One of the basic logo design principle is that a good logo is timeless. A principle is an abstract thing and it has limited value in practice. It’s not rocket science to understand that a logo, no matter how attractive was at the moment of releasing, sooner or later it will be old fashioned. Some logos are outdated or aren’t visually appealing very quickly, while others are highly appreciated for a long period of time. In this light, redesigning a logo is something normal, nothing man-made is perfect. A redesign shouldn’t be considered a plastic surgery, it may be better compared to a facial treatment to make the skin look shinier!!! Maybe it’s not the best comparison, but I think that it’s extremely expressive!
If you are still unconvinced about the necessity of a redesign, you should check the evolution of the big brand visual identities. Even the Coca-Cola logo suffered very small improvements across time. Definitely, the myth that Coca-Cola logo is timeless is false, but it doesn’t put in shadow its value.
The main issue is how to tackle the redesign of a logo, how and when is better to offer a fresh perspective. The logo design community decided almost unanimously that there are two cases:
Case #1. An outdated design
Logo design is a dynamic field on medium and long time perspective; now and then, the way of crafting logos is changing. It doesn’t mean that what is beautiful now would be considered ugly or unattractive in five or ten years, but the technology has evolved and it will influence the design.
Case #2. A new branding strategy
A new branding strategy supposes to let people, especially the customers, know that something changed and the most obvious thing to show them is the visual identity. A new redesign is mandatory in order to demonstrate that the strategy has changed.
Some of the entrepreneurs have thought that changing their logos isn’t necessarily a bad move. Consequently, they frequently redesign their logos or simply use new ones. It’s a very big mistake and we strongly recommend not to do it.
The logo design trends will continue to exist. Periodically, some ideas will be highly appreciated by some designers and people. These will not resist for much time, so anyone seriously interested in his visual presence shouldn’t care too much about trends. Changing the logo just to be on trend is another capital mistake.
The conclusion is simple: a logo must be redesigned just when the context requires it and not just to have a trendy and “modern” logo.
There aren’t specific rules regarding the redesign of a logo, but we identified some tips that would help a lot in making a good redesign.
Tip #1. A redesigned logo must have similitudes with the previous one
A redesigned logo isn’t a new logo, else why would call it redesign? Unfortunately, some logo designers don’t agree with this idea and create totally new logos. A redesigned logo must assume some features or graphic items from the previous ones. In this way, the previous clients understand that it’s about a redecoration, a reconsideration, but the core values remain unchanged.
A whole new graphic construction of the logo isn’t a mistake as long as the redesign highlights the same core values. We shouldn’t forget that a logo isn’t just a vector graphic. The fundamental role of a logo is represented by the core value transmitted. Briefly, the shapes may be changed, but the core values must remain the same regardless the context.
Tip #2. A redesigned logo – improved version of the precedent
Redesigning a logo isn’t very different from creating a new logo, but it’s surely a more risky job. A redesign supposes that the logo’s owner has previously invested money and resources to create a brand. A badly redesigned logo will nullify all the previous endeavors and definitely it’s not what the clients and the designers want!
Unfortunately, there are many examples of poor redesigned logos that determined the owners to abandon them and come back to the old ones. MasterCard and Gap are just two examples of big brands that tried to offer a fresh visual identity and the results were complete disasters. It will be great to have your opinion about: which logos were better, the old or the new ones?
Note: MasterCard logo was removed and the company use in present the “old logo”.
Tip #3. A redesigned logo – a new approach
The average individual, no matter how connected is to a brand won’t intensively search to find out the latest novelties about his/her preferred brand. We are effectively assaulted by tons of brands and promotional messages, therefore people are almost immune to those. As a result, the brands must do everything possible to inform the clients that something has changed. The best solution is to bring something new to the market, inclusively a new logo. This is the perfect time for a redesign. To conclude, a new approach regarding the business or a new concept of marketing is totally connected to a logo redesign.
Tip #4. The public reaction is capital
A redesigned logo isn’t a fade of a CEO; it’s for clients and they are making the decision. It’s a big mistake to release a redesigned logo and consider the job done. Once utilized the new logo, the specialists should analyze the public reaction. It’s a huge endeavor, but it’s a mandatory task to determine how the clients appreciate the redesign. Willing or not, poor redesigns will exist, it’s impossible to be always inspired. Even the most important logo design agencies will commit huge mistakes. Making mistakes is pardonable (but very expensive to correct!!!), but the lack of reaction is unpardonable. Studying the opinion of the fans and consumers is mandatory. If they appreciate the logo, then it’s wonderful, the redesign was successful. If not, even giving up the new redesign may be a solution – many big brands acted in this manner.
In conclusion, a redesigned logo isn’t a fade, it’s a necessity. Theoretically, the new logo must be an improved version of the precedent one, but in practice the redesign may be a fail. It will be great to know your opinion about redesigned logo and eventually share with us your past experiences of redesigning logos!
– Written by Daniel –