Think back to a beloved t-shirt from when you were young. Maybe it had your favorite ska-punk band’s name, or a picture of Mighty Mouse on the back. I’m sure it was great at the time, but it no longer reflects today’s you.
Your logo is like a t-shirt. As your business matures, the look and feel of your brand should also develop. Even though you loved it, and it served you well, it may be time to let it go.
There’s no denying the importance of a well-designed logo. It supports your overall identity as a business and helps you stand out from the competition. However, if the colors clash, or it looks messy or outdated, it can easily offer the wrong impression to potential customers.
If you think your logo needs a freshen up, or you’ve seen a famous logo evolution by a company you admire, perhaps it’s time for an update.
Why it’s important to change your logo
If you’re still on the fence about redesigning your logo, here are a few reasons why it’s a good idea to take the plunge.
- Your logo looks out of date – The design world is constantly changing — you only have to look at old websites on the Wayback Machine to realize how bad outdated web design can look. If your logo looks old-fashioned, but your brand is modern, it’s time for a refresh.
- You offer new products and services – If you’ve started to offer more than one product or service, there’s a high probability your logo no longer reflects your business. Keep your business aligned by embracing the future with a logo that shows your growth.
- Your logo is too busy – If your logo is made up of lots of elements, it may be too complicated. It’s a good idea to keep things simple. A distracting logo may confuse customers and put them off.
- Your logo isn’t memorable – Whether the font you’ve chosen is overused, or the color palette you’ve selected is too similar to your competitors, customers won’t remember you exist if your logo doesn’t stand out. When it comes to choosing a product or service, you may be overlooked.
5 tips for logo evolution success
Now that you know why you need to change your logo, it’s time to learn how to create a new one.
1. Don’t be too trendy – As you know, an old-fashioned logo can give a bad impression. However, if you create a logo that’s too on-trend, it can quickly become outdated as things move on, which may result in the need for another change. Try to strike a balance with a classic look that won’t age. Check out Logo trends for 2021 for some inspiration.
2. Keep it simple – If a logo is complicated, our brains get confused. The easier a logo is to understand, the easier it is to recall. Use a minimalist color palette and clear font to keep it uncomplicated. The Nike Swoosh and the Golden Arches from McDonald’s are brilliant examples of simple logos recognized worldwide.
3. Celebrate your past – If you’ve had your logo for a long time, your customers (and you) will most likely have developed an emotional attachment to it. Consider keeping part of that logo for your newly evolved one, whether that’s a dominant color or a symbol. A nod to the past will be a welcome addition for your loyal followers.
4. Make it versatile – If your business is out there in the real world, such as in pamphlets, newspapers, or on billboards, make sure that your logo is scalable, and looks great in black and white, as well as in color. The same goes with social media — make sure it looks good on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
5. Get feedback – Once you have a few ideas for your logo, share them with people you trust and ask for their honest opinion. You may find you’ve been too close to the design to notice something doesn’t look quite right.
Logos in the spotlight
Let’s take a closer look at the logo evolutions of Nike, Burger King, Deliveroo, and Airbnb.
Designed by Portland State University student Carolyn Davidson in 1971 for just $35, the Nike ‘Swoosh’ logo has stood the test of time. Originally the company was called Blue Ribbon Sports, but when they rebranded as Nike in 1971 a new logo was introduced. It’s simplistic, clear, and hasn’t changed much over the years. The result is an iconic, globally recognized logo that conveys movement.
The Burger King logo was updated in January 2021 (pictured right) and celebrates the past (pictured left). The old logo (left) used from 1969 to 1999, was replaced by a brighter more slanted logo (middle) that featured a blue detail to provide contrast. It’s simplistic, uses just two colors, and has a retro feel. All three logos use the burger shape, designed to evoke hunger.
Airbnb realized they needed a new logo that reflected what they offer. The ‘Belo’ icon featured in the logo update can be “drawn by anyone and recognized anywhere.” and was designed by Design Studio in 2014.
The Belo is the symbol of belonging — ‘people’, ‘places’, ‘love’, and ‘Airbnb’. Though, it received mixed reviews, with some people suggesting it resembled parts of the human body.
Food delivery company Deliveroo changed their logo in 2016, keeping the teal color and changing the text from title case to sentence case. Design Studio, (the same team behind Airbnb’s logo), said they wanted a logo that could “work on a favicon as well as it could on a billboard”. The result? A kangaroo that’s bold and distinctive, making it recognizable and loved by customers.
Go forth and create a logo
Now that you know why it’s important to update your logo and you’ve learned a few tips on how to do it, it’s your turn to get started.
Why not try out Namecheap’s free-to-use Logo Maker?
It takes less than five minutes to create the perfect logo and you can choose from thousands of fonts, icons, and colors to make it your own. You’ll be presented with a number of different options which you can download and use on your websites, business cards, and beyond!
I hope you enjoyed reading about logos and I wish you the best of luck when it comes to evolving yours. Before you go, if you’re looking for some more reading material:
- Read What can we learn from famous logo evolutions? and discover how big brands like Apple, Uber, and Instagram do it.
- If you’re updating your brand look along with your logo, you might be interested in How to choose awesome brand colors.
- Don’t forget to showcase yourself to the world! Check out Developing your personal brand to learn how.