Redesigning your logo is one of the best ways to ‘reinvent’ a brand, but it’s also one of the most risky. Change has the potential to alienate customers as well as attracting new ones. Even the most design savvy of corporations can get it wrong, earning a merciless helping of criticism from the design community. There was a high profile example of this when Gap decided to scrap their new logo following a backlash from consumers. You can usually avoid imminent disaster by following a few key principles.
Principles of Logo Redesign
1. Establish Why Rebranding is Necessary
Before a company begins its search for design services, it’s important to understand why rebranding is necessary. You need to identify what your company is changing about the current brand and how your goals, values and principles will be incorporated into a new one. Is this a repositioning of the current brand, or simply a revitalisation of old values? Knowing precisely what you want to convey will shape your brand strategy.
Example: Fitness First
The company has a global presence with over a million members and 500 clubs. The new logo features a bold capital ‘F’ and a stronger color that represents power, energy and strength. This illustrates the fact that the company is now a top player in the industry and is here to stay.
2. Define What Your Brand Stands For
Your logo design is the cornerstone of your brand identity, so creating a logo that clearly and concisely reflects the ethos behind the company is the next step. A branding company will review the following factors:
- What the business does
- Who the business serves
- Who the business competes with
Example: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science (AMPAS)
The Academy’s logo redesign is the result of two years of consultation and dialogue and is the work of Agency 180LA. The aim was to reinforce the values of the organization by ‘uniting the “A” of the Academy and the iconic statuette’. View the Academy’s post on the logo redesign here.
3. Make the Logo Stand Out
A logo that’s memorable and eye-catching is more likely to resurface in a potential consumer’s mind when they’re searching for a product. It should also work across all media applications, from a business card to the side of a truck. By standing out against the competition your business creates the opportunity to show consumers that it offers something different, but it’s important that you stand out for the right reasons.
ITV launched their new logo and rebrand in January 2013. The company has changed significantly over the last few years and now has 5 channels and many off-air and digital environments. The new design represents this diversity by featuring a more modern font based on curved lines and stands out a lot more thanks to the use of 5 colors.
4. Represent the Company’s Values
A logo can serve multiple purposes and one of them might be to communicate what the business does or the products it offers. An iconic graphic or clever use of negative space can positively identify your business, often expressing more than words. Make sure that the logo is distinctive and recognizable and be sympathetic to your business values.
Spotify’s new logo now incorporates the tag line ‘for music’, which clarifies what the business does. The new shadow-free design also gives it a ‘flatter’, more modern look and feel.
5. Put the Audience First
Creating a logo that appeals to the consumer aesthetically is a real challenge, and changes to an existing brand identity can be tricky to accept for long-time fans. The new design needn’t be completely new, it might be an evolution, just remember to keep the consumer in mind and consider their expectations. By paying respect to loyal customers your business demonstrates commitment to the people who keep it alive.
6. Make it Accessible
Some businesses wish to grow their client base while others might be looking to diversify it or focus on a niche audience. Either way, in this day and age, accessibility is key. Make the logo easy to understand and reproduce, so keeping it simple will ensure you finish up with something that works well across all relevant media applications.
7. Convey the Bigger Picture
At the end of the day, the logo is about more than the business — it’s about the people, the past, the present and the future. It’s about your company’s goals and ambitions, the commitment it has to contributing productively to the world. Does the logo reflect your dedication towards sustainability or other worthy causes? It’s important to consider all aspects that might have an impact on the design.
8. Collaboration and Consultation
A recap of all the primary requirements is necessary through every stage of the design process. Think about your primary target audience, company values, stand-out and differentiation. It might be advantageous to involve staff in the design process, perhaps gather feedback from existing customers to gauge their reaction and understand the preferences of the people who make the company what it is.
The new design will come to represent what the business is all about, so it’s crucial that your stakeholders are involved in the process to minimize risks. The journey will vary enormously from one organization to the next, depending on structure, team involvement and often management priorities. However, a successful redesign can help bring the business to the forefront of customers’ mind as well as give it a new, fresh perspective that will appeal to a wider audience.
What are your thoughts on logo design (or redesign) processes? We’d love to hear about your experiences so feel free to send us your comments.