USA TODAY Re-brand. Do readers understand the value of design?

USA TODAY re-brand

Logos before and after. Image from Brand New

USA TODAY have been rebranded by Wolff Olins, and as usual with a rebrand of such scale, a major backlash from readers of the paper has occurred.

Now, looking at the new logo and all it’s applications including new layout for the newspaper, this is a very impressive rebranding project. It has been executed perfectly and with such intelligence that it must be one of the best branding projects of the year.

Newspaper. Image from Brand New

Despite the face that this is such great design work, many of the newspapers readers hate it. Their facebook page is quite a good gauge of the their reactions. Here are just a handful but there are loads.

People see your old globe logo as a very identifiable brand of the daily reading. They DO NOT See the hideous dot as an identifiable brand of what they are reading and seeing every morning.

Why change something that wasn’t broken in the first place? Okay sure, the website probably needed an update.. The print version of USA Today DID NOT. And neither did trashing the traditional globe iconic logo.

It is true that the old ‘globe’ logo was identifiable, but brands need to change and adapt to fit into modern life. The paper had a very outdated look. This new look feels much more contemporary and should introduce the paper to a new, younger audience who previously may not have been interested. This is very important at the moment when newspaper readership is falling. The new brand is probably even more identifiable than the last, give it time.


I found this comment amusing. In an attempt to convey frustration at what he considers ‘difficult to read’, this user types his entire message in uppercase. A lot of readers, however, have complained about readability issues so this is probably something to look into. Also, text tends to be set in greys rather than 100% black so that the characters look less harsh and are easier to read.

You had a “design team”? Really? I’ll ask again, have you ever heard of FOCUS GROUPS? Might have saved you a massive screw up in font selection, amount of ink, narrow gutters, muddy photos and more. A former subscriber.

Yes indeed they had a design team, one of the best in-fact. Design by committee usually only ever results in disaster.

There are many more comments like this, but the fact is that newspapers need to change, and this project is a particularly good example of how to do it well.

People just really don’t like change. Look at Facebook. Whenever Facebook introduces a new layout, everyone hates it, everyone threatens to leave. They eventually get used to the changes and probably realise that they were for the best. It is difficult to adjust to new things for some people, especially in the case of newspapers or Facebook when people become accustomed to certain layouts and ways of going about their day. This is no reason to not change though. If it is done well, like this, it will be for the better.

Newspaper. Image from Brand New

Read more about the re-brand at Brand New.

Actual Studio


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