The Best Redesigns of Summer 2023
by Rudy Sanchez on 09/25/2023 | 3 Minute Read
While Barbie collaborations and products inspired by the blockbuster film dominated the summer, you could also find plenty of well-executed brand refreshes that had nothing to do with the Mattel franchise.
Of course, one significant rebrand bears mentioning less for its design and more for its contribution to the ongoing saga of Elon Musk’s stewardship of social media platform X, formerly Twitter.
In his usual capricious business style, Musk suddenly and sloppily erased years of built-up brand equity for the popular social media platform. It’s a rare feat for a brand to become a bonafide verb worthy of inclusion in the dictionary. But the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX is infatuated with “X,” also the name of his first company. When his first X merged with Confinity, the new company would eventually rebrand as PayPal a year after Musk’s bitter departure.
Twitter’s rebrand to X came at the heels of another perplexing rebrand early this year. Warner Bros. Discovery dropped its rebrand bombshell in May, announcing that HBO Max would now be “Max.” That’s right, just Max. Perplexingly, in one fell swoop, the bosses at Warner Bros. Discovery eroded decades of brand prestige built on groundbreaking and compelling programs like The Wire and Game of Thrones.
But enough with confusing rebrands. Let's take a gander at some of summer’s best redesigns that also—refreshingly—don't use the letter "X."
Kraft Heinz’s Jell-O unveiled a brand refresh in late July by BrandOpus. The “O” in Jell-O remains the focus, while that and the rest of the brand adopt a more contemporary, minimized look that avoids corporate blandness. The refresh is fun and playful and remains recognizable to consumers who have grown up with the brand.
Few things are as delightful on a hot, sunny summer day as a Slurpee. The icy, slushy, and sweet concoctions are one of convenience store chain 7-Eleven’s most beloved and popular products, and this summer, it announced an update by Safari Sundays to the Slurpee brand ahead of its “holiday,” 7-Eleven day—July 11th. Get it?
Safari Sundays’ refresh includes new typography incorporating shapes reminiscent of the Slurpee drinks, including the upturned tip on the “S” that evokes the top of a recently pulled cup of icy deliciousness.
Curaleaf-owned cannabis brand Select also refreshed in time for a “holiday” in July. In Select’s case, the refresh by Los York and the internal Select design team was timed for July 10th, or 710, a day celebrating cannabis vaping. "710" spells “OIL,” referring to cannabis oil concentrates.
Select’s refresh is modern and youthful. The minimal design and focus on the new “S” logo are attractive and comply with 15 different state cannabis packaging regulations.
Austin-based prebiotic soda brand Mayawell underwent a significant brand refresh. The new visual identity by Guadalajara-based agency Heavy combines the brand’s Mexican and Austin roots.
Mayawell’s new packaging features glyph-like modern interpretations of Aztec and Maya mythical characters like the feathered serpent and jaguar. Typography is reminiscent of handpainted signs that give the new labels a bit of Austinite flair.
Seeing the explosive growth of the non-alcoholic (N/A) category, N/A beer brand Partake felt it needed to refresh its branding and packaging to be distinctive and drive purchasing decisions. The new packaging prioritizes the calorie count on the front of the can, and the refined color palette evokes confidence, pride, and shareability. The typography is elegant and reinforces the timeless look of Partake’s refresh.