Updating Brand Logos: Re-Design or Refresh?

Our most recent blog posts focused on voice search, video marketing, social media, and mobile platforms. Now it’s time to revisit the basics. Your company’s logo. When was the last time you gave it any thought for improvements?

Your logo provides more information about your company than you might expect. When customers view your logo, questions run through their minds – consciously and subconsciously. Some of these questions include:

  • Do I trust this company?
  • Does this company know what it is doing?
  • What’s the “vibe” I get from this company?
  • Is  this company looking to the future or resting on the past?

Why Should I Update?

Over the course of time, logos can grow outdated or tired. Large companies with long histories encounter this quite often. They are successful for so long that their logos require an update from time to time to keep from growing stale. For some examples, just take a look at the progression of logos for companies such as Apple, Google, and Pepsi. Even the most subtle changes keep them modern and clean.

Small companies and startups also run up against this matter, but sometimes for different reasons. Often, start ups get organized so quickly, they don’t spend a great deal of time on their logos. The good news is – they don’t let their logo slow down their launch. The unfortunate news is – sometimes logos approved in haste require a new look sooner than expected to improve quality or maintain relevancy.

Should I Redesign My Logo or Simply Refresh It?

Deciding whether to refresh your logo or completely redesign requires some careful consideration. We recommend an in-depth review of the following:

  • Do clients and the public readily recognize your logo?
  • Is your logo still relevant to your brand today?
  • Is your logo indicative of your future vision?

If the answer to these questions is “yes,” then a significant change is likely not necessary.  Perhaps only a small modernization will suffice for a fresh look (see below for guidance in this area).  

However, if the answer to these questions is “no,” then a refresh is definitely in order if not a completely new look. Complete logo re-designs can be costly in time and resources, though worth it in the right circumstances.

A final question to consider regarding logo changes:

  • What will the logo change/update cost?

Keep in mind that the cost to change your logo goes beyond paying a designer for time and effort. When you change your logo, you will need to update all your marketing materials (your website and other digital media), your promotional materials (think decals, mugs, and other consumable products with your image on them), and any other instances where your brand appears (advertising, professional listings, etc.).

Is a Refresh Worth It?

The bottom line is yes. Your logo projects your company and its vision better than any other marketing item in your quiver. You want your potential customers to see your brand as a relevant and viable option. Accordingly, you should preserve the most visible aspect of your brand from growing tired or dull.

How to Stay Relevant with a Simple Refresh

If you determine that a simple refresh is the best course for your image, here are some simple ways to accomplish a more modern, relevant look:

  • Update your color palette or typeface
  • Choose graphic elements and colors that draw your target audience closer
  • Simplify designs for a cleaner, fresh look
  • Improve readability and make your logo small screen friendly

How Often Should I Refresh?

While there’s no hard rule for when a refresh is in order, we recommend reviewing the questions above every 5-10 years. Then, respond as needed. A regular evaluation of your logo and its relevance will ensure your graphics are kept up to date along with your strategic goals and objectives.

Need a Nudge? We can Help!

As you weigh the best option for your logo refresh or re-design, feel free to call on our team of experts who can provide experienced guidance on relating to your audience and avoiding outdated trends in graphic design. This will set your logo up for a longer lifespan so you and your team can get to work showing off the tremendous performance that backs up your image.

And, if you’ve recently gone through the process of a refresh/redesign, send us your “before and after” images so we can congratulate you on a job well done! We look forward to helping you strengthen your online presence and brand recognition.

About the Author:

Deedra Hughes

Experienced President with a demonstrated history of working in the marketing and advertising industry. Skilled in Digital Strategy, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Integrated Marketing, Advertising, and Pay Per Click (PPC). Strong business development professional with a Bachelor’s Degree focused in Communications from Ohio University.

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