Your company logo is a core element of your brand identity. In today’s digital world, logos are used in so many more ways than they were in the past. In addition to all of the conventional uses — signage, stationery, packaging, advertising, print collateral — now your logo needs to work in tiny, cluttered digital spaces, like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. If your logo is struggling to work, it may be time for a refresh or redesign.
Things to consider before jumping in
- Are you having trouble using your logo in various applications? Does it look bad on your social media profiles and posts?
- Are you doing things that violate your logo standards to make it work? Do you have multiple versions of your logo in use that don’t match?
- Does your logo seem dated? It’s one thing to have a classic/timeless logo. However, if your logo looks tired, maybe it needs a refresh.
- Do you have a reason to change your logo? If your company has undergone change, such as adding an additional line of service or product line, it may be time. Or, if you are celebrating a milestone such as moving headquarters or celebrating 50 years in business, it may be time.
- Do you want a refresh or a redesign? A refresh of your logo may involve subtle changes in typography and design or color. Chuck E. Cheese has evolved their mark over the years. When you see its entire evolution, it looks pretty dramatic. A redesign means starting from scratch. When Brandt moved their corporate headquarters, they decided to abandon their old mark for a new one that better reflected their core values and mission.
Before jumping in
How much do you have invested in your logo? If you’re a global company with many locations, think about how much it’ll cost to replace your logo. Do an audit of your logo and where it’s used throughout locations and departments (don’t forget accounting). Also, if you do replace your logo, should you do it all at once, or in phases? When Bank of America rebranded after the NationsBank acquisition, they launched regionally. If you have your logo on a fleet of trucks, for example, you may want to phase your logo in as you replace your fleet. Maybe you annually order uniforms for replacement. Stage a flash sale in your company store. Just do a logo audit when thinking about change.
What is a logo refresh?
A refresh of your logo takes the strong, recognizable elements and addresses the weaknesses. This may include:
- Simplifying elements (e.g. removal of drop shadows, gradients, details)
- Changing colors
- Updating your typeface
- Removing elements of your logo (e.g. Dunkin Donuts, just ditching the Donuts)
- Changing the scale and proportion of elements (e.g. Ikea altered the aspect ratio of its logo to be more legible tiny)
- Rearranging elements of your logo
Think of a refresh as adapting to the times — a cosmetic makeover, not plastic surgery.
Ditch the logo — start from scratch
If it’s time to focus on a “new you” — to focus on new products and services and change your perception in the marketplace — start over. This won’t be simple and needs time and money and a vested interest from the top.
If you’ve decided you need a refresh or a redesign, what are the next steps? Who are you going to engage? If you have in-house creative, you may be limiting yourself in this exercise. Crowdsourcing has become popular and you may get lucky and land on a good one. However, this is an investment and core to your company and using a brand agency would be well worth the investment.
Whatever your decision, you need to prepare for reactions to your new logo, in positive and negative ways.
Sears recently launched their new logo, here are some examples of the “feedback” they received on social media:
- Air B&B called — said they want their logo back.
- If I saw that logo from the highway, I’d guess it was either a filling station or a soft ice cream store.
- A new logo is not going to save Sears.
- Sears to design team probably: we want our new logo to SCREAM Airbnb, but also make it look WAY more like a vagina.
- Sears has decided to roll out a new logo, which may look familiar to you. Depending on how often you rent vacation homes, it may look very familiar.
Everyone is a designer and has an opinion. Do not ask for public opinion. You are opening the door for a lot of criticism. They’ll get used to it.