Logo Redesign: How Often is Too Often?

Google’s subtle 2010 Logo Redesign. Courtesy of Graphic Design Blog.

2010 saw a ton of high profile logo redesigns: MTV™, Rhapsody™, Wikipedia, the ill-fated Gap™ redesign and our personal favorite, Google™. This year alone Starbucks™ shook our coffee-loving brains with the simplification of the company’s distinctive mermaid logo. It always feels strange for the first year after a company changes their logo design, because you get attached to the way something looks, what it means to your daily life. Eventually, the new logo seems normal, but this speaks to the importance of logos and the emotional attachment consumers have to them.  

The great thing about logo redesigns is that they can move a company in a forward motion, it sets the tone for the way they conduct business. One of the best examples of this is the Denver Broncos. The term ‘bronco’ itself is somewhat antiquated. But when you get a talented visual design company involved, things can change. The Denver Broncos rebranded their franchise in 1997, ushering in a new more modern Bronco logo. That year and the next, they won back-to-back Super Bowls. Can we attribute these victories to the logo alone? Probably not, but the victories solidified the modern team, and reinvigorated the franchise and fans.

Missile Defense Agency Logo, 2010. Courtesy of Graphic Design Blog.

So now that we have gone over the pros and cons of logo redesign, how do you know if it is time to update your look? We’ll walk through timing scenarios and what to consider when you want to redesign, as well as what to look for in a logo design company.

Here are a few key scenarios that warrant a new logo:

  • Looking to the future: Significant strategic business change (immense growth, new business offerings, shift in offerings)
  • Time Period: Many companies change their logos every 10-20 years or so, but it truly depends on the relationship people have with the brand. If it is legacy-based, companies tend to change it more infrequently. If it is a technological product, it could change pretty frequently (5-7 years).
  • Brand Reputation: Sometimes the PR machine warrants a change (significant bad publicity, negative response to product, etc.) 

    Starbucks pared-down logo, 2011. Courtesy of Daily Contributor.

Considerations for Logo Redesign

When engaging with professional logo design companies, it is important that you sync with designers on these key considerations.

Audience/Brand Personality: Your customers are a huge consideration when it comes to logo design, because people identify with the personality of your brand. Discussing this with your logo designer can go a long way in communicating the visual representation of the brand. Think about the characteristics that you want to be associated with your company, almost as though it was your consumer.

Keeping Core Brand while Looking Forward: The best logo redesigns we have seen do not change the entire color scheme and identity of the logo, but keep core elements and nod to the old design. Pepsi’s new logo is a good example of this.

Versatility: This is something that after the fact can result in a face-palm. When you are redesigning your logo, make sure to consider how it will look on all of your marketing material (website, letterhead, business cards, etc.) This means trying different layouts of the logo, to see what arrangement will work best with your materials.

Color:  Colors are a ton of fun to play with, but can be one of main reasons that a logo redesign is unsuccessful. Because color paradigms change often, a company’s unique brand colors may seem outdated. They often try to refresh their logo with totally different colors, but our internal logo design services would suggest otherwise. Because color is a key brand identification, it is unwise to completely scrap your old logo’s colors.

Your organizations brand and logo promote instant public recognition, and therefore having your logo incorporated into your systems and applications is exceedingly important to represent your company image. Amadeus Consulting has a team of talented graphic designers who can take your brand and apply it across your organization’s applications, ensuring consistency in all public facing forums. Learn more about how our team of logo design specialists can redesign your company logo.

About the Author

Lisa Calkins, Amadeus Consulting's CEO and Co-Founder, is also the Director of Creative Services. Lisa is dedicated to the infusion of creativity into every aspect of Amadeus Consulting, including our custom software application design.

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