The New Nokia Logo: Rebranding An Icon

A logo is one of the most impactful representations of a brand. So, changing a logo is a huge step. Because a changed logo means a changed brand identity. And therefore, the brand image that you carefully built over the years is at stake. That’s why big brands make a careful calculative move when it comes to logo redesign. One such brand that has decided to break new ground with its logo change is Nokia. Have you seen the new Nokia logo? 

Everything from the font to the color and visual style appears fresh in this forward-looking logo from Nokia. But why the change? What’s the brand up to? What does this logo change mean for the brand? How is the world reacting to the logo? We’ll answer all these questions in this blog about the new Nokia logo. 

Nokia logo – the evolution story 

To understand the relevance and significance of the new logo let’s look back at the brand and its logos from the past. 

First Nokia logo 

The above image shows the first-ever Nokia logo from 1865. Yes, the brand is more than a century old! But Nokia was in a very different business back then and its name was Nokia Osakeyhtiö. It started out as a paper mill operation and as the business grew and the technology landscape progressed at unprecedented speeds, the brand pivoted in a very different direction. A good one, no doubt. 

While the old Nokia brand itself or its logo have no visible link to what Nokia is today, there are a couple of things to take away from the logo.

  • It’s an emblem logo which was accepted as a standard of elegance back in the day. 
  • The name itself comes from the name of the town, Nokia, where the business originated. The riverside town of Nokia is popular for fisheries businesses and hence the emblem. The logo captures the heritage of the brand.

The facelifted version from 1965 looks very similar to the first logo but more modern to suit the time. 

Brand pivot and Nokia logo 

Until 1992. Nokia also diversified its presence into other industries during which the Nokia logo went through a couple of iterations. But the brand continued to use its name in the logo consistently establishing its presence and creating brand recognition slowly but steadily. 

Nokia logo – after the brand stepped into the world of mobile phones 

Nokia has the credit for introducing the first GSM mobile phone in the commercial communication devices industry in 1992. And this revolutionized communication once and for all. Keeping the core idea in mind, the brand also introduced its well-known tagline – ”Connecting People”. 

The logo underwent a transformation to incorporate the newly introduced tagline and this is the Nokia logo that most people are aware of. 

What made this old Nokia logo so iconic that the newly introduced logo is being analyzed through a fine-toothed comb? Below are some aspects that made the old logo a big hit among its consumers: 

  • The simplicity of the old Nokia logo makes it memorable. This is also the factor that helped the logo stand the test of time. 
  • Font color – blue continues to be one of the most popular choices for large brands especially those in the technology sector. The blue in the Nokia logo represents credibility and professionalism. 
  • Different shapes are perceived differently. And when it comes to establishing a sense of community, circles are popular choices. The smooth rounded typeface of the old Nokia logo makes the brand appear more approachable. And it also relates to the idea of “connecting people”. Both of these work well for a B2C brand. 

Kimp Tip: If you look at the evolution of the Nokia logo from 1992, the typeface change as well as the omission of the tagline both helped create a more clutter-free design. And that’s a good thing because you do not want any distracting elements drawing attention away from the brand. 

Need help crafting a timeless and clutter-free logo for your brand? Get Kimp

Evaluating the new Nokia logo 

Any rebranding campaign, especially from a brand as huge as Nokia, grabs a lot of eyeballs. When this happens, people start talking about the brand. Now that social media makes it easier to share opinions and shout out from rooftops, it happens at an even larger scale. 

So, when a brand spanning generations decides to introduce a new logo, people dismantle the logo and scrutinize it from every angle. The new Nokia logo’s welcome was no different. 

This new Nokia logo was launched in February 2023. Lippincott the famed creative agency behind several brand campaigns of brands like Samsung and Starbucks has taken care of Nokia’s new rebranding as well. 

The logo looks like a fresh new take, a drastic leap from the classic that the brand has been using for decades. Want to know more about this logo, its design, and its purpose? Let’s dive right in. 

Opening to mixed reviews 

The new Nokia logo did not receive a warm welcome. 

Social media can be harsh sometimes and the reactions to the recent Nokia logo prove it without a doubt. 

Some users also compared the new Nokia logo to the new Kia logo. Not to forget, Kia was the other brand recently subject to intense scrutiny. 

In spite of all these criticisms, the brand did receive some good reviews from critics and designers from around the world. 

The backstory 

But are you wondering why the logo was suddenly changed? Here’s a quick background story.

Nokia became a pioneer in the mobile phone segment. But things changed after the birth of iPhones. 

The smartphone market share of Nokia, which was 49.4% in 2007 fell down to 3% in 2013. The brand tried to keep up with the evolving market through its smartphones but it really could not bounce back to its olden days of glory. And it died a slow death right in front of our eyes. 

But now Nokia is back in the market with an all-new vigor and an all-new approach. The most notable change was the shift from B2C to B2B. 

The brand is no more about mobile phones but about networks, for the “digitalization of industries”. To mark its brand pivot and to connect with a new target audience, the brand has introduced its new logo as a part of its massive rebranding effort. 

Aligned with the intent of rebranding 

Despite the responses from users on social media, the brand’s logo definitely makes an impression. And one of the main reasons for this is that the intent is clear. 

The key is to identify the right timing and reasons for rebranding. And Nokia nailed it in this case. The aim is to shift focus – to help customers stop seeing Nokia as a brand connected to mobile phones. For a drastic shift in perspective, you need a drastic change in the branding design indeed. 

Moreover, when you look at most rebranding campaigns, things change about the brand but often the target audience remains the same. But in this case, the new Nokia brand focuses on other businesses rather than consumers. Therefore, the facelift captures a shift in the visual style as well. 

Putting all these together, the new Nokia logo does justice to the fact that it is meant to represent a change of course. 

The font choice dispute 

One of the most discussed aspects of the new Nokia logo is the missing glyphs in the letters N, K, and A. Due to this some point out the gaps in readability. And how the logo reads like “AOCIA” 

But from a design perspective, the missing glyphs create an element of interest and every logo needs one. Without cluttering the layout and without disturbing the overall mood of the logo, the removed glyphs make the logo more intriguing. It makes the logo and therefore the brand appear bold. That perfectly captures the brand’s bold move to step away from its regular offerings and explore new realms. 

In addition to this, the choice of typeface is also a wise move. The old Nokia typeface, as we discussed a little while ago, was more “friendly” and “warm” since it was meant to connect with consumers. And the new Nokia logo’s typeface is more modern and elegant. The air of authority it has makes it perfect for the B2B approach that Nokia has taken right now. 

Kimp Tip: In spite of the many changes in its logo design, the brand has retained a few aspects like the color for example. Though it’s now bolder and brighter, it still uses blue as the primary color.  And the brand continues with a “wordmark” logo retaining the brand name. For a brand that has built a strong stance for itself over the last several decades, its name is definitely an easy identifier. 

Similarly, when you rebrand, it’s important to identify the most easily recognizable aspects of your logo that customers connect with so that you can retain it. 

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A clear message in the logo 

In addition to aesthetics and relevance to the brand, the introduced logo design should also have a clear message in it. That’s when it adds value to your rebranding effort. And the new Nokia logo ticks off this box as well. 

The characters in the logo do not make much sense on their own. But when they come together the brand is instantly recognizable. And Nokia’s new shift is about connecting things, about streamlining, and digitizing industries for focusing on the big picture. Don’t you think the message in the logo connects well with the brand message? 

Kimp Tip: When you refresh your logo design, ensure that your new design tells a story on its own. And use branding visuals and social media graphics to help your customers understand this story. This makes it easier for them to adapt to the change and accept your new logo and brand approach as well. 

So, is the new Nokia logo a hit or a miss? 

A logo being a hit or miss does not happen in a generic sense. After all, brands are not always communicating with designers who thoroughly inspect every aspect of the logo strictly from a design point of view. The logo is for consumers who have a prior understanding of the brand, a prior perception of the brand. And the brand’s logo is inseparable from this opinion framed of the brand. 

So, if the new logo does not live up to their expectations, if the logo does not feel relevant to the brand and its existing image, then the logo redesign misses the mark. On the other hand, if the new logo manages to tug heartstrings or connect the brand and consumers in a more meaningful way and if it manages to accurately capture the purpose of rebranding, then it’s a big hit. 

Taking this into account, in the case of the new Nokia logo, it’s still too early to come to a conclusion about whether the logo is a hit or a miss. Because the subsequent branding efforts that follow have a strong role to play as well. 

We would say, from the design point of view and from the perspective of capturing the intent of the rebranding, the new Nokia logo is definitely a trendsetter. 

Rebrand with confidence knowing that you have a designated design team to support you 

Rebranding does not happen overnight. Months if not years of meticulous planning followed by a carefully drafted execution plan improves the chances of your rebranding campaign’s success. A lot of designs are involved in the process. Right from a stunning new logo design to the graphics that help introduce your new logo to your customers, every little design counts. You need video teasers to build anticipation, social media images to make the announcement, and email graphics to help your customers get familiar with your new brand identity. What’s one way to have all these designs in one place? Sign up for a Kimp Graphics + Video subscription. 

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