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The Year in Review Part 1: The Most Notable

What a year. While I do mean that in the larger context of world news, politics, society, and the climate, among all other topics that experienced dramatic upheaval, it was also an interesting year on Brand New. As I was looking back at the projects to put these lists together I realized what a really strong year of work it has been. Sure, there were recurring trends and lots of “easy” design solutions but, given the difficulties under which most of this work was created, so many good projects came out of it. Even without the pandemic asterisk, we really did see a lot of great work that attempted to break from conventions and try new things. But enough philosophizing, let’s get into it because we have ten Year in Review posts to get through. You can see last year’s range of posts here to get an idea of what to expect.

This first part includes the “Most Notable” projects of the year, which are neither the best nor the worst, simply the most high-profile. Last year this category was quite limited, with only 12 projects making the list — a reflection of the shock of the pandemic and no one wanting to make any big moves (or big launches). This year there are 20 projects and I even had the option to take out a few whose global notable-ness could be questioned. With this precedent, I wonder if 2022 will be an even bigger year as more brands try to stake their territory more clearly and make an even bigger impact. So, below, in order of notoriety not just on Brand New but on all kinds of media are 2021’s Most Notable brand and identity work. In the small blurbs for each project, very little new opinion is offered as plenty has already been written in the original posts (and in the comments), so the blurbs are more for context.

A couple of additional notes

There will be no regular posts for these next two weeks given that (one) it’s the Holidays and (two) it’s the slowest time of the year in terms of traffic on Brand New so it’s not fair for any new work to go largely ignored.

If you are reading this in an RSS reader, you are going to want to see it on the site as there is some heavy formatting involved.

The home page has been slightly modified to show the lists as they get posted. It will go back to normal in January.

Typefaces used in the graphics are Tuppence by Roberto de Vicq de Cumptich and Manofa by The Northern Block.

All Year-in-review Posts so far

Part 1: The Most Notable
Part 2: Recurring Trends
Part 3: The Most Not Great
Part 4: The Best Friday Likes
Part 5: The Best in Icons, Monograms, Wordmarks, and Mascots
Part 6: The Best in Proprietary Type and Use of Typography
Part 7: The Best in Color Palettes, Illustration, Photography, 3D Elements, and Motion
Part 8: The Best in Logo Evolutions, Logo Animations, Introduction Videos, Busiest Firms, and Post Titles
Part 9: The Best in Packaging
Part 10: The Best



New Name and Logo for Pearl Milling Company


Along with Uncle Ben’s, the Washington Redskins, and a few other brand names that were mired with problematic racial stereotypes, Aunt Jemima was one of the first to come to market with a new name and logo.

See original post


New Logo, Identity, and Packaging for Planters by Jones Knowles Ritchie


Of the many consumer brands we covered Planters may not be top of mind for most but Mr. Peanut is quite the recognizable figure, even after this redesign. See original post


New Logo, Identity, and Packaging for Oscar Mayer by BrandOpus


When it comes to classic processed meats, few are better known than Oscar Mayer and its Wienermobile, which now plays a more integral role in the identity. See original post


New Logo, Identity, and On-air Look for MTV by loyalkaspar


Still fighting for relevance, MTV attempted another redesign that took it closer to its origins yet still so far away from its heydays. See original post


New Logo and Identity (or is it?) for the CIA


The CIA went all nightclub graphics and the internet was here for it. See original post


New Logo and Identity for Peugeot by Peugeot Design Lab and W


European automotive brand goes flat. See below for more. See original post


New Logo for Renault


European automotive brand goes flat. See above for more. See original post


New Logo and Identity for Telefónica done In-house with Lambie-Nairn


A pretty significant and bold change for one of the largest telephone operators and mobile network providers in the world. See original post


New Logo and Identity for Inter Milan by Bureau Borsche


Building on the fashion-ification precedent set by Juventus in the now-distant-yet-still-influential past of 2017, the other uber famous Italian team went for a similar approach by tapping Bureau Borsche, whose work for fashion brands supercedes that of their work for sports teams.See original post


New Logo and Identity for Baskin Robbins by Jones Knowles Ritchie


In contrast to Inter Milan, Baskin Robbins’ global popularity might pale in comparison but they still rock 7,600 locations in 52 countries around the world.See original post


New Name and Logos for Cleveland Guardians


Related to Pearl Milling Company, the Cleveland Indians had one of the most controversial names, being a part of the national sports discourse for years, and they finally changed to the Guardians. See original post


New Logo and On-air Look for ABC by Trollbäck+Company


I ranked ABC rather high mostly to celebrate their renewed commitment to a logo that has been around for nearly 60 years. See original post


New Packaging for Absolut by Brand Union Stockholm


A subtle change that few patrons are likely to notice but making any changes to a consumer product icon is a bold move worth noting. See original post


New Logo and Identity for Cadillac by Mother Design


American automotive brand goes flat. See 13, 14, or below for more. See original post


New Iron Mark for Volvo done In-house


Global automotive brand goes flat. See 13, 14, or above for more. See original post


New Logo and Identity for Papa Johns by Mathews Hale Design and forpeople


Pair a controversial founder and spokesperson with the fact that this is the fourth largest pizza delivery restaurant chain in the United States and the third-largest in the world, and you have a pretty darn notable redesign story. See original post


New Logo and Packaging for Campbell’s by Turner Duckworth and Ian Brignell


More well-known for its iconic place in art history than its culinary contribution to the world, Campbell’s is a staple in American pantries and its seemingly subtle redesign is significantly substantial. See original post


New Logo and Identity for Pfizer by Team


No other Big Pharma corporation was as well-known and spoken-of in 2021 than Pfizer and a very early redesign in the year was very well timed to match the attention it received.See original post


New Logo and Identity for Burger King by Jones Knowles Ritchie


As the second largest fast food hamburger chain in the world, any kind of change would have been newsworthy but their return to the previous logo took this change up to 11. See original post


New Name and Logo for Meta


Nowhere near as joyful, optimistic, or enjoyable as Burger King above, Facebook’s corporate name change to Meta was certainly the most notable change with every single news source in every industry talking about it. The fact that it’s currently one of the most despised corporations in the world certainly helped fuel its global conversation and ignited even more apprehension towards an immersive “Metaverse” controlled by Facebook.See original post

The End


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