo or image, it may be too soon for another edit. Change is not bad, but too much change in a short period of time shows a lack of consistency, which customers could misinterpret as a lack of dependability. Also, If you are going to go for a debrand, make sure to not only retain the parts that are recognizable, but also keep anything people may love. If you have a mascot, don’t go overboard on a redesign of a likable character if they are connected with your overall image.


What are the benefits?

The benefits of debranding are mostly found in marketing and brand image. As stated in the video, a simplification can bring about a more mature look for a company. Too many unnecessary visual effects could detract from the base design and could possibly spoil its potential grandeur. From a design standpoint, the more basic the design is, the more options you may have in what you do with it. Obviously, you will want to maintain enough consistency across platforms to ensure your logo is still easily recognizable, but a debranded logo could more easily mesh with styles across different forms of media.


Is Debranding right for your company?

In the end, it will be up to you to make the call whether or not it would be worth it to debrand. For companies whose brands are so pronounced they don’t need the extra glam to stand out, debranding is a nice, practical step. However, whether it is right for you and your business is something to consider. If you are looking for a debrand, ensure you get a quality graphic designer who will do it right. Debranding may look simple, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t style guides that still need to be followed. If you need help with this process, check out the graphic designers at Genovations Media. We can set you up for success by taking care of all your design needs.


Source:

Schott, Ben. “Debranding Is the Hip New Branding.” Bloomberg Opinion, Bloomberg.com. 15 April 2022 (visited 25 April 2022)

Toygar, Sena. 2019. “Debranding: The Great Name-Dropping Gamble : Marketing Birds.” Marketing Birds. May 10, 2019. https://themarketingbirds.com/debranding-the-great-name-dropping-gamble/.


2019. “Staples’ New Logo Cuts Right to the Chase.” April 3, 2019.

https://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/staples-pins-a-logo/317224.

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