A logo redesign even a five-year-old would notice

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Netflix has been quietly rolling out a redesign of it’s iconic, cinematic logo. Gone are the stately thin letterforms, the hard black drop shadow, and sadly, and reference to old Hollywood. They started out by featuring the new logo in a trailer for their own Orange is the New Black series. And over the last 2 months, they slowly swapped it out across their apps and website. Yet throughout all this time, they’ve remained mum about why they opted for a redesign.

Were they hoping no one would notice? My five-year-old, who can sometimes be found watching her favorite children’s shows on Netflix via my iPod or AppleTV, pointed it out to me this weekend. “Look, mommy! It’s red and white now!” To have my child point out a rebrand to me brought a smile to my face and a tear to my eye. But that’s not why I’m writing about this logo update.

Netflix-old-new

If you decide to make a change to your brand as big as changing your logo, you better have a damn good reason for doing it. Your brand is how your customers are emotionally connecting with your company. Deciding to change your logo is like deciding to have surgery. In some cases, it’s a grave necessity: Your brand is broken. Something about your business isn’t working. Perhaps you aren’t connecting with customers, or maybe your overall mission or purpose has changed. In short, the life of your business depends on change.

But in other cases, your logo redesign is like elective surgery. You’ve decided to take a risk. Maybe you are just tired of the logo. Or you think updating your logo is the cool thing to do. But if you are finding it hard to truly quantify why you are changing your logo (which it appears Netflix is having a hard time doing), then maybe it’s not the necessity you think it is.