This is the third article in our series of brand strategy posts. This post focuses on how to evaluate your logo for a redesign.
Here’s a story of a lovely logo. It was in fashion in 1985 and looked great on your B&M storefront. It was neon and matched your one product line that you offered. Now it is a new century and your logo isn’t giving off the same vibe as it did in 1985. Maybe it’s time to evaluate your logo and update it. After all, your logo is the title to your brand strategy story, which has had many chapters added to it over the preceding 3 decades.
We’ll go over these 6 points for you to consider because your logo is one of the most prominent pieces of your brand strategy that customers identify when thinking of you:
- Can your logo be used in digital media channels?
- Is your logo too intricate or complex?
- Does your logo have an outdated style?
- Does your logo look pixelated when it is enlarged?
- Have your company offerings changed?
- Can your logo be recognized by customers or is it disliked?
Let’s look at each question in depth and understand the consequences of your ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer to your brand strategy.
Digital Media Channels
The vast majority of companies have a digital presence such as a website, social media pages, online ads, digital marketplace or a smartphone app. If you don’t, and your brand strategy has this in its plan, you’ll need a variety of logo sizes and formats to fit each requirement. This means that your logo that you use now needs to be scalable (up or down) without losing the details that make it unique. Your logo will also need to be converted to a black and white option for when the situation calls for that.
Complex or Intricate Designs
Fonts, colors, patterns and details all contribute to the complexity of your logo design. A simplistic logo will use these to a minimum. As a guideline, limit the number of fonts in your logo to no more than 3. Using more than three or using the wrong font for your customer will not be perceived correctly (you wouldn’t use the Comic Sans font on a fire truck). Additionally, too many fonts will look disjointed.
It’s hard to put a limit to the number of colors, just make sure that when the logo is converted to all black, white, or grey, that the logo is still clear. Lastly, those little patterns and details may look blurry or even like an error when the image is scaled down.
Logo design goes through trends just like your hair. Some are classic styles and others are around for a short period of time. Shadows, shines, gradients and sparkle are all elements that were trendy a decade or so ago. Try to stay timeless or else be ready to redesign your logo every year or two to stay current. A quick Google search of logo design trends for 2015 has turned up some stunning results. I wonder what 2016 has in store for us.
Raster vs Vector for Crisp Images
Consumers today are demanding more and more retinal displays and high resolution screens. Your logo should be able to translate to this format and old school formats do not look crisp. Your logo was most likely created in a Raster format (such as jpeg, gif, png) if it was created within the last few years. Converting it to a Vector format (such as eps, ai) provide for a much better viewing experience. To explain again, Raster formats will look pixelated when enlarged while Vector formats will retain their crisp outlines.
If designing your logo from scratch, make sure your designer knows you need it in a Vector format. If your logo is in a Raster format you will need your designer to start with a blank canvas to create the Vector image. If you need to print a flyer or banner, your designer will need lead time to create the Vector image from scratch. Vector images can be automatically converted to Raster but it doesn’t work in the opposite direction. A designer that only knows how to design an image in Raster formats most likely doesn’t have the experience to create a professional logo.
New Product Offerings
As your company has grown and evolved over the years, maybe your logo didn’t keep up. Your neon sign depicting your fascinating 1985 product now doesn’t relate to your wide 2015 product line. This is a sure sign that you need to update your brand strategy to include a logo redesign.
Customer Recognition and Likeability
I have grouped these two points together because I feel they are related.
Things tend to be ingrained in your brain by strong emotions (love or hate for example). If your logo is loved, it is likely that your customers will recognize it and associate it to your products/services. This works the same for hate but who wants a logo that your customers (and employees) hate?
Start with a detailed creative brief and determine the vibe you want your logo to give, the personality it relates to and include all the ways you will use your logo (print materials, silkscreening, digital, etc).
After reviewing these 6 points did you determine that it is time for a logo redesign? I would say if you answered any of these questions in the following way, then yes, give your logo a new look:
- NO, my logo can not be used in digital media channels.
- YES, my logo is too intricate or complex.
- YES, my logo has an outdated style.
- YES, my logo looks pixelated when enlarged.
- YES, my company now offers different products/services from launch.
- NO, my logo is not recognized by customers and is it disliked.
A successful brand strategy is comprised of many parts but the logo is the piece that ties them all together. To learn about unifying your logo and other touchpoints read our second article in this series of blog posts.
If you are ready for a new brand strategy or need advice on unification contact Caffeine to hear how we can rev up your brand.