Is it time for a logo redesign?

Young female designer working in office.

Hitting refresh on a logo design can be a powerful step toward revitalizing a stale brand — setting it apart in a crowded marketplace and drumming up attention through all the announcements associated with such a visible change. Here at Adobe we made the choice to update our visual identity in 2020, but you don’t have to be a big company to claim the benefits that come from doing so.

In many ways, smaller brands have the upper hand on big corporations when it comes to benefiting from a rebrand. They are nimble, for one, with fewer internal stakeholders to gain buy-in from regarding each change. That means far fewer costs and drawn-out meetings associated with the overall process.

What’s more, the fact that growing businesses are more likely to be engaged in other brand-wide strategic changes — targeting new audiences, introducing new products, shaking up business models — means more opportunities to engage in a logo redesign in the first place.

That said, a logo redesign — not to mention the larger visual redesign that so often accompanies it — shouldn’t be undertaken lightly. Change your look too often and you risk confusing and alienating your audience. Minimize the risks and maximize the benefits of a logo and brand visual redesign by considering the following points before committing to any significant changes.

There are many strategic reasons that businesses change their logos beyond simply wanting to generate excitement. Some are reactive — responding to shifts in the marketplace that are already underway. Others, like those listed below, are proactive based on where audiences, your brand, and the market are going. If you find one that resonates, it may be time to return to the logo drawing board.

Better reflect brand identity

As your company grows and evolves over time, so should your brand identity. If your company is expanding into new markets, you might want to have a more “universal” logo. Or, if your brand is aiming to appeal to a specific new market, then a logo redesign in a style that attracts your new audience may be in order. Regardless of the changes, be sure to consider your brand strategy as you explore new options. Doing so will help your team balance the need for adjustments with the potential for overcorrection by anchoring decisions in your company’s most important goals.

Establish trust

First impressions count. The question is — which impression is the right one? Think of it this way. Your brand is a party and you’re the host. Send out homemade invitations that say “casual dress” to a black tie and your audience will feel embarrassed and resentful when they show up to flowing champagne in flip flops.

Earn your audience’s trust through a logo and visual brand that is authentic to your brand’s mission and sets the right expectations from the get-go.

Maintain visibility

Trends evolve. While a classic logo can prevail in some professional fields, stuffy or dated imagery can project the sense that your business is not in tune with current tastes.

Meanwhile, new technology and a digital-first marketplace mean the time-to-market has never been shorter for new brands. Keep a pulse on what other brands are bringing to the table visually and any changes you may need to make to better differentiate from them.

To stay visible, a logo design and brand identity must be original, interesting, and memorable. Stay flexible and relevant by refreshing your logo as needed to uphold these characteristics.

Powerful design tools like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and the recently launched Adobe Express mean building an original, compelling logo has never been more approachable. However, tinkering with a new design without a plan is just that — tinkering. Follow the steps below to ensure a logo and visual brand is as strategically savvy as it is easy on the eyes.

Define your goals for the redesign

Before you decide what your logo should look like, make sure all involved know the specific reasons for the redesign. Only then can you establish clear goals, such as ‘I want to appeal to a younger audience’ or ‘I want my logo to have a modern aesthetic.’ Also, decide what kind of visual you want: Will your new logo be an image, a wordmark, or a combination of both?

Prioritize your color choice

Color is a powerful tool for evoking moods in your audience. As you begin, ask yourself what you want viewers to feel when they see your logo. Then, consider how that color (or colors) might look alongside existing customer experiences — including store fronts, marketing materials, and social branding.

Research and compare fonts

Fonts, like color, provoke moods and impressions in viewers. A simple font adjustment has the power to completely alter the feel of your logo. Research your logo fonts — where they are used, and what they tend to communicate. For a look that is harder to replicate, consider creating a custom font for your logo design.

Explore multiple options

Don’t feel pressured to come up with a single perfect idea. Come up with several iterations of your logo, and do some testing to gather feedback on the designs. After all, audience perception is critical when building a brand, so don’t forget to use this to your advantage.

Trends can be fleeting. Conduct ample research before incorporating one into your logo and visual branding. Start with discovering the history of the trend. Then consult with other creative professionals or agencies you trust to get their take on whether they think the trend is relevant to your brand or likely to stick around longer than a popsicle in August.

If you are a “do-it-yourselfer,” or want to gather visual ideas you have to begin working with a designer, you can create a new logo with our quick, free, and easy-to-use Logo Maker. For even more customization, open Adobe Express and get started for free. Edit your logo from the Logo Maker, upload your original logo and make edits, choose a template, or create from a blank canvas. There are endless opportunities to create a stand-out new logo for your brand.

Putting your customers first

It’s a familiar story: Your team decides it’s time for a logo redesign. Business stakeholders give you the greenlight and enthusiasm is high. Then concepts start emerging, along with factions and long debates over untested ideas. Soon your target audience is taking a backseat to personal preferences in meetings that seem to last forever and go nowhere.

Don’t let the process hijack the purpose of what you set out to do. Put your customers first by beginning your redesign with as much data on them as you can find and waiting to finalize the new logo until they’ve had a chance to weigh in. Getting it right is more important than a surprise grand reveal every time.