But these last few weeks have not only seen Yahoo’s drawn-out rebrand process culminating in a new identity created by chief executive Marissa Mayer, but now holiday giant Thomas Cook’s admission that it ‘has not paid expensive consultants or spent lots of money’ on its rebrand.
In Yahoo’s case, the project can be seen in part as CEO Mayer trying to put her personal stamp on the company.
This is understandable, but her admission that she created the logo over a weekend, adding ‘I’m not a pro [at Adobe Illustrator], but I know enough to be dangerous’ will have had corporate identity professionals grinding their teeth.
Or maybe the Yahoo rebrand is simply Mayer trying to wind up designers? Her rationale for the logo design certainly reads like an attempt to satirise the type of design jargon rubbish spouted by the worst kind of branding consultancies.
‘We didn’t want to have any straight lines in the logo’, she opines. ‘Straight lines don’t exist in the human form and are extremely rare in nature, so the human touch in the logo is that all the lines and forms all have at least a slight curve.’
While Mayer’s musings can be left open to interpretation, Thomas Cook’s statements are pretty clear.
The holiday company’s rebrand has seen a heart logo, created last year by Swedish consultancy Happy for Thomas Cook’s northern European businesses, rolled out across the whole group after being ‘refined’.
‘We have not… spent lots of money on this brand unification… we did the majority of this ourselves as we strive to develop the company into what we want it to be,’ reads a company statement.
Admirable attempt to control the company’s fortunes, or shameless sop to cost-conscious shareholders? You be the judge.
What is interesting about both these rebrands is not just that the companies involved see design as a needless expenditure, but that they are so open about it – proud to have avoided splashing the cash on professional consultancy.
Designers have always faced a battle to convince potential clients of their worth, and case studies like these will only serve to make their job even harder.
That said, it will be interesting to see what Yahoo and Thomas Cook do when they next rebrand…