How To Redesign a Logo
Personally, I think that people use too frequently terms as branding and rebranding, redesign, or brand identity. In this context, each one has an opinion; the multitude of viewpoints is welcomed but these must be based on a solid background which is not the case for the majority of individuals. My idea has at its foundation the huge numbers of clients that misuse the branding and logo design vocabulary. Yep, we should be tolerant and forgive the incorrect use of some terms but we can’t ignore when wrong ideas are strongly advocated. More concrete, a very good friend of mine told me about a client that asked for a logo redesign because it’s more than a year since it wasn’t modified. Well, just because time passes, it isn’t a valid reason to redesign a logo!
In this article I want to present my own perspective about how to redesign a logo; even if there are many similar processes with designing a new logo, the differences are major and it’s a big mistake to make confusion between the terms. The main difference between a redesign and a completely new design is the mentality approach, while the practical execution remains the same.
#1. A redesign is strongly connected with the past brand
A completely new design supposes that the logo designer studied the history of the client but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will fully respect the style of the previous logo (in case it existed). Much more, there are many cases where the logo designer has no previous logo. More pragmatically, a new logo supposes that the client doesn’t care too much about the past, usually he wants to embrace a new direction. A redesign is mostly a logo improvement, the previous logo being enhanced to better represent the new change in the evolution of the logo owner.
The beauty of logo design consists in the fact that it is partly a science, partly an art, therefore if you ask me about a specific percentage to make the distinction between a new design and a redesign I can’t give you a number!
#2. A redesign reflects the owner changes while a design reflects the owner
Every newbie logo designer knows that a logo is a graphical element that should represent the owner of it. I am sure that everyone will recognize the old Microsoft logo. Recently, they modified the logo and the debates about weren’t finished. I like the new redesign, but what really matters is that the new changes truly reflects the new Microsoft style. Metro style is a new form of simplicity, it is created with the idea of highlighting the content, the essence. Well, a complicate logo, full of senses, having lots of shapes and letters won’t communicate the same idea and there would be a discrepancy between owner and the logo. The actual logo seems to communicate the same idea…simple and effective, isn’t it?
#3. A redesign has fewer solutions to shown the new brand message
A redesign should be correlated with the idea of re-arrangement, fine-tuning or minor tweakings; in this way, it’s obvious that the possibilities of expressing of a logo designer are fewer. Somehow, more practically, a redesign supposes the existence of a framework.
Anyway, the single important fact is to have the result a beautiful piece of art, it doesn’t matter too much the limit between design and redesign.
Factors to Consider
The next question is to ask you about the signs that show it’s time for a redesign. Once again, there is no precise recipe, but few factors may help in taking a decision.
- Do not do it just to be in trend
It’s quite possible to be impressed by a new logo or a new redesign and taking into account the new trends to be very bound to improve the logo. Well, this is a big mistake; doing it just because other people do it. The trends pass and to synchronize the logo with them is stupid. No one should forget that a good logo is timeless- the trends shouldn’t have any influence. In conclusion, don’t modify your logo unless you have a solid reason!
- A good redesign brings “positive” audience
The difference between a good redesign and a poor realization is the fact that the first one brings other potential clients, while the second confuse the existent ones. An improved logo maintains the previous clients base and, quite probable, in addition to a good marketing strategy may help in adding new clients. A decent redesign confuses the clients because they can’t make the distinction: is it a new brand or the old one? Usually, people are connected with the companies and products they like, but the huge opportunities available make them quickly change their minds.
- A redesigned company strategy = a redesigned logo
Every entity behind a logo adjusts its activity; no one and nothing allows the luxury of staying inert in such a dynamic world. As I previously mentioned, people don’t pay too much attention to a brand and it’s possible, even for the ones very keen to a brand, to ignore a new change. The CEOs and other specialists noticed this fact and there is a common idea: any new modification in the strategy of a company is translated into a logo redesign. Don’t take it as a rule, but it is common.
- Correct other previous mistakes
The tastes of logo designers and common people aren’t always similar. It may happen that a new logo is not so appreciated by people even if the marketing budget is high. Making mistakes is specific to being human and sometimes a logo, carefully designed, may be a fail. To create a new logo isn’t a very good solution- maybe the logo was used in marketing campaigns and the money invested will be lost. A better idea is to correct it by redesigning…by keeping the positive aspects and removing the aspects that weren’t good.
What do you think? Will you think twice before redesigning your logo? I think that it is better to think tenfold times and cut a single time, you may lose some opportunities but the risks taken are too high.
– Written by Daniel –