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


Posted in
Scroll to Top