As brand identity professionals one of the conversations that my clients have the hardest time with is one where I discuss with them that it’s time for an upgrade. When they first hear that they think “hooray. yes. This is why I came to you” but once I start to outline what that will look like they run and hover in fear. Especially when that upgrade involves a new logo or name.

I thought it would be fun if we start a series called Brands Then and Now and take a look at the journey that many popular brands have forged on their way to success, positioning and relevance (and staying relevant). The timing of this is ideal because just this week I noticed that ReturnPath, one of the leading providers for email deliverability (and checking to make sure you get into the inboxes you want to) changed their logo.

Here’s the old one

Return Path Old Logo



And here’s the new one:

ReturnPath new logo



I use ReturnPath for one of my education clients, and am active in their platform almost daily. The change was quite obvious. ReturnPath has had the first logo for the past 15 years and decided it was time for a reset. Their blog attributes the change to a need for a new look to more accurately match to the direction of the company, which has undergone tremendous growth.

Unlike some companies, who, during a rebrand stick close to the original design ReturnPath started from scratch. They went from a two color logo to one color, their font changed, they incorporated the need for a favicon for browser compatibility and they did an abstract RP (did you catch that)? I have mixed feelings about it, I prefer the old one, but I admire that they went with it anyway.

In addition to the new logo they’ve launched a new website. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of what was online last week compared to today:

Return Path Then and Now

The difference is not so subtle, right? The look and feel is now more open, airy and modern. It uses video, and moving images, and identifies their solutions right out the gate.

When you’re having conversations with clients about the need for an identity rebrand it’s a good idea to have practical examples that encourage them. Change is inevitable, and those who don’t change fall behind.

What are your thoughts on rebranding, or in particular, Returnpath’s rebrand? Yea or Nay?