Is it time to lose your logo?
Breaking up is hard to do. You have been together for years, you drink from bottles bearing its mark, t-shirts with its silhouette but you’re just not ready. Ditching your logo and rebranding is a hard thing to do, and we have all seen companies that have fumbled the ball. The first name that always comes to mind is The Gap. They had an iconic logo and unique brand that they overwrote with a logo that appeared to have come from MS Paint. Customers were irritated, designers were irritated and in the end they had to hit Command Z on the whole endeavor, costing them millions.
So when should you get a new look?
- Do you have a not so secret twin? If your logo features a giant yellow “M” on a red background then your brand is not your own. This can be made even worse if the function of your business is to sell tires and customers think you are selling hamburgers. Focus groups can help identify these types of problems and take personal opinions out of the decision.
- Is it in a secret code that only you can read? If the average person cannot read what your logo says then they don’t know what your business is. Legibility is key, if you have poorly designed typefaces (fonts for all you non-designers) or typefaces that are too small you are not reaching your audience. A good rule-of-thumb is that you need an inch of type height for every 10 feet. You should also avoid any thematic typefaces such as Comic Sans, Papyrus, or Apple Chancery. While there is a time and place for these typefaces (comic books, Ancient Egyptian manuscript or a wedding invite), a logo is never one of them.
- Orange is not the new black. Color can be key in a logo but bad color theory can kill your message. Color can evoke emotion and feeling, in China green can be associated with infidelity, in Australia it can mean bad luck, in Spain it can be indicative of a dirty joke and in America it can represent an environmental movement, nature, or the impetus to move. So what is the color in your logo saying?
- Do designers make fun of your logo… to your face? If more then one subject matter expert is giving you a hard time then you should change your logo now.
- Nobody knows your name. If you hear “I always wondered what was in that shop”, then you are in trouble. Your signage and logo should tell people right away what you are about.
- If your business ethos changes. This happens all the time and for all sorts of reasons: new upper management; your customer demographic changed; you have decided to expand beyond your Etsy store; you decided to modernize; you realized every one thinks you sell hamburgers. Creating a new brand for your business can be tricky, find an expert. (Hint: you get what you pay for, don’t do a contest to create the logo or buy one for $100. It’s waste of your time and money.)
Ultimately coming up with a new brand identity for your business can be a great way to reengage customers and create some new ones. However, if you like the way your brand looks and your business is thriving then changing your look may not be the way to go. Rebranding is not for everybody in every situation, it should be considered carefully and addressed with expertise.