DESIGN: Toy Story’s 20th Anniversary Logo

Published On March 31, 2015 | Design

Darren Ball explains why evolving a logo is better than changing it completely.

DARREN BALLBesides being one of my favourite Pixar movies, Toy Story  – and specifically its logo and design – ticks all the boxes in terms of design and appeal.

Toy Story was first released in theatres on November 22, 1995 and has been followed by 2 sequels and various television specials, with Toy Story 4 on its way. No word is out yet as to whether this is going to be an official release or how the 20th Anniversary logo would be implemented.

toy story

The original Toy Story logo (left) and the 20th Anniversary logo.

The possibility of using the logo with various characters is appealing to me. This would be a fun way to re-introduce the characters you may have forgotten, as well as once again strengthening the brand’s identity. The evolution of a logo is something that can happen once your brand has reached a certain level of recognition.

The original logo has all the trappings of a logo design from the 90s (it still works). The reason for this is that the brand has become iconic and is easily recognisable from a distance. As soon as you see the logo you can remember the movie and the characters. The reason for this does not rest on the logo entirely but how the studios have continued to push the brand and the characters.

This is a lesson that should be related to businesses; not everyone will like the logo, yet the brand has remained constant. So even if you don’t like the logo you will still feel some sort of attachment to the brand.

Brand integrity is vital for any business, yet so many seem to chop and change logos and colours on a whim. I’m not saying never change your logo, there are cases where a logo should be completely changed, what you should be looking to do is to evolve the logo.

Think of Woolworths, Pick ‘n Pay and I&J; they have all updated their branding with cleaner, evolved logos (for better or worse). These updates have all involved a re-make of the official logo device, and with it comes the massive project of re-branding.

Disney/Pixar have done something different – they have not changed the original logo, but have created add-ons that can be used as a stand-alone device or can be used in conjunction with the original logo, a far cheaper exercise and one that serves to strengthen the overall brand and re-ignite the passion fans would have.

There are many downfalls to re-designing a brand that has a strong following and often the easy option is to keep the original. But think outside the box on how to evolve the brand itself, not simply create a new logo in the hope that you will gather new followers.

Evolution of a logo is far stronger than a complete change.

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