Brand Evolution 2023: The Year in Review

The team at Oak Creative are always keeping a close eye on the trends and design movements at all times. With this in mind, we have delved into some of the most notable rebrands of this year.

Pets At Home

In April 2023, Pets At Home made a very long overdue update to their branding. Not only did they change to a new logo but they also integrated a fun persona to their entire brand. With a newfound emphasis on pets and pet owners, they really went all out with this new look and feel. Here is what our Creative Designer Jenni has to say:

“This was an incredibly strong rebrand! Their outdated and disjointed style was finally replaced with a modern and bold new logo and full identity. This new brand really chose to focus on the animals at its core, with lots of moving elements such as wagging tails. The imagery, the clean designs and the personality really shine through to create something totally unique.”

Nationwide Building Society

October 2023 brought us another long-awaited rebrand from Nationwide. The simplification of their logo and styling is something we have seen a lot of lately, and for good reason! They took what was familiar to their customers and audience, but elevated it to a new level of refinement and consideration. Here is what our Art Director Jasper has to say:

“After three decades, Nationwide’s rebrand by New Commercial Arts introduces a sleek icon and word-mark, paired with a practical colour scheme and illustrations, positioning it as a ‘dependable disrupter’. Despite my admiration for its fresh look, its striking resemblance to Natwest’s brand in colours, layout, sans serif typeface, and geometric shapes is hard to overlook.”

HBO Max

A slightly more controversial rebrand from this year came in April 2023 with ‘Max‘. As HBO Max has moved on, their streaming service is all inclusive of shows from the likes of DC and Warner Bros as well as their own original content. Because of this, they decided to simply ‘ditch’ the HBO, a decision that had fans and critics divided… Here is what our Creative Designer Kyle has to say:

“HBO Max’s rebrand, which notably drops ‘HBO’ and incorporates subtle elements from Warner Bros and HBO’s design, has sparked confusion. This shift from a name associated with major hits like ‘Band of Brothers’ and ‘The Sopranos’ is a bold move in a branding landscape dominated by bold, sans serif fonts and minimal colour palettes. While the simplicity of the rebrand is commendable, the understated use of the Warner Bros and HBO typographic elements may not be as pronounced as needed. It remains to be seen if this new branding will earn the same respect and recognition as its predecessor.”

Eurostar

At the beginning of this year in January, we got a rebrand from Eurostar that goes back to its roots. With retro styling being a highlight trend from 2023, it’s no surprise that we have seen multiple brands refreshing some of their older looks. Eurostar does this successfully by balancing the original elements with fresh new colours and visuals. Here is what our Creative Designer Issy has to say:

“Eurostar’s rebrand harks back to its 90’s origins, blending nostalgia with a modern flair. The revamped logo, vibrant colours, and unique illustrations create a striking effect. Central to this rebrand is the ‘north star’ or ‘spark’, a versatile graphic element used across all medias, guiding travellers and subtly incorporating the ‘E’ into the logo. This rebrand goes beyond the London-Paris route, using the animated spark to spotlight Eurostar’s varied destinations and boost customer awareness.”

Center Parcs Europe

In January 2023 we also had the rebrand of Center Parcs Europe. This was an interesting decision to rebrand just the European Center Parcs brand rather than their whole suite (including the UK which still uses their previous brand). That aside, the new look incorporates a clever new logo and another retro-inspired illustration style and colour scheme. Here is what our Senior Designer Barry has to say:

“Center Parcs itself has never really appealed to me as a holiday destination. However, this rebrand has caught my attention. It’s clever – the kind of logo that makes you think, ‘Wow, that’s smart!’ Pairing this with videos of peaceful countryside walks and thrilling mountain biking through sun-dappled forests, it suddenly does seem enticing.

What I particularly admire is the illustration style and colour palette. It’s reminiscent of 70s American summer camps, capturing that essence of wholesome, outdoor fun and adventure, yet presented in a fresh, modern way.

Our Conclusion

From Nationwide’s transformation into a ‘dependable disrupter’, Eurostar’s nostalgic yet modern twist, and HBO Max’s controversial name drop, each rebrand reflects a deeper narrative about change and adaptation in today’s dynamic market. These rebrands not only redefine the visual identities of these brands but also signal shifts in their strategic direction and audience engagement. We look forward to seeing what 2024 has to offer!


Who else rebranded in 2023?

If you’re curious to see any other notable rebrands from this year, take a look at the list below.

Building brand foundations for growth

Building a brand to honour a beautiful soul

A rebrand for the future

A new look for farming

A landmark in Dover since 1206

Game changing name change

Sophisticated design for a unique stay