Welcome to the Blade Weekly Re-Brand, a place for us to take a quick look at some of the rebranding going on in the world and give a quick impression of what went right and what went wrong.
This week, Nivea takes center stage, with more of brand “refresh” than full-on rebrand.
What was wrong with the old Nivea?
1999 called and it wants its default Adobe Illustrator gradient back. The font choice for the Nivea wordmark, though the right general type of font, was never a perfect choice for that particular word, and some odd kerning choices have made it even worse. You can best approximate it with other fonts by writing “N IVE A”.
Does the new version fix the problem?
The cheesy gradients are (thankfully) gone, but the wordmark remains the same. I’d like to have sat in on the meeting where fixing the kerning got turned down. I’m never a fan of the “Put it in a circle/box/triangle/etc” approach to logo design – it tells us nothing about your brand (and thus adds nothing) and can limit what you’re able to do with the logo. Generally it’s a symptom of “this doesn’t feel like a logo yet” syndrome. That said, the old logo was in a rectangle surrounded by silver gradients, so a circle is somewhat of an improvement, I suppose.
What new problems have been introduced?
That big circle requires a lot of space if you want to keep the Nivea wordmark the same size as before.
Is it an overall improvement?
Yes. It does seem a bit like a wasted effort when glaring issues with the wordmark aren’t corrected, but some of the design elements that were dating the brand have been jettisoned while not damaging the feel of the brand. I call that a (minor) success.