Unlike fine wines, most corporate logos don’t improve with age. In fact, with so many consumer and technology firms changing course and evolving at lightning speed, most logos are unlikely to survive beyond a three-year shelf life. If your company logo is in need of a makeover, be sure to check out these logo redesign tips and trends.
Biggest Reasons to Change Your Logo
Redesigning a business logo often translates into a fairly large expense because it means not only redesigning the logo itself, but also reproducing all exterior signage, product packaging, communications assets (both digital and print), and even trade show displays.
That’s why many companies will only tackle a logo redesign project as part of a larger national or global rebranding effort, which involves updating graphical elements (including logos), the company’s slogan or tagline, corporation mission, value proposition and marketing focus to more accurately reflect the businesses’ product/service evolution and changing target demographic.
Logo Redesign Prep Work
Before you jump right into the design phase of your logo makeover, you’ll want to spend some time studying your current logo. Sit down with your marketing team and ask yourselves the three essential logo redesign questions:
- What is it about our current logo that just doesn’t work anymore?
- Which elements of the existing logo do we absolutely have to keep?
- How can we make the new logo different but still easily recognizable by existing customers?
Your discussion notes from this meeting will provide valuable, time-saving guidelines for your graphic designer and prevent them from straying too far away from your design goals.
The evolution of the Starbucks logo from 1971 to today perfectly illustrates the importance of asking the three essential logo redesign questions, focusing on (1) what needs to go, (2) what has to stay, and (3) how much can we change it and still keep it recognizable?
What’s Trending in Logo Design
“Fashion is about dressing according to what’s fashionable. Style is more about being yourself.”
— Oscar de la Renta
Despite their popularity, the latest trends in clothing and fashion design simply don’t work for every person or body type. And the same goes for your company logo. Some graphic design trends actually go against your brand and your carefully cultivated public image.
It doesn’t hurt to stay abreast of logo design trends, however, especially if the biggest complaint about your current logo is that it’s “dated.”
Over the past 18 months or so, some of the most popular logo design trends have evolved to include:
- Responsive designs
- Simple, streamlined designs
- Fun, humorous or playful execution
- Designs featuring geometric shapes
- Grid-based designs
- Bright, bold colors
Embracing the trend toward bright, bold colors, Angie’s Artisan Treats, LLC, incorporates an eyebrow-raising hot pink into their Boom Chicka Pop logo, along with a variety of unusually bright packaging colors.
The Two Most Important Logo Redesign Elements
Revamping a corporate logo is tricky business. Stray too far away from the original logo design in a way that’s misaligned with your brand and you risk provoking public criticism on social media.
Truth is, when it comes to the graphic design elements of logo makeovers, even the slightest change in font or color can be graded as an epic fail if not executed properly.
FONTS. As good graphic designers know, applying different typefaces to a logo completely transforms the tone and message of the piece. There are literally thousands of fonts out there, and each one lends its own unique style and emotion to any graphic design project.
If you’re overwhelmed at the thought of paging through thousands of fonts, you can start by reviewing the five basic font types and how they’re generally used:
- Serif fonts — These fonts are considered classic and conservative. Use them when you want to convey an image of a company that can be trusted.
- Slab serif fonts — These fonts have thicker strokes and appear larger and more dramatic than regular serif fonts. Use them when you want to convey an artsy or vintage feel.
- Sans serif fonts — These fonts are space-saving and easy to read on nearly any platform. They work particularly well on digital screens due to their simplicity.
- Script fonts — These fonts look more formal and generally contain a lot of flourish. Use them when you want to convey elegance and sophistication, but be aware that most script fonts are difficult to read at smaller sizes and many are not suited for digital screens.
- Handwritten fonts — These fonts are meant to imitate actual handwriting styles. Depending on the typeface in question, a handwritten font can convey a casual vibe or excitement and drama.
Wendy’s old logo featured a combination of serif and slab serif fonts that lent a Western feel and emphasized the “old fashioned” part of their tagline. Their new logo sports a casual, sans-serif font, resulting in a much more contemporary piece.
COLOR. Color has such emotion-invoking and subliminal-messaging potential that an entire pseudo-science has been built around it. The psychology of color, for example, tells us that yellows convey warmth, reds stir excitement, and blues invoke a sense of trust, dependability and strength. Even just changing the tint or brightness of a chosen logo color can have a dramatic effect on how the logo is perceived — i.e., what was once seen as a “friendly” orange is now viewed as harsh or abrasive.
In the End, Logo Versatility Is Key
Whether you’re going for a full redesign or just a simple logo refresh, it’s critical that your new logo is versatile, portable and fully responsive to any publishing environment. Between your company letterhead, business cards, product packaging, outdoor signage, websites, social media, PPC ads, digital downloads, and trade show displays, it’s highly likely that a single logo design style simply won’t be enough.
For optimum versatility, you’ll want to get multiple iterations of your new logo designed ahead of time so that you’re never caught off guard by a new media placement request.
The Dunkin’ Donuts logo is an example of the kind of versatility and responsiveness that’s needed when embarking on a logo redesign project. Multiple styles and iterations provide enough flexibility for their logo to be applied to virtually any type of media.
Ready for a new look? EXHIB-IT! offers a full line of professional graphic design services, including logos, brochures, business cards and more to help you tell your story in print.