Yesterday’s Brands, Today

Remaking classic company brands from Britain’s past

In a world where British industry is more a thing of the past than the present or future, it can be easy to look back, not forward, when people mention the great brands that originated in Blighty.

From Rover to Powergen, MFI and the ironically-named Triumph, we all have a favourite – but what would these bygone behemoths of British business look like if they were still on our streets today, with a fresh look to match modern tastes?

To celebrate domestic greatness of the past, Banana Moon commissioned an expert designer to recreate five now-defunct companies’ logos, to drag them into the modern age despite the fact their profit margins were unable to do the same.


A number of things were taken into account when creating each of our five company makeovers. Our specialist focused on colours, typefaces and styles of existing successful rebrands to catapult truly out-of-date logos and design elements into the 21st century, whether it meant redeveloping them from the ground up, or returning the companies to their roots.

Of course, these brands were iconic for a reason, and as such we’ve done our best to preserve the factors that made them recognisable in the first place – you won’t need an eagle eye to identify who’s who, at least if you’d seen each organisation’s precursor branding.

So, what can you expect from us over the next few weeks? Here’s our schedule for the coming month:

Our five brand makeovers
Next week, we’ll look at our first company of days gone by, Rover. Declared insolvent in 2005 after a few years of poor performance, it’s the only company on our list that did try to rebrand as a last-ditch attempt to modernise – but it was too late.

The following week, it’ll be a double header, featuring two stores that were once ubiquitous with high-street buyers: Rumbelows and Happy Shopper. The former – an electrical company that famously sponsored the Football League Cup from 1990 to 1992 – bit the bullet in 1995 after never making a profit in its 24 years of existence.

Meanwhile, happiness levels on the high street dropped in the late 1990s, when Happy Shopper stores were closed and the company was literally shelved – it’s now used as a brand name for a basic product line-up in corner shops around the UK.


As our penultimate post, we’ll be taking a look at a company familiar with an entire generation of gamers: Ocean Software. Famous for creating movie franchise titles for Sega, Nintendo, Sony and Sinclair consoles (among others), Ocean successfully pulled off the likes of Batman, Robocop and Jurassic Park – creating memories for hundreds of thousands of youngsters in the process.

Last but not least, we’ll take on that former powerhouse of primary industry that embodied British ingenuity and employed tens of thousands across our islands: British Steel.

Let us know if there are any brands you think should be included from Britain’s past – are there any that stand out in your mind that you want to be pulled out of the history books?

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