Do I need a new logo?

David Day

3 min read
You’ve spent thousands of dollars on your branding. Logos, business cards, and letterheads all cost money and have been used in permanent places like shirts, mugs and signs. If you rebrand now, won’t that go to waste?

On the other hand, you know your brand image needs a shot in the arm. It’s a little dated, and it was always kinda hard to work with anyway. Plus, there are probably at least three versions of it floating around. So, should you redesign your logo?

For many company leaders, changing the logo is a very sensitive emotional issue because the mark represents something important to the decision-makers. That old logo has meaning and history to them. Maybe they or someone they love designed it. Successful companies have what I call “equity,” or value built into their current logo and imagery and they are reluctant to change it.

Your logo is the face of your brand—the first impression (Notice that the brand and the logo are NOT the same thing! (See “Brand Quiz”). Making a good business decision about your branding is important. Here are some principles you can use to help you decide if it’s time to rebrand:

1. How long has it been? Styles change, new typefaces are created daily. While we try to avoid trendiness when creating logos, it becomes obvious after a while which logos need updating due to age. New typefaces and new technologies in graphics are created almost daily, making yesterday’s standards appear dated. An old-looking logo may create doubt in your prospects’ minds.

2. Are there changes in your brand that you need to communicate? Leadership changes, a shift in product focus, the launch of something new? These are great opportunities to cause people to take a new look at your company by rebranding.

3. Has there been bad press recently? Often companies like to rebrand after there has been negative messaging associated with their brand. While this isn’t a bad idea, the key is to make sure the negatives are fixed first; otherwise you’re just covering up the negative, not undoing it.

4. Your current logo just doesn’t work. I’ve seen this a lot. You liked the logo in the beginning, but it’s hard to work with. It doesn’t look good in small / larger formats, or it’s hard to digitize because there is too much detail, or there are too many versions of it floating around.

Don’t let your emotions rule this decision. Failing to see things objectively about your brand or your logo can harm your brand and cost you money. You can have a great company, but if it’s presented poorly, you’ll be fighting negative first impressions. Find someone who understands your brand to develop your new image. You’ll be much happier in the long run.

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