Your logo is an essential piece to establishing your brand, and along with your colors and messaging, is the main element that gives you any kind of brand recognition. A logo shapes your brand’s personality; it helps to build brand identity; it’s usually the first visual people can glance at to identify an entire company. More often than not, you or a business owner you know, thinks of their logo as a permanent thing never to be touched again once business is up and moving. But your logo and the brand behind it is a fluid ever flowing and adjusting mediator between your business and your customers.

 Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a “final” logo and there shouldn’t be. Between changes in design trends, advances in technology, changes within the company, newer audiences, and newer competitors, original logos can, and will become out of date or out of touch with the current company. Meaning the design may no longer represent the brand it once served well.

When, Why and How to decide?

Knowing when to redesign your logo isn’t an exact science, so you’ll have to think things over thoroughly. It may seem a bit scary or unnecessary to take something that is well-known like a logo and tweak it.

Ultimately, you have to decide if and when a redesigned logo is necessary to reform your brand identity. If you are considering redesigning your brand’s logo, answer this question: why?

Why do you need to redesign your logo? here are 4 questions you can work through to understand if you should stay with what you currently have, or if it’s time to take the plunge and start from scratch.

1. Has my audience changed since the creation of my logo or business?

If you find yourself targeting a new audience or demographic, then it may be time to re-think your current logo design—especially if you’re having trouble connecting with them. For example, a mom and pop restaurant making the jump to more fine dining.

2. Is my logo dated?

It’s a simple and obvious question, but one that’s worth asking. If your logo was created in the 80s it’s more than likely time to enter the modern era. Not only is the aesthetic likely past its prime, but the design is probably not compatible with the myriad of technological devices that will be showcasing your logo—mobile devices, tablets and the like.

3. Has my business changed?

It’s not uncommon for businesses to expand or shift their focus, such as adding a new line of products, services or even merging with another company. If your business has changed in some significant way, consider changing your logo too to reflect those changes. It’s important for your visual brand to line up with your current brand’s message. For example, Federal Express launched its services in 1971. Their logo consisted of the company name with Federal in white letters against a navy-blue background and Express in red letters against a white background. When the company name changed to FedEx in 1994, it needed a complete redesign to represent the new brand identity. The redesigned logo with Fed in purple and Ex in orange has successfully represented the company ever since.

4. Is there a lack of consistency?

Is your logo and the elements attached to it being used in a consistent way at all touchpoints or is your logo and brand at the mercy of whoever happens to be the designer you’re working with at that moment in time. Having brand guidelines ensures consistency anywhere your logo is used. From the font(s) to the color palette, alternate design variations, and usage standards, it’s essential to stick to the brand guide following the logo creation process. If that’s the case, it’s wise to officially redesign the logo, establish brand standards and stick to the brand guidelines from that point onward.

Refresh vs. Redesign

Updating your logo doesn’t necessarily mean tearing it to shreds and starting over from scratch. You may want to consider a logo refresh, which is like a logo “upgrade” to help reflect current trends and be more aligned to your target audience. A logo refresh typically includes things like tweaking your color palette, fonts, changing or creating your tagline, and/or rearranging your logo’s shape.

On the other hand, a logo redesign is usually a much more drastic change to your current logo. Which often includes a new color palette, typography, shapes, icons, and also involves rethinking the entire brand message that’s behind your logo in the first place. Logo redesigns are a good way to reflect a fundamental change in your business, introduce a new name, or even reconnect with your target audience if you see that your current brand isn’t effectively doing so. Companies that have been around for some time typically redesign their logo when their market strategy completely changes, or if they see seriously declining sales and revenue; smaller businesses can consider a redesign if their initial brand message isn’t getting across to their customers with their current design.

Now what?

You’ve asked the important questions, done the research and are ready to move forward with your logo redesign or refresh. Now, it’s time to get to work. While most of the logo design process is going to be the same whether you’re on the first, fifth or tenth iteration of your logo, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • When redesigning do your best to avoid directly comparing your new logo options to your old as a measure of success. Instead, focus on how the new logo represents your brand or speaks to your customers.
  • Be sure to sleep on any new logo designs before finalizing. There’s no need to make rushed decisions.
  • A logo redesign—going with a new color or completely different design style, for example—will require larger changes to your branding and marketing collateral (like new business cards, a new website, etc). If you’re not ready to overhaul everything, consider keeping some elements the same!
  • Whether you’re redesigning or refreshing there should be some kind of association with the old and new unless the business itself has become something completely different than what it was. Identify which of your design elements are essential and which ones you can show the door.

Now, you’ve got a shiny new, redesigned (or refreshed) logo. What happens now?

To complete the journey from old logo to new, you’ll have to transition from where you once were to where you are today. This starts with deciding if you will phase in your new logo over a period of time or if you’ll rip off the band-aid and introduce your new logo on a set target date and celebrate the occasion with a formal announcement.

How Smart Link Can Help

So, only begin the redesign process when you’re 100% ready, as the consequences, both good and bad, can be huge. When you’re ready, we can help you start the process of redesigning (refreshing) your logo. Our team of creatives will guide you through every stage of the design process as painless and efficiently as possible. We will make sure that not only your logo but your brand is represented in a way that speaks to who you are and connects with your target audience. If you’re unsure if it’s time for a logo redesign, reach out to Smart Link Solutions, and we’ll be more than happy to offer beneficial and trustworthy insight!