Carlsberg. Probably the best logo in the world?

Here’s a reminder of what Carlsberg’s logo used to look like, so you can play your own game of spot the difference…

It’s the quiet understatement of the new Carlsberg brand identity that makes it work so well for me.

The following clip shows how Carlsberg’s logo has evolved. But be warned – you may need to watch it more than once to appreciate the transformation!

For me, the designers have triumphed with their subtle development of the Carlsberg logo and packaging. They’ve created a more contemporary look by stealth. I’m sure many beer drinkers won’t have noticed the change at all. This is typical of many of our time-honoured brands, such as Heinz, McDonalds and Shell. 

Back in the ‘90s I was responsible for developing the Harry Ramsden’s logo for long distance visibility on signage. It was design projects like these that fuelled my passion for the intricate details within letterforms that only ‘designers’ – and those with an especially keen eye! – fully appreciate. 

Like most things that look simple, it’s more time-consuming than it looks to achieve that level of simplicity – and to get it so right that nobody even notices. 

Here’s an example of how subtle changes in typography made the Harry Ramsden logo more legible, making it much easier to read from a distance:

Let’s get back to lager though…

What I particularly like about the evolution of the new Carlsberg logo is the flow between the ‘ber’ letterforms and the whole expansion of the logo’s width:

The new proportions allow the logo to breathe. It feels more open and friendly. Also, the packaging illustrates a simplification in typography, together with the crown illustration. The colour red has been removed completely, resulting in a reduced colour palette, which is somehow more cheerful. 

Although not an industry first, I also like the way three cans placed together spell Carlsberg: 

Cheers, Carlsberg! I think it’s time to crack open our favourite can?

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