British Gas Logo Redesign Leaves Me Disappointed


If you are familiar with my blog then you know I can be quite blunt, but typically I do so with comparisons and a sense of constructive criticism.

Case studies like The Gap, Waterstones, Starbucks and Swiss Air create different emotions and leave you with different thoughts on their rebranding strategy. Whilst I still try to mix in some of my straight-talking.

I have to say I find the new British Gas logo redesign quite disappointing.

A few months back my girlfriend and I actually thought we saw a new logo on the back of a British Gas van, but when I followed it up on Twitter no one seemed to know anything about it. I put that down to a miss-sighting or maybe a logo not belong to British Gas. Now I can see it was the British Gas logo which they obviously have been rolling out rather slowly over a period of time.

Typography

The typography for starters looks awkward, and is a big let down for me. That font looks clunky being more suited to a logo found on 99Designs, and not a national company.

I look at that font and it simply feels a total missmatch.

The font choice is trying to be trend, and modern, but all it achieves is a cheapening the brand. I wonder how long this logo will last before it becomes outdated?

The biggest problem with this whole logo though is the tag-line as looks like it has been shoe-horned in with tracking that is way too tight.

Not only is the spacing and sizing totally fucked up the colour is way to bright and takes your eye away from the brand name. Ironically in this context not a great problem as the logo type sucks. Tag-lines are there to serve a secondary purpose not to look like they are screaming for attention.

Tag-lines

Tag-lines need to be treated with care and respect not just slammed in there at the largest size you possibly can. In this case the whole logo would look better without that tag-line.

Then there is the actual wording which I feel is a little on the cheesy side. “Looking after your world.” Really?

Timeless

Honestly? I thought the existing logo was as timeless as you could get and I was always loved seeing the white out version placed on those all over blue British Gas vans. When you saw one of those blue vans you knew straight away what it was with the logo looking neat and solid.

I have always admired the British Gas logo more so since they seemed to have simplified the logo colour across their vehicle liveries. I was even due to put it up on my logo inspiration gallery LogoStack.

I can sort of see why additional colour was introduced with the whole eco and renewable slant on energy, but not sure that changing the actual brand mark to one with gradients and a new shape was the right move.

I am not against the new logo mark as it’s quite vibrant with a nice fresh clean feel. I just don’t think it works, or is suitable, in this context as well as the accompanying font choice being a let down. The wrong font can destroy an otherwise clean and solid logo mark, and that’s what I feel has happened here.

The old/existing British Gas logo has loads of rome for tweaking and refreshing, but I feel this change is a tad too much.

Work could have been done to update/refresh the old/existing British Gas logo without looking like someone let some over eager designers loose without any clear direction.

I can’t help but see this as something you might get from a crowd-sourced project.

“We need a new logo kids so show is what ya got…”

Thumbs Down

Who knows what goes on behind the scenes with various senior level managers getting bullied into a new contract by arrogant agency types. We are not privy to all the information that may or may not put the rebrand into perspective. So all I can is look at it from just an aesthetic view point: this rebrand gets a big thumbs down and leaves me a little sad.

Often with previous cases, as mentioned above, I also offer my own design solution, but in this case I will give it a miss. I loved the old logo and not a fan of the new one. Hard for me to really offer up any useful ideas when there is nothing much to play with.

Why? Why to a rebrand, and why to accepting this design? Love to know those answers.

When clients approach me asking for a rebrand I really do push them to understand why. If they can’t provide me with a adequate or logical reason for a change, then I will absolutley not take on the project unless a middle ground can be reached. This middle ground may involve a slight updating of the typography, colours, logo imagery etc.

On the whole I prefer to keep with what works, or tweak if absolutley neccessary.

Maybe time will tame my initial thoughts on this, but I don’t think enough to ever favour it over the old/existing one. It just feels really rather “meh”.



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Written by: Graham Smith: The Logo Smith
1st Posted: 2011/10/16 & Post Updated: 2014/05/09
Filed In Categories: Brand Identity, Inspiration

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