Designers tell us which brands could benefit from looking at their own design history

In the wake of the recent Co-op rebrand, which saw the revival of its 1968 logo, and the return of British Steel, which eschewed its 1969 logo in favour of a new direction, we ask designers which brands might think about reviving old branding to move forward.


Bronwen Edwards
Bronwen Edwards, creative director, Brandhouse


“The brand which needs to look back into the past is Pepsi. Over the years its undergone a marathon of design changes, each seemingly eroding any of its rich history – leaving it charmless and lacking the authenticity that this iconic brand should command.

In an attempt to modernise and no doubt harmonise a global market, they have stripped back from bold to bland, from quirky to emotionless, creating a bafflingly inexplicable ‘smile’ that feels so far removed from it’s heritage.

It’s a crying shame.”

Adam Giles
Adam Giles, founder, Interabang

“I’ve been following the British Steel story closely in the news and as a big fan of David Gentleman’s 1969 logo, I was excited to read that the brand was being revived because of it’s ‘simplicity, resonance and association with quality’.

As the story unfolded I was sad to see the brand resurrected in name only, with the classic logo nowhere to be seen.

It’s a great shame as it truly embodies the values associated with the brand and it would have been great to see it make a triumphant comeback.”

Bryony Meyrick, creative director, Together Design
Bryony Meyrick, creative director, Together Design

“As we’ve seen with the revived Co-op identity, brands rebuilt around familiar stories and associations can evoke positive memories and powerful, comforting emotion for consumers.

I treasure a memory as a young girl when my Grandad would pour me an R White’s Lemonade into a thick-cut crystal glass from the drinks cabinet, dropping in a cherry-adorned cocktail stick and presenting it to me on a little wooden tray – signifying the start of our evening, and making me feel ever so grown up.

Rituals and etiquette move on, and while I would like nothing more than to rummage through the archives of some of those long established iconic drinks brands, our job is to help them look to the future.

Our mantra is to be respectful of heritage, asking how we can draw from the past to celebrate those emotional connections whilst preparing for what may lie ahead.”

Mike Dempsey, founder, Studio Dempsey
Mike Dempsey, founder, Studio Dempsey

“Back in the 1960’s Ryman cut quite a dashing presence on the high street. But over the years, the store has degenerated into a very dull experience going the same way as WH Smith.

With some major major rethinking in products, packaging, interiors and online experience, and with the reintroduction of Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert’s beautiful 1960’s logo, it could be given a new lease of life.”


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  • andy shorten June 6, 2016 at 12:17 am


  • Richard McConnell June 6, 2016 at 10:55 am

    The Pepsi story is a good example of “Design by Committee”, as group think almost always leads to timid conservatism, and tends to militate against the unusual or strongly characterful. Often the more time spent worrying over a logo or house style, the lass interesting the result, as most corporate decision making tends to be cowardly.

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