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top 5 logo design transformations


Top 5 advertising logo transformations and what we can learn from them

Chloe Philips, 10 March 2021.

Ad agencies are responsible for transforming businesses into brands that become a part of our vernacular. Nike is not just a sportswear brand – it’s a verb. It’s a way of life and a personality trait. So is McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Netflix, and NatGeo. And it all starts with a logo.

Logo design is central to any effort of brand creation. It takes years, sometimes decades, to perfect a brand’s perception. Getting the logo right requires a whole lot of money, time, and creativity. And nobody knows it as well as ad agencies do. They’re masters of perceptions and image-building. So when they go through their own logo redesign and branding transformation themselves, what are the lessons that we can learn from them?

Here, we share with you top 5 examples of advertising agency logo rebranding that strengthened the ad company’s brand image.

1. Ogilvy

The original Ogilvy logo – which was the graphical representation of the founder David Ogilvy’s signature – was a strong branding move of its time, about 70 years back. The shifting sands of time, however, made the company realize that to stay relevant – and most importantly, look relevant to its clients and the wider market – some visual branding changes were needed.

These changes resulted in a complete redesign of its logo. The custom hand lettering was gone, replaced by a neat, modern, and extremely chic Serif font. The font color is usually white, but sometimes black, too. The big block of red makes sure that the new logo remains unmissed in a sea of designs.

Advertising agency logo rebranding - Ogilvy
The Takeaway Message: make sure the rebrand represents a strong message.

Don’t change your logo just for the heck of it. Make sure it is backed by strong changes taking place at the organizational or brand level that support the visual change.

2. Kijiji

The early to mid-2000s was a time of bright colors, in-your-face shapes, and some questionable fashion. This Canadian advertising company’s logo was no different with its wonky serif letters and hole-styled dots perched on them. It looked chaotic.

Look at the new one on the right though. It is a flatter, friendlier, more professional-looking version of the logo. It still retains the casual and friendly vibe that the brand was created with but instead of looking chaotic, it looks pleasant and laidback and the letters have been simplified into a more sans serif type of font.

Advertising agency logo rebranding - Kijiji
The Takeaway Message: you don’t have to sacrifice your brand image.

If your core brand concept is an integral part of your brand identity, don’t try to sabotage it by a drastic logo redesign. Subtle and smaller changes can also work.

3. Ad Age

Another rebrand that took the ad industry by storm was Advertising Age’s logo redesign. The original logo consisted of a wordmark that spelled out the company’s full moniker. When they decided to change its brand name to something shorter and more modern, they also needed a new logo that could complement the rechristening of the brand.

True to the company’s rebrand vision, the new logo is modern, simplified, and has no busy twirls of the previous Serif font. The ‘g’ of the Age is borrowed from an earlier version of the logo and wraps the whole thing nicely.

Advertising agency logo rebranding - Advertising Age
The Takeaway Message: a new brand name requires a new logo

It’s basic business sense. If you are changing your ad agency’s name, make sure it goes with a new ad logo too. Most people may not pay attention to the name but the ad agency logo is a visual asset which is why it will surely draw focus.

4. The Advertising Club of New York

A few years back, the Advertising Club of New York, a nonprofit that gives a platform and a support network to ad professionals, was looking for a new logo that could represent its expanding consumer base.

The old logo was fine for its time – late 19th century – but now it looked dated, too imposing, aggressive, and simply not friendly. Such sentiments are not favorable for a professional non-profit catering to the ad agency world.

The new logo is fresh, modern, inviting, and a designer’s dream. The plus sign indicates the expanding base of the club and its widening network. Instead of the full name of the brand on display, the logo uses a shorter, much catchier version that isn’t a mouthful. The different font weights also add layers of meaning to the whole design.

The Advertising Club logo rebranding
The Takeaway Message: change with the times

Your old logo might have been awesome a hundred years back, but change is the only thing that’s constant. So get up, grow, improve and change. Don’t be a dinosaur in the modern era.

5. Tatari

Tatari is an ad brand that prides itself on creating waves. A leadership-oriented brand, it was looking for a redesign of its logo that could reflect the company’s escalating growth and stay in touch with its growing scale. Since the company mainly deals in TV ads, it relied heavily on television elements to create its visual identity.

Instead of using literal iconography to send its message across, the brand chose more subtle hints, like the idea of a pixel, and a square grid resembling a TV screen and forming the letter 'T', and went from there. The main attraction of the logo, however, is the unique font that’s squared-off, simple, and elegantly bold. The imposing color palette of black and white nicely seals the deal.

Advertising agency logo rebranding - Tatari
The Takeaway Message: Use subtle hints to create a massive impact.

It is not necessary to go big or go home. Sometimes, the most impact you can create is by looking away from the obvious and going for more understated and ingenious design choices.


So, which of these designs did you find the most appealing? A general rule when redesigning your ad brand logo is to make sure that the design change follows a more fundamental change in the vision or structure of your company to give it a strong foundation to build on.

Writer Profile

Working as a freelance content writer is not only Chloe Philips’ profession but her hobby too. She loves to write about fashion design, interior décor and blogging.

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