Like a building or a custom-made suit, even a logo ages. It can happen more or less quickly, but just as in the case of a building or a suit at some point, you can’t look the other way. Even if you have put it off for a long time, it is time to pass the brief to a designer for a new logo. And here the doubt often arises: change it completely or opt for a logo restyling?
Given that both interventions will have important effects, here are the situations in which I would recommend one of the two options.
When is a simple restyling of the logo worthwhile?
By logo restyling, we mean an optimization of the logo that modifies its shapes, typography, and colors in a more or less light way, while maintaining its general recognizability. In some cases, it is the best choice.
1. It is a consumer brand with high visibility and notoriety
If the logo has been on signs, posters and maybe on store shelves for a long time, losing recognition can be serious damage. A logo restyling is therefore a must.
2. The logo contains a mascot/character familiar to the public
Characters of this type often have a strong emotional value and losing them risks “emptying” the brand. It is better to update them and give them new life with a logo restyling.
3. The logo contains references to the company’s heritage
A certain typography or graphic sign can be part of the history of the brand and therefore have a value not only of recognizability but of “guarantee”. In these cases, the designer’s task is to enhance and update these elements with a logo restyling.
4. The logo has been made recently and people like it, but it has some technical limitations
It may happen that a logo that also convinces everyone shows, as it is used in different contexts (e.g. very small or very large prints, video or web, co-presence with other logos) design defects. In this case, with a logo restyling the designer can surgically intervene on critical aspects.
An entirely new logo loses almost all contact with the previous one, often intentionally. Not only that, but it also expresses very different values and concepts. In some cases, rather than a logo restyling, a new logo is the obligatory choice.
1. You want to communicate a strong renewal of the company
A new property, a new industrial direction, maybe a new mission: such important changes can motivate the adoption of a logo that symbolizes this step. Changing the logo can be especially significant when the company emerges, renewed, from a crisis of results or trust.
2. The old logo contains anachronistic references
In some cases, the logo may use symbols and concepts that are no longer relevant or have become incomprehensible to the public. In this case, a change of logo is urgent and necessary.
3. The old logo is no longer aligned with the values of the company
Historical logos, born in contexts with different value sets, can be offensive today. In a more or less unconscious way, those who designed them at the time included elements that we now consider racist, sexist, or generally unacceptable. In this case, to limit oneself to rejuvenating it would be an own goal: as if to say that we want to bring this vision into our era.
4. The logo is identical to another, pre-existing one
It may come as a nasty surprise to discover that the logo that had developed is identical to that of another brand. Beyond the dishonesty or lightness of those who designed it, such a discovery does not leave much chance.
5. The logo, if you look closely, is ugly
Come on, it happens. Maybe it was done in a hurry, created by a committee, or approved by someone who’s gone in the meantime. Unless it has a great value of recognition, in these cases it is better to be honest and simply change it.
But big brands don’t always do that!
Given that these rules are not absolute, it must be said that big brands don’t always make the right choice.
Think of the famous case of Tropicana, which spent $35 million to launch a new packaging (with a logo restyling). The result? A 20% drop in sales and a hasty return to the old logo.
Or the numerous luxury fashion brands such as Burberry, whose logo restyling seems to have made their logos lose the original and unique character that distinguished them.
Luxury Food Branding: Narratives That Elevate Gastronomic Delights
Explore the art of luxury food branding, where tales of authenticity, sustainability, and craftsmanship intertwine. Dive into iconic narratives of brands that found the key to elevating gastronomic experiences.
Crafting Timelessness: The Luxury Brand Positioning Legacy
What makes a luxury brand’s positioning timeless? Explore the essence, foundational principles, iconic brand case studies, and strategies for future relevance in an ever-evolving luxury landscape.
Minimalism or Maximalism? Crafting Your Luxury Brand Identity in the Modern Age
What is the impact of minimalism and maximalism on luxury brand identity? Dive into how these philosophies shape brands like The Row, Celine, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, and Apple, and chart your brand’s unique path.
3 Small Business Branding Examples From Our Portfolio
Is small business branding even a thing? Or is branding just a big brands’ game? These three small business branding examples will give you an idea of what is possible, even for smaller players.