Every so often, a company needs a freshening up. The world’s major brands know it–just run a Google search for Pepsi-Cola’s logo progression and you’ll see what I mean. Even we here at Cinderhawk know that, as we just recently finished updating our own logo and website.
That being said, the decision to redesign your logo is not one to be taken lightly.
The logo is at the forefront of your company, the first image you present to your potential customers, a visual representation of everything you stand for and the impression you intend to make. While some institutions might insist that it is better to keep your logo the same–if not for ease of recognition, then as a symbol of a company’s stability through time–the fact of the matter is that only you and your company can know if the decision to redesign is the right choice.
I’m here to help you make that decision.
1. Your logo is outdated
How long has your company been in business? When was your logo initially designed? Have your competitors already modernized their own logos?
Just as in the fashion industry, design styles and trends change over time. That archaic, hand-drawn, monochromatic logo with the novel of text and slightly asymmetrical circle may have passed for a logo in 1950, but that probably isn’t the case in 2016. Reference your competitors’ designs, as well as other companies’ so that you can find out what works before diving into the process of a redesign. And remember, a redesign doesn’t mean a completely NEW design–it can also mean just a “freshening up.” But, if your logo makes your customers think they’ve been sent through a time portal back to the 1950s, you might want to nip that in the bud.
2. The logo no longer reflects your brand culture or industry
Perhaps you merged with another company or were bought out. No matter the story, if your logo screams printing company when you’re actually involved in the medical tech industry, you’ve got one hell of a problem that needs to be addressed immediately because your customers won’t know what it is you do. How can you tell? I’ll say it again–research your competitors and find out what works.
3. It’s inconsistent across your marketing materials
When you first opened for business, maybe your five year old daughter was in charge of all your designs. That’s all well and good, if it still works for your company today. But if there is inconsistency across your marketing materials–that is, your business cards look different than your website, and your website looks different than your brochures–you’re only confusing your customers and making it harder for them to remember your brand. And it’s never good when a customer can’t remember who you are or what you do!
4. Your target market has changed
As your company grew, perhaps you discovered that it was more popular with teenagers than with your original intended market of 30-40 year olds. Or maybe it was more popular with men than with the intended market of women. Whatever the situation, a logo that is designed to be attractive to one market may not be attractive to your new market. If it is, great! But if it isn’t–and you’ll know because your new market will tell you so, be it through surveys or social media–it’s time to adapt.
5. Your logo is too complex
Yes, it is possible for a logo to be too complex. This statement can be taken one of two ways, however. The first is that the logo is too complex, read: too busy, and your customers are confused. The second is that it is too complex, read: too complicated, and is difficult to reproduce across different marketing materials.
Perhaps the logo is too strung out horizontally to display well on narrow mobile devices. Perhaps that beautiful tree with the multi-color leaves is too expensive to have printed in full color. Or maybe that intricate, detailed floral pattern that would look wonderful embroidered on a polo shirt can’t be embroidered without becoming a tangled knot of thread. If any of these are the case with your logo, it’s probably time to tweak or redesign completely.
6. It looks just like everyone else’s logo
This is never, ever, EVER a problem you want to have. The very last thing you want is for your company to be confused with another company–least of all one of your competitors! If your logo is too similar to someone else’s, change it.
7. The logo is just plain ugly
It goes without saying that an ugly, poorly-designed logo is just a bad idea. That lopsided circle and neon green on yellow in four different font styles…well, maybe it’s not quite THAT bad, but if your logo looks like it could easily fit alongside Frankenstein’s monster, at the same time that you find yourself in awe of a competitor’s logo, it might be time to freshen things up. Even more importantly, if your customers are telling you to change it up, listen to them!