5 Questions Marketers Should Always Ask When Redesigning a Logo

Inbound Marketing, Design

| July 27, 2016 | By Sara Cottle

5 Questions Marketers Should Always Ask When Redesigning a Logo

Designing a logo for a company that is just starting out is hard enough; redesigning a logo that resonates with your customers and reflects your growing brand is just plain difficult. Let’s just say, it is not custom to wake up one day and create the perfect logo. Logo design and redesign is a process (that some are more familiar with than others). You’ll never be able to know how well your new logo is going to do until after plenty of time has passed. However, you can feel sounder about your logo redesign, or initial design decisions, after asking yourself these 5 crucial questions. Whether you’re the designer making the initial mock-ups of the logo, or the marketer in charge of coordinating with the designer, these questions will help you get through the process with some much-needed confidence.

Does This Logo Reflect the Company’s Brand and Customers?

This is the question of all questions. Seriously. If you ask yourself only one thing throughout this process, this one should be it. This question may just be the one that secures your thoughts on needing a redesign in the first place – it’s also one reason cited by many designers who have led recent redesigns for popular companies. Over time, your customer demographics may change or expand, and if it’s a noticeable or big enough change, that’s a very viable reason for a logo refresh. Some logos are timeless (i.e the Burberry knight logo established in 1901) – that’s the goal you want to have in mind when creating your logo. It is important to note, however, that some industries have customers that vary more and change more, and new CEOS and owners with a different brand direction that come in more frequently than others. If this is the case, then the goal would be to make your logo as timeless as possible. Whatever the case may be, it is to everyone’s benefit when your logo reflects your brand and customer base. They say first impressions are the most important, and that’s a good way to look at your logo. A logo that reflects this well will have to be tinkered with very little over time.

How Is The Logo Going to Be Used?

This is also an important question. A logo that is going to appear on t-shirts or clothing labels might look different than a logo that is going to appear on bottles and cans. Another thing to think about here is having different versions of your logo (especially if it’s more intricate) for websites, mobile applications, social media and the like. Your logo may have an image and text that looks better underneath it for a t-shirt design, but that same text might need to be beside the image when it appears as a website’s header. Or, you might have a shortened version of the text for a social media icon (i.e. The New York Times Magazine on Twitter). It’s okay to have a couple logo spinoffs, as long as the logo is still recognizable. Additionally, if you’re a marketer working with a designer, you may want to have your designer make mock-ups for a couple different scenarios.

Can This Logo Be Recognized Globally?

It’s really nice to have a logo that means something, especially if you’re a small local start-up. Asking yourself this question will depend on where you see your business in the future. Do you want to remain a small, local company where a local dialect term will unquestioningly make sense? Or are you planning to grow far outside of your current boundaries? No matter how cute or unique a local term, word, or phrase is, it usually only makes sense to use it if you’re in the locale in which it’s familiar. If you’re planning on going global and the term isn’t so large-scale-friendly, per se, you probably want to take a different approach. If you have to spend a lot of time explaining your logo, then you’re going to be wasting a lot of time, and in turn, run the risk of it setting you back when you do decide to make that big leap into the worldwide unknown. Your goal should be to strike a perfect balance between unique and universal when it comes to being a growing company.

Is This Logo Wearable?

This question might seem a little silly at first. But think about it. If you ask yourself this question and your answer is yes, then your outreach and advertising just got a whole lot easier. If you have a logo that looks good on a t-shirt, coffee mug, or whatever other swag you can think of, and people are excited to wear it, then you’ve just gained a whole lot of free advertising. A company that people are excited to represent is one thing, but a logo that allows them to proudly do it is the proverbial cherry on top.

Will the Company Still be Recognizable After the Change?

This is a very important question for companies with a little history. Since the times are always a changin’, as we like to say, you might need a little update every once in a while, especially if it’s been a few long decades. However, if your brand or customer base hasn’t dramatically changed, you don’t want to go overboard when you do a little update. Two good examples of keeping up with the times, yet staying familiar would be Guinness’s 2016 redesign and The New York Times Magazine 2015 redesign. Let it be known: with any change from something beloved, there will be people who have a hard time accepting it, but they should, over a little time, readjust. What you don’t want to do is make a change so dramatic that you do it essentially knowing you may lose customers in the process, or that a large majority might never get over the change. That, we think, may just not be worth the trouble.

Choosing a logo, or spearheading a logo redesign can be a daunting task. By asking yourself these questions, it doesn’t have to be so hard. Design isn’t what it used to be. There are a lot of different styles, approaches, and personalities out there, and in today’s world, more mediums for design than ever before. You just have to remember: you’ve got to do what’s best for you, your company, and your customers. Strike the balance, and you’ll be golden.

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TOPICS: Inbound Marketing, Design

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