PayPal’s New Logo & Brand Identity: Flop or not?

May 17, 2014

I love when popular corporate companies introduce new logos. Why? Because such a release invariably leads to much heated debate and controversy within the design community. In researching for this article, I once again found just that. Some authors bestow high praise on PayPal and its new logo revamp while others boldly state that the new PayPal logo is a complete flop and absolute waste of time. So who do you listen to in these types of scenarios? After all the opinions, how can you not be more confused than you were before? Unfortunately, I don’t have really have an answer to either of these questions but, after listening to both sides of the arguments, it does become quite apparent that some opinions are more thoughtfully planned out that others.

Before I get too lost in my own rant, let’s back up a minute and have a look at what PayPal has actually done. For those of you whom aren’t very familiar with PayPal, PayPal is the eCommerce giant for online businesses. PayPal is the “original innovator in digital payments” and it provides a safe, easy and secure way for businesses and individuals to make and receive payments online. PayPal has always pitted itself against traditional financial institutions, advertising that they are the innovative alternative to traditional banking practices. PayPal has only ever re-branded its services once and it has been using this same logo since 2007.

PayPal logo evolution PayPal logo evolution

The new PayPal logo and brand identity was designed by fuseproject and it was their mission to take the PayPal brand into the future. Specifically, fuseproject needed to create a new brand identity for PayPal that focused on mobile technology. After two decades of boasting that PayPal is the digital payment method of the future, their old and tired logo just wasn’t keeping up with task.

PayPal logo development PayPal logo development

The new PayPal logo of 2014 is modern, bold and youthful. It focuses on connection (see how the two Ps are now joined and overlap) and forwardness (look to the italic, forward leaning letters). The new PayPal logo uses a much bolder monogram that is still very iconic. It is much more functional monogram that is better suited to smaller, mobile screens. The blue’s used in the logo are also much more vibrant giving the new logo a lot more life and energy. I also like how the designers at fuseproject decided to use a much more youthful Futura typeface that helps PayPal to stay competitive in the modern digital age.

PayPal on Computers PayPal on Computers
PayPal branding PayPal branding

Many of the objections to the new PayPal logo focus heavily on the fact that the new PayPal logo isn’t truly a logo revamp and that the new logo too closely resembles the old. I strongly disagree. Yes, the new PayPal logo isn’t something entirely new but I think that this was a very conscious and important decision made by the PayPal and the fuseproject team. In the new logo, the core elements of PayPal’s original identity are still very much intact, as they should be. PayPal is a company that ensures that your money is stable and safe and its brand identity needs to something that everyone easily recognizes on a webpage or on their smartphone. A total do-over of their original long-standing logo design would have lead to a loss in their brand recognition and trust which, overall, would have severely crippled PayPal.

If you are a company that is looking for a new logo or brand identity, check out the amazing and affordable logos and business cards available here. Also, please note that all the images in this article were taken from the fuseproject website.

What do you think? Do you agree with me? Do you like the new PayPal logo or not?

Sarah Williams




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