When should you update your brand logo?

Let’s begin by getting the obvious out of the way – for any logo designed in WordPerfect or purchased online at a bargain, it should probably be updated.

Contrary to what some believe, the many components of a logo, such as color(s), font, shape and design/image play a vital role in evoking emotions buried deep in the subconscious of consumers. If a considerable amount of thought did not go into the development and design of your logo, you may wish to reconsider its significance.

I’ve seen a fair share of logos that were poorly or sloppily designed, with little or no consideration given to its core purpose or to the many applications where logos must be used. It’s akin to hiring a iPhoneographer instead of a professional photographer for a wedding, because a picture is just a picture. Right? Um, no.

For the most part, people don’t know why they like or don’t like a logo, because unless you’re a logo designer or an artist, you’ve probably never thought about it. Again, there are many subliminal components that go into the development of a good logo, such as the use of color(s), font, shape and image. When all critical components are strategically blended together, a well-designed logo will serve as a good visual representation of the brand consistent with its purpose and values.

For example, you would never see a funeral home using red in its logo, at least I hope not. And yellow, a color representing warmth, would not bode well for a manufacturer boasting about its toughness and the durability of its products. Also, logos with intricate designs can be a nightmare to work with in many applications.

Some designers are so talented that they find ways to create hidden meanings in some of their logo designs.  FedEx serves as a perfect example with its arrow pointing to the right between the “E” and “x,” and amazon.com has the smile underscoring its name.

Validation

In the brand development and logo design process, it’s typically a very wise idea to validate the brand and logo with others inside and outside of the industry. Logo validation is nothing more than putting a logo in front of different sets of eyes (ideally from different cultures) to ensure it can’t be misinterpreted, misunderstood, or, most importantly potentially, offensive.

Logo validation also provides insight into the quality and effectiveness of design. When Tropicana abandoned its colorful and charismatic packaging for something more muted and subtle, the reaction wasn’t favorable. In fact, it was so unfavorable that Tropicana destroyed tens of thousands of pre-made cartons and reverted to its original packaging. Also, here in Wisconsin, Wisconsin Electric and Wisconsin Gas merged to create the new name, We Energies. The only problem was that the “e” in we and the “e” in energies were graphically placed too close together and it read, “weenergies.” As soon as the logo was rolled out, everyone referred to We Energies as “weenergies, ” and the logo was quickly modified to simply “We”.

If my insights have made you pause and think about your logo, at the very least, validate your logo. Afterward, you’ll know what to do.

 

Scott Seroka

Wisconsin’s only Certified Brand Strategist

Principal of Seroka

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