Logo Redesign or Refresh? How to Tell the Difference

logo design

As the visu­al sto­ry of your busi­ness, a logo cap­tures your brand’s per­son­al­i­ty, val­ues, and offer­ings, com­mu­ni­cat­ing a wide range of ideas in a sin­gle glance. Your logo is eas­i­ly one of the most impor­tant aspects of your brand­ing strat­e­gy, top­ping the list right along­side your brand name. It’s the one image that peo­ple will come to asso­ciate with your brand, the visu­al they’ll see from the first point of engage­ment and at every point of con­tact mov­ing for­ward – no pres­sure, right?

And with few excep­tions, even a flaw­less­ly designed logo can’t be used for­ev­er. Shifts in the indus­try, your orga­ni­za­tion, and even the world can all leave your logo feel­ing a bit stale. There are plen­ty of sol­id rea­sons to give your logo a new look; but first, you’ll want to under­stand the dif­fer­ences between a logo redesign and refresh, so you can decide which approach is best for your brand.

Logo Refresh: A Subtle Update

Refresh­ing your logo is a straight­for­ward way to breathe new life into your brand with­out nec­es­sar­i­ly mak­ing dra­mat­ic changes. You might opt to adjust col­ors, tweak the let­ter­ing or font choic­es, or make sub­tle changes to your col­lec­tion of mar­ket­ing mate­ri­als, but the foun­da­tion of your visu­al iden­ti­ty remains the same.

Page Design has worked with a diverse range of clients seek­ing a logo refresh, includ­ing Soltrans and Sacra­men­to Coun­ty Employ­ees Retire­ment Sys­tem (SCERS). By work­ing close­ly with the client, our design­ers can achieve an opti­mal bal­ance between the old and the new, craft­ing a final prod­uct that hits the mark.

SolTrans logo

Here are the most com­mon sce­nar­ios in which a refreshed logo can be the best choice:

  • Your busi­ness has expand­ed to include new prod­ucts or ser­vices, and you’d like your logo to reflect that.
  • Your indus­try niche has wel­comed new com­peti­tors, and you’re hop­ing a redesign will demon­strate your dom­i­nance to your exist­ing and prospec­tive customers.
  • Your tar­get cus­tomer base has grown to include a new demo­graph­ic (for exam­ple, young adults), and your logo needs to be redesigned in order to appeal to the larg­er audience.
  • Your cur­rent logo is out­dat­ed, whether it’s the aes­thet­ic that’s feel­ing tired or the actu­al com­pat­i­bil­i­ty of the logo with new technology.

Logo Redesign: A Complete Overhaul

Unlike a refresh­er, a redesign is a total recre­ation of your logo. While you don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly scrap every last aspect of your brand, the changes made are fair­ly dra­mat­ic. Redesign­ing a logo is a deci­sion that many orga­ni­za­tions make after a con­sid­er­able num­ber of years in exis­tence, while oth­ers under­go an ear­ly redesign when their cur­rent logo sim­ply isn’t work­ing at all.

For some Page Design clients, a com­plete redesign ends up being the ide­al route. Often, a logo redesign is just one part of a larg­er rebrand­ing project, par­tic­u­lar­ly for clients with orga­ni­za­tions that have grown or evolved considerably.

If your orga­ni­za­tion is in any of the fol­low­ing sce­nar­ios, a ful­ly redesigned logo may be right for you:

  • Your brand is in the midst of an iden­ti­ty cri­sis of sorts, and your logo/brand image is fail­ing to rep­re­sent your key messaging.
  • Your logo is no longer cohe­sive with your oth­er mar­ket­ing materials.
  • The actu­al shape or size of your logo isn’t com­pat­i­ble with your needs.
  • Your com­pa­ny has grown sig­nif­i­cant­ly since its incep­tion, and you now have the bud­get and capa­bil­i­ties to invest in an out­stand­ing logo to replace the original.

Hybrid Options

Like many oth­er aspects of brand­ing, choos­ing between a logo refresh or redesign isn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly a black-and-white sub­ject. For many orga­ni­za­tions, find­ing a mid­point between the two ends up being the best-fit option. For exam­ple, the Page Design team tai­lored the process for the Merchant’s Bank of Com­merce, to take a hybrid approach to the project as a whole.

For instance, with Merchant’s Bank of Com­merce, the acqui­si­tion meant two exist­ing banks each with rich his­to­ry com­ing togeth­er under a new name. The col­or scheme and the type­face remained the same, but the con­fig­u­ra­tion was very dif­fer­ent. This sit­u­a­tion was a full brand redesign when it came to the name change and the over­all visu­al com­po­nents, but more of a refresh when it came to the look and feel of the logo.

Merchants Bank of Commerce logo

A Full Redesign or a Quick Refresher: Which One is Right for Your Brand?

When it comes to the ques­tion of redesign ver­sus refresh, logo design can run the full gamut, depend­ing on your brand’s spe­cif­ic needs and cur­rent sit­u­a­tion. If you’re weigh­ing your options and try­ing to decide between a logo refresh or redesign, here are some ques­tions you can ask your­self to help your orga­ni­za­tion choose the right direction:

What’s not working with the current logo?

Before you can move for­ward with the process of redesign­ing a logo, pin­point exact­ly what’s not work­ing. Sim­ply say­ing, “We don’t like the logo any­more” isn’t enough; instead, break down exact­ly where the logo is falling short.

Is it com­plete­ly out­dat­ed, or does it sim­ply need to have some changes to rep­re­sent your evolved brand? Maybe you’re ready to gain a com­pet­i­tive edge, or per­haps your tar­get audi­ence has expand­ed. Find­ing the spe­cif­ic short­com­ings of the cur­rent logo will guide you towards an informed choice between a redesign or refresh.

Which elements of the current logo should be preserved?

Don’t assume that redesign­ing a logo means toss­ing every­thing in the metaphor­i­cal trash can. In fact, there may very well be parts of your exist­ing logo worth sav­ing. Take a clos­er look at your logo to pin­point ele­ments that accu­rate­ly rep­re­sent your brand, includ­ing type­face, col­ors, or images, then decide if they can be incor­po­rat­ed into the new look.

Does our customer base have a strong connection to the current logo?

One of the biggest chal­lenges that comes with a full logo redesign is the nat­ur­al dis­rup­tion that will occur for your cus­tomer base. A full redesign can have major con­se­quences for your brand iden­ti­ty, and it’s vital that you min­i­mize any poten­tial cus­tomer con­fu­sion. While an effec­tive logo redesign can have far more pos­i­tive impacts than risks, being aware of the road ahead will raise your chances for success.

How will a redesign (versus a refresh) affect our branding and marketing collateral?

Often a logo redesign can have an unan­tic­i­pat­ed rip­ple effect, result­ing in nec­es­sary changes to your brand­ing and mar­ket­ing as a whole. For exam­ple, choos­ing a new col­or scheme or a dif­fer­ent logo shape is just the first in a long chain of domi­noes – these ele­ments could impact every­thing from your busi­ness cards and web­site to com­pa­ny vehicles.

Depend­ing on how much you change the logo, you might end up need­ing to revis­it every sin­gle spot the logo lives. If you aren’t pre­pared for a full over­haul, you might want to take a step back and aim for a refresh­er instead.

Let the Creatives at Page Design Give Your Logo a Fresh New Look

Whether your brand is in need of a quick logo refresh or you’re ready for a total redesign, the tal­ent­ed team at Page Design is pre­pared to dive right in. Togeth­er, we can deter­mine how to cre­ate a fresh take on your business’s logo, infus­ing it with the unique details that rep­re­sent your brand. Then, when you’re ready to debut the new logo, our brand­ing agency will help you pull off the big move with­out a hitch.Your logo should be the per­fect fit for your brand, mis­sion, and long-term goals – and if it’s not, the time to make a change is now. Con­tact the Page Design team to start the logo redesign or refresh process, and let our team work with you to make your vision come to life

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