Have you heard? Netflix just redesigned its logo. Just a few months prior, so did Black & Decker, Yahoo, VISA, Absolut Vodka, and a long list of other major companies. That’s because every logo design has a shelf life, one that varies from business to business. So how do you know if your logo is becoming stale? Good question. Here are the answers.
1) Revamp your logo design if it looks unprofessional or too generic. Your logo conveys the quality and professionalism of your company and should reflect your corporate mission and values. A poor quality logo does damage to any company, at any size. Often early-stage businesses choose overly complicated, obscure or cluttered logo designs that screams old fashioned. Aim for a simple, clean design with a stylish flourish. Another common mistake is to choose a logo that looks too similar to a competitor’s. Your logo design should always be unique to your unique brand.
2) Refresh your logo if the design is out of date. If your logo was designed five or more years ago, you should consider updating the design, because styles change. Assuming there’s value in your current brand, consider a subtle tweak before starting from scratch. Retain design elements that still work while losing those that don’t. Your objective is to bring your look up to date without losing your original appeal and audience.
3) Make over your logo if your company is headed in a new direction. Maybe you’re adding new products, new technology, or are breaking into new markets. Or perhaps you’ve repositioned your brand within your market in response to new consumer trends. Whatever the change in focus or circumstance, assess your logo to ensure it aligns with your business goals. As companies grow, they often evolve beyond their original logo design and require a “ground-floor” makeover. The bigger the change in direction, the bigger the change in design needed.
4) Redesign your logo if it doesn’t look good on all common devices, platforms and media. To accommodate the many types of marketing platforms that now exist, most large companies have different versions of their core logo design in a variety of file formats. At the very least, you should have horizontal and vertical (or “stacked) versions of your logo. For example, for Twitter, you will need a rendition of your logo that’s square and iconic. This kind of adaptability is another reason that simplification is a major trend in logo design today. The less complicated your core logo design, the easier it will be to adapt it across all types of devices and channels.
5) Redesign your logo if it’s not connecting with customers. Ultimately, what your target audience thinks about your logo is what matters most. If you’re unsure of their thoughts, ask for feedback. Does your brand promise match your product? Only your customers and potential customers can answer this question fully.
A final note of caution: never redesign your logo because of fatigue. You’ll be tired of it long before your customers will. In fact, advertising wisdom says that about the time you’re bored with your look, others will just be noticing it. Brand equity requires dogged consistency, so hang in there. Unless, of course, it’s time for a makeover!
Amber Schmechel is a business writer who focuses on topics such as branding, logos, and entrepreneurship. She is the Public Relations Director at LogoGarden.com.