6 subtle brand refreshes you may not have noticed.

February 20, 2023
Consumer Professional Services Brand design Brand delivery Rebranding

In the world of branding, consistency has always been paramount. However, when it comes to staying relevant it is wise for brands to continuously and strategically review their positioning within their marketplace so that they remain relevant, stay ahead of existing competitors and combat new entrants into the market.

When undertaking a brand refresh, subtlety is often the key. Smaller, incremental changes over time can keep a brand fresh without wholesale changes.

A finely-tuned identity refresh can provide the necessary changes and updates that an organisation needs to ensure they don’t start to look tired. This agility of small, more frequent changes, such as subtle logo evolutions can help companies adapt to ongoing changes in today’s fast-paced, disruptive business environment.

Here are six examples of organisations who have subtly evolved their brand identity over time. Each has provided a rationale for the changes, some ever so subtle and hardly noticeable, some have made changes that are more representative of their organisation’s evolution or a result of a growing reach.


What has changed: It is clear that the typeface and case have changed. The update aimed to create a universal ‘beyond-simple’ global brand. Given its global presence, the logo needed to be approachable, easy to read, and take full advantage of the brand name recognition.

Source: Brand New 



 Uber (5).png

What has changed: The drop shadow has been dropped, and the colour palette simplified to two colours. Again this logo has global simplicity, as it is viewed by 150 million eyeballs every month across the world.

Source: Brand New 



Uber (6).png

What has changed: Since 1944, the flying kangaroo logo has evolved through subtle changes to the font and the icon. This change is only the fifth time the red-and-white image on the tail of Qantas aircraft has been updated since it was first introduced. “This re-design aims to retain the fundamental essence of the flying kangaroo but also move the brand forward. This new brand is more streamlined and the shading behind the kangaroo gives a better sense of movement and depth” said Marc Newson, QANTAS Design Consultant. 

Source: Qantas Press Release 


McKinsey & Company

Uber (4).png

What has changed: The new identity was designed to communicate a balance between old and new, heritage and modernity. A new typeface was purpose-designed, that brings forward a sense of confidence and a forward-thinking attitude.

Source: BrandNew 



Uber (2).png

What has changed: Ever so slight, the change runs across the icon and typeface giving the individual elements a new, modern quality to sharpen their impact. The designers found great importance in taking up the unique design tradition of the Lufthansa brand and leading it into the future.

“The crane, designed exactly 100 years ago by graphic artist Otto Firle, a distinctive icon in the sky, remains the airline’s iconic symbol. In the future, it will be slimmer and fit for the digital world. A thinner ring makes the crane look more elegant, bringing it into the foreground and granting it more space. The blue specially developed for Lufthansa is somewhat darker, more elegant and is becoming the leading brand colour. It stands for reliability, clarity and value.” 

Source: Lufthansa press release



 Uber (1).png

What has changed: The new logo simplifies the awning to three semicircles (from the previous logo’s four symbolising the three founders of the company). The logotype has been redrawn in all lowercase, with letterforms that are slightly more refined than original but still quirky. The hyphen between the names is now a semicircle, echoing the scalloped edge as well as the smiles on the faces of the ’Little People’.

Source: Brand New 

To rebrand or refresh, that is the question?

At BrandMatters, we believe in the credo ‘a clear brand is consistently and comprehensively expressed, internally lived, externally understood and objectively measured.’

When considering a rebrand, a great first step is to decide which approach to take – do you need a total rebrand or a simple refresh? Download our Refreshing Guide to Rebranding which aims to provide the answer to this question and outline the benefits and risks of both rebranding and refreshing your brand.

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