Just like people, a company will grow, change and transform over time. This natural progression is necessary for your business to stay at the forefront of the latest industry advancements and to better position yourself in the ever-changing minds of your consumers. No brand should ever be left static. This is especially true when it comes to your logo.
Evolution or Revolution?
The big question you must ask yourself before diving into a logo update is - evolution or revolution? It is important to choose a pathway that best suits the objectives of your logo rebrand.
An evolution generally involves slight modifications to components of your existing logo to keep it fresh, contemporary and visually appealing. It is often the safer option if you are already content with some aspects of your logo and do not wish to lose the brand equity or brand awareness that you have worked so hard to build.
Conversely, a revolution can be compared to starting out with a blank canvas. If you are dissatisfied with the logo of your existing brand and want to start again with a complete redesign to present yourself in a new market or industry, then this may be preferred path.
Refining your Logo
Truly great logos are instantly recognisable and leave a lasting impression (think Apple or Nike). Whilst the key elements of your logo may remain unchanged, it must still evolve over time to remain relevant and contemporary, particularly if you are in a highly competitive market.
Logo evolution has been practiced by brands for decades. Take the evolution of Coco-cola over the years for example.
Brands like Coke have been continuously refined and updated to keep up with the times, while still maintaining the overall look and feel. We classify these modifications and changes as ‘rebranding’.
Examples of our work
At Thirst Creative we have also helped numerous clients evolve and refresh their brand.
Indicators it's time to change
Whilst you may not be looking at an all-inclusive rebrand, logo evolution is a necessary process in your company’s brand development. Important signs it might be time for a refresh include:
- A mismatch between what your brand has to offer and your image. If your brand and company image aren’t currently aligned, it’s likely you're confusing a lot of prospects and customers.
- Your brand feels outdated. Most industries move fast. It’s important to keep up with the latest design trends and fine-tune the elements and style of your brand to ensure you’re perceived as an industry leader.
- Your logo is no longer standing out. Your logo is an important visual differentiator for your brand. If your logo is too similar to your competitors, it is likely to blend in and get lost in the market.
- You are targeting a new demographic. It’s important to make sure your brand appeals to your audience at all times. If you shift your position in the market and direct your offering towards a new target market, your brand may also need to shift, which can involve re-branding your logo.
- You’re not attracting talent. Remember your brand is not just for your customers. It can also shape the impression potential talent has of your company.
- You have undertaken a merger or acquisition. During a merger, it is an important time to consider rebranding. Establishing a new brand essence and logo will differentiate the new brand from the old ones and help communicate the merge to your audience.
How to start your rebrand
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to narrowing your brand down to a single image, word, symbol, mark or emblem that will be your logo. Here are a few steps on how to get started with your rebrand process.
Enlist the help of a graphic designer
Regardless of whether or not you consider yourself a good drawer, we recommend seeking the expertise of a trained professional. A good graphic designer is trained to visually communicate what your brand stands for and will know the colours and fonts that add the psychological cues to make your audience feel a connection when they see your logo.
Consider your competitors
Before you get any further, consider the logos of your competitors. Aside from the fact that there are legal risks involved if you imitate the branding of another organisation, it is important to forge your own way and differentiate yourself from others in the market. No one likes a copycat!
Decide on the format of your logo
At the beginning of the redesign process you may need to decide which type of logo will best represent your company. There are four main types of logo formats that you may consider:
- Wordmark - logos that refer to a specific design for the written name (freestanding word or abbreviation) of a brand or product. Think of the logos for eBay, Google, Volvo and Jeep.
- Letterform - logos that are comprised of a single letter. Examples include Honda, McDonalds and Facebook.
- Pictorial - logos are illustrated by symbols of recognisable things. The most iconic example of a pictorial logo is Apple.
- Abstract - logos do not represent anything recognisable but are symbolic, like abstract art. Think of the swoosh symbol for Nike.
Deciding which type of logo will best represent your brand is largely influenced by your business stage, industry, organisation name, values, brand positioning, target market and unique offering. For example, if your organisation has a long-winded name, then a wordmark logo may not deliver the impact you are after.
Choose the right colour palette
Colour plays a huge role in the perception of the services, value and personality of your brand. It has the unique capability of conveying a message or meaning without the use of words. Different colours can evoke different psychological responses from people. For this reason, a graphic designer is invaluable. A good designer will have an understanding of colour psychology and can make informed, strategic decisions for your brand.
Pick a font
Similar to colour, fonts can also trigger different emotional responses. Think about what you want to convey about your brand when choosing the style of font to use.
For example, if you are an investment and advisory firm you should be conveying honourability, strength and integrity. Consider using a simple, straightforward, bold font - free of fancy flare. On the other hand, if you are a children's party organiser you may choose a more whimsical and flourished font that conveys fun, imagination and youthfulness.
Altering shapes and simplifying your design
- Subtle changes to shapes: This can involve sharper corners or creating softer edges.
- Simplifying by removing shadows/unnecessary items. This is the best way to make your logo more versatile. By removing excess clutter you can strengthen and clarify your brand's identity.
Things to avoid in the process
- Being too trendy - your logo will date fast and you might not have the time or resources to refresh it in the short term. This also makes your logo look more generic and less memorable to consumers.
- Being too different - if there is no visual link between your past and future logos, you will create confusion amongst existing clients and consumers. You also don’t want to attempt something so ‘unique’ that potential customers run away from you in fear of your authenticity.
- Adding for the sake of adding - logos by definition are and should be simple marks that leave a lasting impression. Don’t go over complicating things and confusing your consumers.
- DIY or engaging with cheap overseas outsourced options. If your logo is not quality it will stick out like a sore thumb and your audience will notice. More often than not, people who take the cheap road end up spending more money to fix their logo issues. Keep it professional.
Ready for action?
Feel like it's about time your logo had a makeover? Your brand is a powerful business asset. Fine tuning and improving it can help you achieve more, attract more leads and enter more markets to grow your business.
Whether it's updating your logo or correcting and refreshing your marketing collateral, our professional team of strategists and graphic designers are happy to help.