March 05, 2015

When is the Right Time to Change Your Logo?

Welcome to Addison Whitney Capabilities Month! Throughout the month of March, we will be designating one week where we will be highlighting one of Addison Whitney’s capabilities – visual branding, verbal branding, market research and brand strategy – via brand salsa and our social media channels.

This week, we are focusing on Visual Branding, which encompasses the visual aspects of your branding portfolio.

When is the right time to change your logo? Or, should the question be, is there always a “right” time?

When it comes to branding, the visual aspect is crucial to success. It is the first thing that is seen, and as consumers and audience members to a brand message, a successful visual branding product can propel a brand to success. When a visual brand is successful, it acts as a foundation for the complete brand package.OfficeImages_15

When a company is looking into making a change to their visual branding, the first question they need to ask themselves is why – why do they feel a change is needed, and why now? Many brands get swept up in the notion of change for change’s sake, or start looking around at other visual rebrands and feel they need to do the same to keep up.

Two important factors to consider when looking at a logo redesign are to picture the final product across all of the different platforms where it will be featured, and to examine how the logo fits in with the whole picture of your branding – how well does it compliment your brand name, tagline and overall corporate identity.

Logo design is a piece of the branding puzzle, and when companies lose sight of this and make the logo the only aspect of their branding, they are left with a visual component that may look nice, but has no weight or meaning behind it.

As Cathleen Foley, Addison Whitney’s Manager of Visual Branding, puts it, “A good logo fits within the larger picture.” She recommends that a company’s new logo should stand the test of time, and more importantly the test of change. Instead of adopting the latest trend, make sure it helps tell the brand story.

To illustrate this point, simply look at the logos that are deemed “iconic,” the ones that are looked to as the standards for how a lasting visual identity should be done. What do they have in common? They all are simple, flexible logos that convey what the brand is trying to say without overshadowing the overall branding message.

The Nike swoosh for instance is one of the most simple and yet most recognized logos in the world. Nike hasn’t had to change this aspect of their brand even while they have undergone some shifts in their branding portfolio because the logo speaks to who Nike is and can adapt to the many messages that it is included in for the company.

The moral of the story is that logo redesign shouldn’t be scheduled like your next meeting – there shouldn’t be an email reminder that pops up and tells you that “Logo Redesign” is beginning in 15 minutes. It should come as  a piece, albeit a very important one, to the branding puzzle. If the piece is out of place, the puzzle can’t be completed and the branding will miss out, but if visual fits, then it can be the driving force behind successful branding.

 Addison Whitney is a global branding firm with a passion for building strong brands. 

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 Want to get exposed to real projects and attain real-life knowledge and skills vital for success in visual branding? Click here for information about interning with the Addison Whitney visual branding team!

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