If there is one thing that the music industry takes very seriously, it is an iconic logo. Then Warner Bros. Records announced a major rebranding earlier today – complete with a new name, Warner Records – responded biz quickly and viscerally to social media.
The new black-and-white logo replaced the WBR shield, which has defined the appearance of the 61-year-old label for decades. The company described its design as "artificial simplicity and stylish style ideal for the digital world" while the circle "suggesting a record, a sun and a globe is a nod to the past, present and future of the labels." drive the point home, wrote the sticker logo on Instagram and wrote "WeareWarnerRecords: Born in the California sun, home all over the earth."
Warner, as the label is known at all, uses design studio Pentagram for rebranding. The company also moved into new offices in March ̵
So what has the reaction been? Mixed, with some spit in the break from tradition. "Warner (Brothers) Records has really left Burbank," wrote Cary Baker, founder of PR Conqueroo in a Facebook post that has generated more than 60 comments. Julie Gordon, the former moderator of the music industry bulletin board Velvet Rope, was also not impressed with the new design. "Sorry, I think this logo is totally boring and uninspired," she wrote. Elsewhere on Facebook, the WBR alum offered Bucks Burnett: "As an artist and a former Warner Bros Records employee, I would say that this new logo simply blows lumps. They've acted in the timeless iconic WB logo for something that is generally generic. "
Others took the opportunity to poke fun, with an observer suggesting that "the sun is on the record industry" and another fun at Twitter, the logo was a trainee creation.
Although it is not uncommon for a label to change its brand identity when a new executive team comes in, the last decade has seen such iconic companies like Capitol and Epic Records appear in the 90's logos in favor of it more vintage vibe of its older designs, and recently, Arista Records resumed with a smooth new look – Warner's image movement was somehow pre-determined.
According to today's announcement, when Warner Music Group was sold by Time Warner in 2004 to a group of investors led by Edgar Bronfman Jr., it was agreed that Warner Bros. Records, founded in 1958 as a division of Warner Bros. Pictures, would continue to use Warner Bros. Name and logo for 15 years. The expiry date declined in 2019, which is a coincidence, as the Warner brand has undergone dramatic changes in leadership and artist roosting over the past few years (Aaron Bay-Schuck joined the United States Co-President and CEO in October 2018 after Tom Corson's appointment to US Co-President and COO in January 2018). In preparation for the new look, artist managers and label stakeholders were informed and / or consulted with a source.
In fact, those who support the brand's new beginnings emphasized the boldness of the strong black and white design. "It's a very graphic strong logo," wrote photographer Beth Herzhaft. Former Warner employee David Gorman also declares to "dig" the look, like Concord Musics Joel Amsterdam. But perhaps best highlighted is a comment back by Greg Lee, a former Warner promoter who offers: "At the end of the day, a new building and logo is fine, but that's the music that matters most … and what will they define them as a brand and a brand. "
Warner Records is still transferring its email addresses and other offices are following in the coming weeks.
Artists signed on Warner Records include Neil Young, Green Day, Dua Lipa, Gary Clark Jr. and Bebe Rexha, among many others.