I see it all the time in Facebook groups.
"I hate my logo...."
"I think I need to update my website, maybe my logo? I'm not really sure...."
"I can't decide if I need to completely re-do my logo or just freshen it up a bit...."
So, when might you need to rebrand? When do you need a refresh, and when do you need a complete upgrade? Here are four instances in which you should consider rebranding your business:
Your business has changed.
This may seem obvious, but people still ask if they need to change their logo if they are changing their business or blog. I believe that it depends on two things - if your log is super specific to your business/industry, and the size of your audience. If you can transfer your logo between businesses (i.e. - it's just your name, and no specific element, like a camera, is in it) and you don't have a large audience, then I'd probably opt to keep it. If you have a large audience though, and are switching things up, it'd make more sense to change or refresh your logo. But, this could be on a case-by-case basis.
Your services or niche changed.
If I were to switch up Jess Creatives from a print and web design company, to a watercolor calligraphy design studio, then my logo wouldn't fit real well with that. I'm still a designer, but my services (and style) have changed. In some cases, if you are also niching it down in your industry, a rebrand might be in order. If you go from working with CEOs to stay-at-home moms, stay-at-home moms might be turned off by the look of your brand.
You did the logo yourself.
Okay, DIYers, don't kill me on this one. I have had dozens of clients come to me needing a rebrand because they DIY'ed their logo, and now realize how awful it is. Or, maybe they don't think it's awful design, but it doesn't accurately reflect them. (Yes, something can be designed well and not accurately reflect your business.)
You had a trendy logo, and now you look outdated.
There are always trends in design. Some people fall in love with the new trends every year, and jump on the bandwagon. Yes, you have a cute logo now, but in three years? You end up hating it because it now looks outdated. Timeless logos are always the goal, to prevent the need for rebranding every few years.
You fall into one of these scenarios above, or maybe something else entirely, and you have decided that you do need to rebrand. So, what are your options to move forward?
Go 1/4 of the way: refresh fonts and colors.
A total rebrand is not necessary in every scenario. You can keep the same layout and colors, and update the font. Or, keep the layout and fonts, but update the colors. As I've said many times on this blog, fonts and colors play a huge role in design. Your logo will look 100% different if you use Comic Sans vs. Helvetica, neon green vs. forest green. This solution may be more cost effective for you, while being a good upgrade for your business.
Go halfway: Update the style, but keep parts of it similar.
You can update your logo, while keeping elements from your previous logo. For instance, I recently worked with a client to do a complete overhaul of her logo and website. If you saw the before and after of her logo, you would notice that there is a stylized butterfly (the same one) in each. We completely changed the font and layout, but the butterfly is in each. Both are also very simplistic in nature, but it's a good upgrade for her brand.
Go all the way: Completely rebrand.
This is the solution most are seeking. But, a logo is only a part of your brand, so if you change it, there will be a domino effect of changes afterwards. You'll likely need new business cards and any other stationery or collateral that you have, possibly make updates to your website or social media cover photos, etc.
Related: Is Branding Redundant?
To wrap up, here are two things you should avoid. Whether you decide to DIY your logo, or work with a designer, save your future self some money by following these guidelines.
Don't choose your current favorite color or font.
Colors and fonts evoke and convey so many feelings. Don't choose the color blue because it's your favorite. Choose blue because it's what you truly think best represents your company. Timeless is the look we are going for in a logo. In two years, you may no longer love that color blue anymore, or the "favorite" font you loved may be your arch nemesis now.
Don't get another trendy logo.
Don't do it. Just don't. Watercolor is popular right now, so you see it everywhere. Yes, it looks good and whatnot, but in a few years, it may look outdated. Watercolor doesn't make sense to be in a logo for many brands, so don't be one of them. Resist the urge.
Do you struggle with the look of your branding?
If you're looking to rebrand in 2016, you won't want to miss Makeover Magic!