Weekly Re-Brand #9: Nivea

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.

The old Nivea logo (left) vs. the new Nivea logo (right).

The old Nivea logo (left) vs. the new Nivea logo (right).

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”.

The old Nivea Express Hydration bottle (left) vs. The new Nivea Express Hydration bottle (right). The new bottle is pretty sharp looking – note that the logo is reproduced in the (easy open) cap. Slick.

The old Nivea Express Hydration bottle (left) vs. The new Nivea Express Hydration bottle (right). The new bottle is pretty sharp looking – note that the logo is reproduced in the (easy open) cap. Slick.

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.

The Nivea wordmark

The Nivea wordmark.

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.

A look at past Nivea logos

A look at past Nivea logos.

Do you think the new Nivea logo is an improvement?

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3 comments on “Weekly Re-Brand #9: Nivea

  1. Krisztina on said:

    For some brands, especially those good old, trusted ones, like Nivea, changes in logo design might not make a major impact. I remember using Nivea since I was a kid, and the blue of the brand is enough for me to recognize it on the shelf. It is great that they are trying to stay with the times, but I think mainly they deliver on their promises as a product, and that does the trick for their brand community.

    • Brian WalkerBrian Walker on said:

      While I agree for the most part, having the best looking product on the shelf is only going to help. Why not fix an issue that most people wouldn’t be able to pinpoint, but will make your product look that much better, even to untrained eyes?

  2. Jenna Lyons on said:

    I agree 100% with what was stated about the bad kerning job, if your going to change or improve the logo you should most definitely improve the kerning, its horrible!

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