Your business logo is an important part of your brand identity both off- and online. We think of a logo as visual shorthand for your brand. When someone sees your logo, it instantly evokes their impressions of:
- Your brand personality + style
- How you work with your clients
- How your clients feel about doing business with you
- How your brand shows up in the world
While your logo is only a piece of your brand, it appeals to the strongest of our 5 senses: seeing. That means your logo leads the charge in communicating who and what your business is.
But if you’re reading this post, we’re pretty sure you’ve been asking yourself:
“Should I change my logo? Do I NEED to change my logo?”
You’ve come to the right place to answer that question, my friend.
First of all, you may not need to change your logo so much as you need to update or refresh it. Sometimes a logo just needs a little zhoosh (see Reason #5 for more on this!).
When we work with a client, we scrutinize their logo from a strategic perspective (“Does it meet your business needs?”) and an aesthetics perspective (“Is it a Beauty or a Beast?”).
Since we can’t see your logo or your business strategy right now, we can’t give you a definite answer. (That technology doesn’t exist yet–somebody, hurry up and invent it already!).
But we can walk you through the top 5 reasons why you’d need to change or refresh your logo.
Reason #1 to update your logo: Your logo doesn’t represent your business today
Your brand is very much like a person: it has a personality! The way a person speaks, shows emotion, presents themselves, acts, and dresses are all a part of a person’s personality.
Just like a person, a business updates over time. You’re not the same person you were at age 13, are you? Probably not. You’ve had so many life experiences since then and learned so much. Of course your personality has evolved.
Let’s review our headline, from 2 different perspectives:
- “Does my logo represent who my business is TODAY?”
- “Does my logo REPRESENT who my business is today?”
You want your logo to represent the business you are–not the business you used to be.
Here’s a quick litmus test:
- Did you change the name of your business? Your logo must reflect the new name.
- Did you raise your rates or prices? Your logo must represent the calibre of your work.
Even if the answer is ‘no’ you may still need to update your logo sooner rather than later! Keep reading.
Reason #2 to update your logo: Your target market doesn’t “get” your logo
In the 1st example, we talked about how your logo should vibe with who YOU are.
But your logo also needs to vibe with who your TARGET MARKET is. Just like your business identity can change…so can your target market.
Here’s an analogy. Pretend you opened a pet grooming business 5 years ago. When you started, you had services for both dogs and cats. So your website and other marketing collateral had lots of pictures of cats and dogs.
Your logo contains an illustration of both a cat and a dog.
But after a couple of years, you decided you didn’t want to groom cats anymore. What can you say? Cats just don’t like being groomed no matter what you do–and you have the scratches to prove it.
So, you’ve been focusing more on dogs and their owners.
Cat owners keep calling you however. There are cats all over your website and in your logo. No wonder people are confused!
See, the logo you started with made sense at the time. When you start a business, many factors have an impact on the logo you choose. Budget (“we don’t have a ton of money for this”) and timeframe (“we need SOMETHING to show all of these new clients”) are the biggest ones. And of course, the services you offered at the start can change as well.
This is normal–most entrepreneurs face those pressures. Thus, starter logos are born.
In the case of our pet grooming service, changing your logo will do people a favor–and do you a favor, too. A new logo will let cat owners you’re not the right grooming service for them. More importantly, it will resonate more strongly with dog owners.
Related: The 4 Most Important Rules for Successful Marketing
Reason #3 to update your logo: It’s not in the proper format
If your logo is NOT in the proper format, this is the hardest problem of all. You may have a logo you love. It represents what your business does and resonates with your target audience.
But if it’s in the wrong file format, you won’t be able to use your logo. It’s like having a pair of Louboutins 2 sizes too small. You can’t walk in a pair of shoes that’s too small!
Unfortunately, designers can’t work with any old design file. A JPEG or PNG won’t cut it. Why not? We often use this blanket analogy from Common Craft to explain this idea to our clients:
…imagine a blanket that’s 4 feet by 4 feet. When someone knitted that blanket, they used 8 packs of yarn. When the blanket is this size it looks great and keeps you warm because the yarn is packed tightly together. But when you stretch it out to 6 feet by 6 feet, you can see the holes and it stops looking so warm. Stretch it even more and it looks more like a net than a blanket…Only blankets made from a lot of yarn can be stretched without becoming useless.
Image files are a lot like this! But instead of yarn, they’re made of pixels–the microscopic color building blocks of an image. JPEGs and PNGs are like blankets without a lot of yarn. They simply don’t have enough pixels to be stretched into bigger sizes. And if you try to stretch them, they get blurry.
A blurry logo looks unprofessional, period.
You could squeak by with JPEG or PNG if you’re only ever going to use your logo on your business card (and maybe not even then; printed materials require more pixels).
Instead, what you need is a vector file (a blanket made with a lot of yarn!). Really simply put, a vector file mathematically produces an image. So no matter what size you need, a vector file will produce the exact image you need. The vector file will produce a JPEG at a specific size, or a PNG with a transparent background.
Not sure if you have a vector file? If it has an extension like EPS or AI, you’re good to go.
Reason #4 to update your logo: It’s too trendy
Trendy is great…until trendy goes out of style. Kinda like perms in the 80s.
Hey, it happens! It’s okay to fall in love with a design trend so hard you integrate it into your logo, brand, and business.
Once your logo looks dated, however, you’ll want to update your logo.
Is it possible to have a logo that can withstand the test of time? YES! A logo with a strong, foundational font is classic and timeless. Then, you can be more playful and timely in the use of coordinating patterns or color palette.
For example, brands using script-y fonts came in like a wrecking ball over the past decade. But now, they look dated, are overused, and are hard to read on certain media. Not the best choice for a long-term logo solution!
But what if you just love script-y fonts? You can still use them! Instead of using them in your logo, use them in your website headings and on different printed materials. We call these ‘supplemental style components’ and they’re an important part of your visual brand identity. Those can all be changed or updated without your clientele really noticing.
Reason #5 to update your logo: It just needs a little zhoosh
Updating your logo does not always mean a complete redo of the artwork. Maybe it just needs a makeover, not a trip to the plastic surgeon for a facelift.
You know. A little zhoosh. (Or juuj, or zhuzh, or however you personally spell it).
A great way to update your logo is to refresh the way the elements of your logo come together. Maybe you only need to update the color palette, or make small architectural tweaks to the existing elements, or change some of the elements (but not the whole thing).
So…is it time to update your logo?
Bottom line, if you’re questioning whether your logo is the right logo for your brand, it’s probably time for a refresh. Let us know how Marketing Queen can help. Whether you need a logo refresh or a complete custom design, we always start with an audit and an in-depth conversation about how this logo and coordinating brand can represent you and your business.