It happens to all business leaders. You begin to get a nagging feeling in your gut about your symbolic emblem, the diamond in your crown — your logo. Perhaps it seems a little worn out, or maybe you’re the one who’s tired of it. Could it be “time”? Whether it’s been in place for generations, or was something created just a few years ago, it could very well be an appropriate time to make some changes and breathe new life into your logo! So how do you know?

Over the course of my career, I’ve experienced many projects that have called for an updated logo. Here are what I’ve found to be the common themes when considering the future of your logo:

The Test of Time

There are technical and visual points to consider when evaluating whether your logo has withstood the test of time.

  1. From a technical standpoint: Does your current logo hold up in this technically driven world?
    With all the advancements in printing, the difficulty of your logo, new or old, can make you or break you when it comes to having things produced. Maybe you don’t have the appropriate files your vendor needs, or the file format you DO have will cost you a fortune to reproduce. Or quite possibly your logo doesn’t reproduce well in a one-color format. Any of these scenarios could be a sign that it’s time to take a look at your “look”.
  1. From a visual standpoint: Has the logo withstood the test of time?
    A well-developed logo is capable of withstanding the test of time and may go many decades before the thought of change is even considered. Clean, efficient, relevant, and versatile icons which are classic in nature can go a long way. On the other hand, if your logo was designed during the time of a trendy font or design style, it could be the victim of a time warp and more resemble the era it in which it was created, as opposed to being focused on the brand it is intended to represent. Be sure and critique your logo and be honest – if your logo still wearing shoulder pads, it may be time to go shopping.

A Change’ll do you Good, right Sheryl?

So if indeed you are contemplating a change, fantastic. Before you get started, ask yourself a few questions:

  1. Why do you feel you want the change?
    If it’s because your neighbor’s cousin’s best friend said you need to change it, then I’d say that’s probably not a good enough reason. Put some thought into they “why” and what you want it to convey that it might not be doing well now.
  1. Are you truly open to change?
    This is a big one. Many folks think, “hey, I’m a free spirit. I’m hip, I’m cool! I’m totally open!”, when the truth might be that he or she is already in love with what they have. Married to it even. And if that is the case, you could spend a lot of time and money spinning your wheels, working on a logo re-design that you’ll never be happy with. Be honest with yourself, and/or your business partners about how you feel so that you can have a constructive and beneficial conversation about it. Sometimes admission is the first step! See where the conversation and soul searching takes you. You may discover that you are open to a refresh, just not an overhaul.
  1. Is it your logo that needs help, or your brand strategy?
    In many cases, we’ve found that the unease isn’t about the logo at all. It’s about the brand strategy, meaning the way the logo is being used (and abused), the messaging that supports the visual identify, or the brand standards that protect the integrity of the logo and all associated elements.

When you reflect on the questions above, and engage in conversations about what you really want, you’ll arrive at the answer. Our advice is always to be honest with yourself, and be okay with the outcome.

Successful logos come in all colors, shapes and sizes. When they’re created and used effectively, they seem to stay in front of you all the time. You probably have some of them in your home, on your shelves, right now. They make it so you cannot and will not miss them. There’s nothing tired about them. They’re noticeable and appealing. They connect with you, and make you want to use the product or service they represent. With thought, care and strategy, your logo can do the same.