What We Think of Amazon Prime and Skype’s Sneaky Logo Changes

4 years ago

Companies are getting older, services are getting older, and changes are happening in the logo world. Recently, two big changes have happened to Amazon Prime and Skype: They…updated their logos! In the logo news world, that’s big.

Being a design company means that we like to get our two cents in about, you know…design, so:

Skype’s Drop of the Bubble

I am the first to say that I actually liked the old Skype logo – it’s distinct, whimsical, and friendly. However, it’s also horribly ugly and hard to read, but incredibly recognizable.  This logo has been the representation of the company since 2003 when it was a cute, fun, Danish startup. It’s true…the original logo is whimsical, but in a meaningless way. You can have a logo full of whimsy as long as the whimsy relates to your business – a cat licking a word in your business name, for example, when you take care of cats – but whimsy without purpose just says “unprofessional”.

Skype has changed hands about four times since its founding, and none of those companies have updated the logo. Since Microsoft acquired Skype in 2012, the bubble “S” has been the icon for Microsoft, but Skype retained its bubbly “Skype” as well – until now. Microsoft has made the Skype logo look more like its other product logos, such as Microsoft Word, to incorporate it into the team of Microsoft work horses.

With the logo comes some pretty hefty changes to the service itself, and…well…frankly, we simply refuse to discuss that, but you can see for yourself.

Amazon Prime Thins Out

Gone is the chunky lettering that used to represent this premium Amazon service; here comes a different font, capitalization, and even check mark. This is the first time this logo has ever been changed.

What We Think

 

Our art lead, Jenni, weighed in on this puppy. Overall, while it is a positive change, she had some concerns:

The standalone “Skype” text is horrible. I think they were maybe trying to make the logo look a little more grown up – since the ‘before’ concept could come across a little young with the bubbles and chubby text – but this is a step towards a very “blah brand”. I don’t understand what they were trying to communicate with that font.

Get ’em, Jenni.

​Seems like a lateral move to update the logos like this. Maybe this is an intermittent step towards what they see as the final logo but these are really forgettable. Clients are constantly asking us to stay away from “clip art” logos – which I hear as “make it unique” and I can’t imagine how my clients would react if I showed them either of the two logos as initial comps.

So what if we had designed them?

That’s a really good question and it would depend on what the marketing team is telling them. What does the new logo need to show that the old logos didn’t? The direction they are trying to travel in most influences things like this. ​If, for example, Skype wanted do ditch the ‘cutsey/youthful’ look, I do agree the bubbles and fonts need to be reconsidered but maybe instead of stripping down everything entirely, reconsider how those elements could be adjusted to better represent their new approach.

But the shade of blue (that both logos have, here) is actually a good thing….

​It’s approachable and clean looking. Its bright without shouting “look at me”​!! Blue is also associated with reliability, loyalty and of being established. There is also the literal ‘the sky is blue’ approach that Skype maybe went with since its this non-physical service… like ‘we are all around you all the time’ kind of thing.
While we aren’t sure what we would have done if we had been on this job, it probably wouldn’t have been this. Being that these are big brands, they may be able to get away with forgettable logos. They’re already established; no one is going to stop using Amazon because their Prime logo is weak. However, these companies took a long time to build their images before they switched to something…standard.
Which makes it even more important that you establish an awesome logo, brand, color scheme, you name it – from the START.
That way, you can have cats licking your logo later on when everyone already adores you.

What do you think?

How are you feeling about these logo changes? Are they neutral? Dumb? Fantastic?

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