MasterCard has just announced a big change. Change of their logo. The Nobel Prize has done the same a few weeks ago. As you see, even leading companies, recognizable around the world need some refreshment in their branding sometimes. Could it be a better sign that you probably will need it one day too? Unless you’re from Coca-Cola…
And since you presumably are not from Coca-Cola (I mean someone who is responsible for their brand design, of course), you should know one thing – the first impression always matters. Always. Does it sound like a completely outdated phrase? Maybe yes, but it has been working for many years and I don’t think it will ever stop.
Just like people judge you by your appearance, your company logo is a visual representation of your business. When people see your logo on your business cards, advertising materials, banners, social media profiles, or on your website; it must be easily recognizable and inspire a favorable response. People have to know that you are your logo.
And you are constantly changing. Maybe you don’t notice that on a day-to-day basis (or maybe you do, then good for you) but you are not the same person as you were five years ago. Your business is not in the same place as 5 years ago. If it is, probably you should change more than just the logo.
As the business is changing, the company is expanding and people, values, target group, environment, technology, and tastes are changing. All this evolves from day to day. You cannot keep it in place.
Now, look at your logo. What was the last time you changed it? Does it still reflect the same person, the same business, and the same place where you were when it was designed?
Here are 7 signs that this is the perfect time to change your logo (and improve your business).
Your logo doesn’t adapt to new media.
In other words – when the logo is outdated.
Does the look good when it’s sized up or down?
Can it be optimized for social media platforms and apps?
Is it still recognizable in black and white?
Every logo needs to be optimized and adapted for both offline and online use. It’s a very common situation that a logo is designed with a limited budget (because it wasn’t the major thing to do) and time. You may not have been aware that your business will develop that much, so investing in a good, eye-catching and perfectly tailored logo wasn’t your first need.
Remember one thing: your logo must look correctly on your website. If, for example, you changed your site layout and the current logo does not fit the new design completely or looks extremely outdated – it is time for a change. Don’t damage the company’s image just by giving your old customers what they were used to. They will get used to the new logo anyway. They will have no choice.
It doesn’t represent your current values
The company’s values are a significant factor that determines whether contractors want to cooperate with you and customers use your services. You express them not only on the “about me” page but also by your whole visual identity. Branding must emphasize what is important to you. Logotypes are often designed long before thinking of values and goals. People create something that just looks nice and use fonts and elements that are esthetic for them.
For example - if a technology company creates modern software, the logotype should also refer to these values. This can be expressed by dynamic lines and symbols. On the other hand – traditional brands use retro elements in logotypes.
It doesn’t tell your story anymore
Imagine that you have a bakery. At the very beginning, you were selling only donuts and decided to put a donut in the logo. The concept was really great.
By a few years, the scope of what you are doing has increased and now you also make cakes, cookies, and croissants. A donut in a logo can really confuse people. Think about how many customers you can lose. How many of them saw your logo and concludes that you sell only donuts? How many of them didn’t come to see that you can make an amazing birthday cake for them?
But remember: do not change the logo too often. Try to predict how the company will develop in the next years. Maybe you can expand your activity more? Do not be closed to new opportunities. Let the logotype speak for what is now and what will be, not for the past.
The colors don’t match
Have you ever heard of Color Psychology? It is known that colors are one of the essentials to convey the logo’s meaning. Even more important than graphic elements perfectly well integrated together! Colors dig deep in psychology. Brands can really benefit from incorporating it into their logo designs in the right way. Every color has a different impact on peoples’ subconscious.
For example, yellow is the color of happiness (but too much yellow makes people impatient), blue is very peaceful and awakes imagination and black has mystery and power. While you know what values you want to subconsciously tell, you know what color to pick. Analyze your old logo keeping in mind the rules of Color Psychology and consider if you really want to send THIS kind of message. If not – it’s time for a change. Change for the better, of course. Well-matched colors can boost your proficiency!
No one associates it with you
You may have been in the market for a good few years. Are your clients or potential clients familiar with your logo?
Ask a few people from your environment to say what is on your logo without looking at it. Are they able to describe it?
Ask your family now. Do they know at least, what colors are in it?
Now go a step further: ask your employees to draw a logo from memory. Give them crayons and pieces of paper. What mistakes have they done?
If half of your company doesn’t remember the main elements, your logo is just bad. A good logo should be conspicuous and catchy. Let’s learn from the best ones. The Apple logo is simple and immediately evokes some implies. Okay, maybe this example is too abstract. Think about small companies. What logotypes you can recall in your memory? Why do you remember them? They must be good for some reason. You already have inspiration.
No one understands it
Another situation when the logo is not associated with you is a cognitive dissonance situation. Let me show you this on the example. Think about a company that produces paper and has a book in the logo. It is not logical. Yes, books are made of paper, but a book in the logo is associated with a bookstore, library, or publishing house, not paper production. Of course, the differences can be more subtle.
Ask someone or do a questionnaire among people who don’t know your company. What kind of services do they associate your logo with? Guessing the industry is an ideal situation, but if more than half responses are completely different than you anticipated, it is a sign that it’s time for a big change.
It is made by you. Or your friend. For free.
Knowing the Photoshop basics doesn’t make you a graphic designer. The best graphic designers have a lot of experience and knowledge not only of graphic design software but also design rules, the basics of drawing or space layout. It’s worth trusting professionals. Even if your simple logo worked well for years, it is profitable to make the company look more professional. A graphic designer will listen to your needs and propose a few versions. He just knows better. Trust him.
A logo is often the first element that a potential customer or contractor sees. It is worth paying more attention to it and trying to make it adapted not only to your brand’s profile but also to the changing world and technology. If a few of the above situations concern you, then it is a good time for a change.