Intel steps outside with minimalist new logo

A fresh new look for a brand that desperately needs reinvention.

Nope, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you. Intel has a new logo. The chipmaker's brand refresh was made official alongside today's announcement of its 11th-generation Core processors.

Intel's logo was last switched up in 2006. The new logo ditches the ring that encircled the typeface for a stripped-down and minimalist version. RIP to an iconic logo that has been slapped on millions of laptops and desktops.

Intel's got a whole blog post about how the logo refresh aligns with its renewed identity and focus. It's a text wall of marketing jargon, but here's the most important bit:

The new look and feel of the Intel brand is purposeful and inspired by Robert Noyce’s quote: “Don’t be encumbered by history. Go off and do something wonderful.”


Brand reboot — The new logo comes amidst turmoil at Intel. The company has continuously failed to ship 7nm chips for new computers and said during its last earnings call that the chips would be delayed until 2022. Intel blamed the delay on poor yield rates.

This delay has allowed rival chipmaker AMD to swoop in to narrow the gap with its more affordable, more powerful, and more energy-efficient Ryzen chips, which are based on the 7nm chip design.

Intel also suffered another major blow this year: Apple's breaking up with it. The iPhone maker announced at this year's WWDC that it's transitioning Macs to "Apple silicon." These chips are designed by Apple and are based on ARM architecture, which it says will allow it to get better performance, better power efficiency, and tighter integration with its software. Apple said it's expecting the transition to take two years and it should be smooth considering macOS will include a Rosetta 2 emulator for running x86-based apps. The public breakup has led many pundits to sound the alarm on Intel.

RIP old Intel logo.picture alliance/picture alliance/Getty Images

Going beyond the surface — The new logo feels a bit boring. I don't think anyone would call it fun like the brand's previous "Intel Inside" badge and the uneven "e" in the original 1969 logo. But what Intel needs to do more than anything is make sweeping changes within the company. Improve yield rates, and boost performance not just with its CPUs, but also improve its weaksauce integrated graphics.

Intel's still a behemoth in the computer industry. It's not going anywhere for a long time. But the cracks are showing. A fresh logo can only paint over the underlying problems so much.