Logo redesign best practices

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You and your team are considering refreshing your brand and perhaps taking a crack redesigning your logo.

Although this may seem like an easy task, a logo redesign is something that requires a lot of thought because this is your brand’s badge, a symbol of its identity. If it's been years since you launched your original logo, it's likely your business has changed and evolved over time. It's also likely that your target market has changed as well. 

And you need to ask yourself, does our logo still work and is it reflective of our current brand and what resonates with our audience? If your answer is no, it probably time to invest in a new or refreshed logo as part of a brand refresh.

Before starting a logo redesign, however, carefully consider the following questions, as they will help guide you in making the best logo possible:

Why do you need this logo? 

It's important to ask yourself this question in order to figure out if it’s really necessary to do a logo redesign. Begin by asking, what is it about your current logo that’s not resonating with clients? Answering this basic question can help ensure that the next go-around addresses this fundamental issue. Sometimes a complete redesign isn’t necessary. It may just be a case where the logo needs updating.

Who is the target audience? What resonates with them? 

Doing new research on your target audience and then tying their buying habits and values to your logo will help incorporate important design elements and will hopefully catch their eye, thus resulting in a win for your new logo design. Your audience's pain points and characteristics might have shifted since you created your original logo years ago. Use customer or client data, survey responses and other research tools to determine how much, if anything, has changed among your customer base. Then, use this information to determine if you current logo needs to be completely overhauled, or just refreshed with a new color or other additional, minor elements. The new logo needs to accurately reflect your current brand identity and your customer's perception of your business.

What your logo's purpose?

What do you need this logo to do for you? What story about your brand does it need to tell? Without purpose, your logo has no meaning.

The goal of your logo redesign should be to create something that stands the test of time. Take Apple, Nike, and Coca-Cola. These logos are iconic because they’ve withstood economic fluctuations, audience changes, and social shifts yet they continue to tell each brand’s story.

Your logo may need a slight tweak over time, but you should set out to create something that will last, not something that has to be overhauled in a few years. Save yourself the future work, and avoid the trendy cliché.

Where will the logo be used?

Will the logo strictly be for business cards and letterhead, or will it be going on billboards, social media, and t-shirts?

The answer will tell you what file types and color modes will be most frequently used and how large or small the logo needs to be to work. If social media is going to be a heavy-hitter, the logo should be able to function in the small confines of an avatar image. There’s a big difference between designing a logo for a large piece of paper and an avatar image for social media.

Also, take into account devices people will be viewing your logo on. If you’re counting on people to stay connected with you via mobile Twitter, the avatar will be smaller than viewing it on a computer.

Tip: Be sure to mock up the new logo on social media, webpages, letterheads, cards, t-shirts, and whatever other important applications that are crucial to your brand. This helps other stakeholders better visualize real-world applications of the new logo and assist in settling on a new design.

How will you design this logo?

Do not shy away from what will work for your brand. If a nice, simple type treatment will work, then go with that. Kleenex is a great example of a brand that effectively supports this type of design. If this is your chosen route, maybe you entertain the idea of creating a custom typeface specifically for your brand.

When designing a logo, Illumine8 often starts with grayscale because color is something that should be carefully considered. I’ve found that, more often than not, color skews thoughts, allowing it overshadow the overall design. The logo design needs to work in grayscale, too, so all is not lost when you do leave color as the final piece of the puzzle.

Once you select a logo design, conduct various color studies. Color carries a lot of meaning and communicates ideas so don’t take it lightly. (Pun intended.) Make sure the colors tell a brand’s story and are effective in bringing the logo to life. When determining color, also think about your competitors’ colors. You may want to stay away from their colors and do something contrasting to stand apart.

Once you’ve completed the design, cover your bases with double-checking file types and color modes.

Be sure that you have grayscale and reversed versions. Because your logo is a statement of your brand, you don’t want it to be muddled by using it on a dark background when it was intended for only a white one. Your brand message can easily be lost with improper use.

If you need some advice or would like to learn more about redesigning your company’s logo, contact Illumine8 today.      

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