Your company’s visual identity should evolve overtime to ensure that your brand is up-to-date, looks modern, and is relevant. But, how exactly do you know when it’s time to change your company logo?
First, you have to determine if your logo is timeless or if it’s starting to look a bit out of date. Think of a few companies whose logos have remained stagnant throughout time, Nike, Google, Apple, and Starbucks may come to mind, but if you pay close attention you’ll notice that even these logos have changed and morphed slightly over time. Google’s first logo featured a bit of beveling along the edges to give it depth, while their present-day logo now features flat letters and a slightly different color scheme since a lot of modern online UX design encourages flat design elements. This is just one example of how you may subtly update your logo every few years to keep up with ever-changing design trends.
(Google makes sure to update their logo to match design trends and best practices as the years go on)Not sure how to tell if your logo is timeless? When in doubt, turn to the five principles of logo design. It should always strive to be:
- Simple. Does your logo incorporate any complex graphics or images? If so, it may be time to try and simplify your logo elements by removing any distracting textures, gradients, or complex imagery. Your logo should look just as good on a billboard as it does scaled down to business card size.
- Memorable. Do your customers, clients, or prospects remember your logo? Does it accurately portray what your business does and align with your value propositions? Is it too close to your direct or indirect competitors’ branding? If so, consider changing your logo completely or updating the font/logomark to be more unique to your company.
- Timeless. Make sure that your logo doesn’t incorporate any fading trends from the 90’s or early 2000’s. Some logo styles are timeless while others are passing trends. A good way to determine which is which could be by looking into design trends from the past decade and seeing if your logo fits into any of the outdated categories (see this great resource for details). Just looking at Google’s original logo through a modern lens is almost comical; the wavy bubble letters, the grainy resolution, and overall clipart style are simply long gone from reputable mainstream branding.
- Versatile. How does your logo look on a computer, phone, business card, notebook, pen, vinyl banner, etc? Ensure that your logo is scalable and that the colors and logomark look crisp and recognizable on any application. If you do not have a brand style guide complete with all your logo file formats, ask your designer to provide a document that lists your colors and typefaces and ensure that you have all versions and file formats of your logo on-hand for printing purposes.
- Appropriate. A consulting firm will want to convey a different message with its logo than a daycare center and vice versa. Do your color scheme, graphics, and typeface accurately represent the tone of your business? If you are a lawyer, is your font clean and professional? If you run a restaurant does your color scheme invoke feelings of hunger and are your graphics fun and food-related? Take a moment to consider all the elements of your logo and if they are appropriate for your specific business.
Your logo should be an accurate depiction of what your company does in the simplest, most easy-to-digest form possible. If you’re unsure if your logo will withstand the test of time or if you need a brand refresh, reach out to speak with a designer about improvements that could be made.