Should You Update Your Logo?

January 19, 2016 | brand identity

How do you know when it is time to update your logo? As you know, a logo is a recognizable and distinctive graphic design, styled name, or unique symbol that is used to identify an organization or company. It is a visual element used in many areas, such as advertising, communications, literature, products, stationary, uniforms, vehicles, and signs. A lot of thought and planning goes into the design of a logo as it represents an organization’s brand.

Logo redesigns are common. As your company grows, its interests diversify, and its personality and values change. You logo should too. Ask yourself if your logo still represents your brand well. If not, it is probably time to consider a new logo. Also, if you feel that your current logo is outdated, it might also be time to freshen it up a bit so that your customers know that your company is evolving along with them. Remember that the purpose of a logo is to visually communicate your company and its values.

It is a big decision to change your logo, especially if you have an iconic brand. People don’t always deal with change well, so they may initially criticize your logo. Redesigning your logo is a financial investment. In addition to paying for a new design, you will need a plan to update your logo wherever it is used so that your brand continues to have a consistent look and feel.

Should you make a big change or make minor tweaks to your logo? You might want to read a recent article located on the Creative Market site, The 12 Best and Worst Logo Redesigns of 2015, to help you decide.

There are basically three types of logos: 1) symbol, 2) text, and a 3) combination of symbol and text. A symbol is a small picture, such as creatures, places, things, expressions, and ideas, which represents a company or organization. Text logos utilize the name of the organization or its monogram. The typeface you chose should show the personality your organization. Very often these two elements are combined.

Using just a symbol is not easy, especially if your business and brand are not well-known. Many people can identity the Nike swish, McDonald’s golden arches, and the AT&T world sphere without any additional text, however these companies used their symbol along with text for many years before people came to recognize them just by their symbol.

Another thing to consider is whether or not you should follow a trend. You can see examples of six current trends in this article, 2016 Logo Design Trends Forecast, located on the Just Creative website.

  1. Flat Design
  2. Flat design logos are created with simple lines, shapes, and colors. They look good on any browsing device, which is important to many businesses these days. Some good examples are the Microsoft, Windows, Office, Xbox, Bing, and Apple logos.

  3. Handmade
  4. A handmade logo is any logo design that incorporates a sketch or scribbled letters. These logos communicate honesty and are more intimate and personal than other logos. Small local shops tend to use this type of logo. Here is an example from my portfolio.

  5. Dynamic
  6. Dynamic logos, kinetic logos, and logos that change-but-remain-the-same are three similar logo trends that offer freshness and connect with many people because the logo becomes more personal. These logos make consumers unconsciously aware of the direction and diversification of the company and brand. The best known examples are the Google Doddle and Nickelodeon. Here is an example from my portfolio.

  7. Negative Space
  8. Negative space is something you see first, but then it speaks to you and you understand what it is saying. Most people are aware of the arrow in the FedEx logo or the kiss in the Hershey logo. Other examples include the World Wildlife Fund, the Bronx Zoo, and City of Melbourne.

  9. Letterstacking
  10. The letters that have been rearranged in these logos. They don’t necessarily read from left to right, but are more abstract. Some examples of this type include the Griffin Theater Company, Oakland Museum of CA, Philadelphia History Museum, and Sky Spa. Here is an example from my portfolio.

  11. MonoLines
  12. These logos are designed with a single-width line, similar to a wire. They are clean and clear, and also have a hint of handmade. Some examples of this type of logo include the Urban Sugar Mobile Café, Day of the Dead, and Coterie Market.

If you decide to go forward with a logo redesign, chose a graphic designer whose work you admire. Allow enough time for the designer to create a new design. Make sure that the new design clearly reflects your brand as you will be using your new logo for several years.