Emily Oberman gives Rotten Tomatoes its first rebrand in 17 years

The Pentagram partner has given the film and TV review website a new logo, icon range and colour palette for the first time since 2001.

Pentagram partner Emily Oberman has given TV and film review website Rotten Tomatoes a new logo, icons and colour palette, which look to “modernise” it while retaining its “familiar elements”.

Rotten Tomatoes was founded as an online review site for film and TV in 1998, and aggregates articles from various other review sites, newspapers and magazines in one place to give overall ratings. Its name comes from the idea of disgruntled audience members throwing tomatoes at a poor stage performance.

Previous iterations of the Rotten Tomatoes logo

The former logo, which was designed in 2001, featured out-of-line typography with tomato symbols used to represent the “o’s” in “Tomatoes”. The logotype was yellow, with a black outline and a slight drop shadow.

Marking the first design change for 17 years, the new logo is a cleaner iteration on the former one. Oberman has adjusted the leading between letters, bringing all the type onto a level line, and the logo is flat, in a block red colour, and now contains more abstract tomato symbols to represent “o’s”. Negative space has also been used to create the symbol of a “rotten” or squashed tomato, visualised through a green splodge symbol.

A shorthand version of the logo has also been designed, using the same red tomato symbol, with the letters “RT” created out of negative space again.

A colour palette of black, white, red, light yellow, dark yellow, light green and dark green has been incorporated, with the logo appearing in these various colours. A new series of icons has also been designed for use across the site as a rating system. A “fresh” tomato indicates a highly-rated film, while a “rotten” tomato indicates a low-rated film.

Oberman and her team at Pentagram designed the new logo in collaboration with Rotten Tomatoes’ site users and fans, and the branding is set to launch at this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival in Austin, Texas, US, which opens this week.

The new logo and icons are currently rolling out on Rotten Tomatoes’ site and app, and will be followed by a website refresh incorporating the new design style.

Hide Comments (14)Show Comments (14)
  • Michael Burton March 6, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    Love it! – Simplistic with its much needed improvements.. Can’t wait to see the full rebrand!

    • nicolas March 12, 2018 at 10:28 pm

      Dear Michael,

      Please tell me how this awful red and the green for the rotten looks like an improvement, it makes the images less clear because of the horrible red. It also makes this website appear like the fake rotten tomatoes as it looks like a bootleg version of the original website.

    • Hannah April 4, 2018 at 4:05 pm

      In my first ever design seminar my lecturer opened with ‘simple is good, simplistic is not’. There’s an important difference! Simple means no more information than is necessary and no overcomplication. Simplistic means making something complicated seem simple by ignoring important parts that shouldn’t be ignored!

  • Michael Burton March 6, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    Love it! – Simplistic with the much needed improvements.. Can’t wait to see the completed full rebrand!

  • Bradley Pittford March 7, 2018 at 4:56 am


  • Martin Cartwright March 7, 2018 at 9:26 am

    Does this really need a Design Week article? Nice logo albeit just a slight change. This country!

  • Agatha March 7, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    I have no problems with the new logo, but the design overall looks like a UX student’s final project rather than a polished, professional website.

  • objectiveopinion March 7, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    Am I the only one that finds Pentagram’s rebranding works very repetitive and dull? They basically just apply their same rules to everything. And god knows what they charge for it. Very overrated. Just my honest opinion.

    • Martin Cartwright March 16, 2018 at 11:47 am

      I agree

  • Terry March 9, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    Uh oh, looks like the chunky sans serif virus is continuing to spread.

  • louise March 11, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    Terrible job.
    The “logo is flat”? Yes, indeed. When “simplicity” looks this cheap, the “collaboration with Rotten Tomatoes’ site users and fans” turned into dumbing it down.
    Really, really sad outcome. I find it very disappointing.

  • Sean Nemetz March 14, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    Idk, as a frequent user of rotten tomatoes I saw this a week ago and didn’t love it. The colors are burning my eyes, making this more difficult and less pleasant to use. I don’t think this was necessary and in fact is a bit of a downgrade. It just surprising, disappointing even, that Pentagram was involved.

    • Sean Nemetz March 14, 2018 at 3:05 pm

      I’ll say this, the wordmark is pretty nice. However the icons are harder to read, the popcorn is the worst part, and yes the colors are not right. I will wait for the complete website update, unless what is up is what we are getting.

  • matthew squire March 19, 2018 at 11:01 am

    Don’t mind this, follows the trend of online based companies ‘growing up’, although its nice that they have kept some of the playfulness whilst simplifying everything. Agree that the website looks a little like an afterthought. Hopefully its temporary.

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