The link between logo and brand is the most direct, graphic connection that customers can have with your brand concept. Yet there inevitably comes a time when the logo should be updated, or even totally redesigned. The question is when is that time? We generally recommend logo redesign as part of any major re-branding effort. But beyond that, we are careful about changing them. Logos typically retain a lot of equity and are the most recognizable part of a brand’s visual identity. Nonetheless, here are a few guidelines to evaluate the need for an updated logo:
- Your longest tenured employee can’t remember any other logo.
- People ask, “What were they thinking when they designed this logo?” and no one knows the answer.
- The logo gives no indication of your current brand concept.
- Customers or prospects sometimes confuse your logo with another company’s.
- Your logo has several different configurations and no one is sure which is the definitive design.
Morton’s Salt is a great example of evolving a logo (and package) over time to stay current while retaining brand equity. The elements stay familiar-dark blue background, young girl with umbrella, but their logotype has evolved, as have the size and placement of the brand elements. So it is important to both know the warning signs of an obsolete logo and to approach the redesign with respect for the existing equity in the design. (And be sure you can answer the question in guideline #2!)