Johnson & Johnson puts a Band-Aid on a product's branding

Changing the branding of a company—a logo, or a name, is one way of signaling a strategic company change to the marketplace. Perhaps a company is entering a new marketing, or has merged with another company. Or maybe the brand’s perception has been tarnished, and it wants to signal that things have changed.

For Johnson & Johnson, the decided to change the Band-Aid logo and establish a new direction that represented the future of the brand. Dresser looked back to the "pop" feel of a mid-century version of logo and updated it for the 21st century, creating a bolder, more distinctive look that better stands out on drugstore shelves.

Band-Aid adhesive bandages were originally invented in 1920, and over the past century, the familiar red, white and blue of the brand has done much to establish the look of first aid packaging at retail.

"My goal for the logo restoration was to create a timeless design," says Kevin Dresser of the New York-based design firm Dresser Johnson who were commissioned to do the redesign,"Band-Aid is an iconic American brand. I wanted to honor that heritage and at the same time create something that feels contemporary and modern."

At first blush, the logo doesn’t look that different, but the devil is in the details with the letterforms taller and more condensed which the company says gives the identity a more prominent position on packaging.

The logo was last updated in the late 1980s and the letterforms appeared to have been compressed horizontally, causing the horizontal strokes to be much heavier than the vertical stems. The logo contained an unusual hyphen shaped like a parallelogram, a typographic idiosyncrasy left over from an Art Deco-era version of the logo. The company and designer concluded that the spacing and kerning of the typography was too tight, and the counter-space of the letter A was too small and did not work well at small sizes. In total, the logo did not create a cohesive image.

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