Image with coloured bands and logos of famous Indian companies

A week ago, David Perell, founder of writing course, Write of Passage, tweeted this image with the question, “Why do all logos look the same?”

List of global fashion labels with old and new logos
The global fashion industry seems to have moved en masse to homogenous, sans-serif logos

The image he tweeted is not new and has done the rounds on nearly every social media platform. In fact, there is another popular one about the Tech industry.

List of tech company old and new logos
The global tech industry provides the best example of ‘blanding’

The question clearly touched a chord with Perell’s vast Twitter following, who commented and retweeted it more than 200,000 times!

The interest the tweet generated got us thinking about Indian logos: Have they all started looking the same?

Our Analysis

We looked across sectors at Indian logos designed after 2010, from the big conglomerates to IT, telecom to financial services and food delivery to SaaS. 

Here’s what we found in one image.

Indian logos across sectors, designed after 2010

While recent Indian logos mirror the global movement towards sans-serif typefaces, they have thankfully still managed to avoid a complete loss of character, perhaps because of our deep-rooted love for pictorial symbols.

Even in fashion, where there has been an alarming degree of standardisation in global brands, Indian brands still retain their quirkiness and haven’t rushed to change. A common element may be serif typefaces, which are strongly associated with luxury, but most brands still incorporate a signature symbol.

Logos of Sabyasachi, Ritu Kumar, Anita dongre
Indian luxury fashion brands still maintain individual character

Why the Rush for Homogeneity?

There has been much speculation around the reason for this global blanding movement. Perell himself puts forth these two guesses:

1) Software: Designers all use the same tools, which exert the same unconscious forces on their creative process.

2) The Internet: Aesthetic diversity is bound to decline in such a hyper-connected world.

A more design-specific reason is that sans-serif fonts are seen as cleaner, more youthful/friendly and easier to use on digital interfaces. This movement to sans serif gained significant momentum with two rebrands: Citbank to Citi in 2007 and Google’s stripped down brand identity in 2015.

Old and new Citibank logos
Old and new Google logo
The Citibank and Google logo changes played an important role in the movement to sans-serif logotypes

While the popular opinion is that sans-serif fonts are better for screen reading, there are as many arguments against this belief as there are for it.

When we look back at the last decade, we can see that it has been one of ‘less is more’ – a sentiment that is reflected across our lives, from uncluttered UI to ubiquitous greige minimalist architecture and even a whole Kando-spurred movement devoted to tidying up.  

Of course there are strong functional reasons that underpin this. Standardisation in the physical world makes makes it easier to produce, ship, stock and replace objects. But as the excellent Twitter handle, The Cultural Tutor puts it “Traditions are built up over time. Modernisation happens suddenly. Decades, centuries, millennia – swept away in the blink of an eye.” Never before have we been in such acute danger of that happening.

Did we miss any Indian logos designed after 2010? Let us know in the comments

3 COMMENTS

  1. I think that companies (rather, marketing departments) think that they will regain visibility in the social media with a rebranding exercise. They don’t have anything else to offer, but they have a budget to spend. So they fall into the trap of the conversation that our current brand is losing its visibility and recall, and there’s a need to change it. What follows is a PR campaign, advertisements, coverage by media and news outlets, and lo! behold! your social media metrics are back to the top without offering or doing anything new in your core business.

  2. We have ‘food delivery’ logos here, but not food.
    ‘Food Delivery’ is technical expertise / app based / functional – so one can accept some degree of san-serifs.
    ‘Food’ being about culture, tradition, coming together, choices – so we may get to see some humane character and authenticity there.
    I know this is a rebranding conversation, it will still be interesting to see how new food brands are doing their logos – say tata soulfull

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated according to our comment policy. Your email address will NOT be published. All fields are required.

Please enter your comment
Please enter your name

The Hard Copy is a resource for building and growing digital–first brands. Sign up to get case studies and advice in your inbox every week.