Rebrands: The Good, the Bad, and the Downright Ugly

toronto brand development

Companies go through rebrands for a number of purposes – to signify a new era or milestone, represent a change in culture, or just simply to modernize a dated-looking image. With Mystique currently undergoing a rebrand – I’ve decided to compile some evolutions of some notable brands.

Below are the good, bad and the downright ugly – of course I may be a tad harsh in categorization but in some cases, as you’ll see below, sometimes it’s not necessary to go through a rebrand.

The Good:

Toronto Blue Jays


This wasn’t so much a rebrand as much as it was a modernized version of their original logo. Kudos goes out to this design as the retro feel draws out feelings of the good old days when the Jays won those back to back World Series Championships. I’ve regained some interest in our Jays (despite the team’s recent seasons of stagnancy) – all thanks to nostalgia.

Lebron James


I think Lebron’s latest iteration of his brand is something to be applauded. While I thought his LBJ23 logo integrated all those elements neatly into one mark – it was still overall, a busy and rather ugly looking brand. His new brand, not only is cleaner and far more simplified – it conveys more meaning. The mark integrates LJ into the crown element (which was somewhat lost in the last mark) and places that much more emphasis on his identity and nickname, King James. Gotta love how the brand works on a headband …


Lebron may have destroyed some of his personal brand and fan-base with his free-agent antics (*ahem* the Decision) but this certainly makes it up for me, but then again I’m not a Cleveland native.



This was a truly minimalistic take on Hewlett Packard’s brand. This one was tough as it was either hit or miss – people I discussed this logo with either loved it or hated it. I think its just a clean and logical evolution for their brand as it conveys technology, speed and the future. Also, they’ve got enough brand equity to make this jump – just as Nike did with their swoosh mark. It’s a shame that they decided not to take on this direction.

The Bad:

Museum of the Moving Image


The new brand really does nothing for me as it lacks the character and playful movement found in the type exercises of the old brand. What kills me though, is that they carry over that type exercise into other components of their branding such as web, digital and signage. Just doesn’t make any sense.


Comedy Network


There’s nothing funny about this rebrand. It may have some quirkiness built into the wordmark but it just doesn’t compensate for the lack of colour and liveliness found in their old brand.

It also seems to get lost in its promotional materials as the word looks more like a descriptor than anything. This can probably be attributed to the fact that the tagline has been dropped and it almost needs a simple graphic like the oval enclosure to help distinguish it more as a brand.


And the Downright Ugly:



For one of Canada’s main sports networks, it seems awfully American – it is just me or did it immediately remind you of this.


One can applaud the attempt to emphasize the SN aspect of their brand to help incorporate its six sister stations but I think it just fell flat.

On another note, their major rival network – has already explored that direction of emphasis. Yes, its ugly but at least they have the excuse that they started using it six years ago.




Did Martha Stewart buy the network? This is just one of those cases (much like Gap) where if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it. MuchMusic’s logo is just so iconic – it may be old but it still retains modern looking standards in my opinion.

All images sourced from Brand New.

Rene Tan
Rene Tan
Graphic Designer
Mystique Creative


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