By Theo Fels, Creative Director of Feisty Brown. Theo was born in Los Angeles to a family caught up in the LA art scene of the 70s and 80s. Influenced by that era’s vibrant combination of fine arts and graphic design, Theo’s approach to design is inspired and conscious, superseding the mechanical. He now designs media and websites for prominent news, corporate, and media/entertainment clients. His most current work includes ongoing corporate communications for Capital One, the International Monetary Fund, and Johnson & Johnson, as well as news design for Singapore Today. (More about Theo Fels, below)
The Logo Is A Window Into Your Identity
When it comes to brand recognition your logo is everything. It is the window into your identity. It represents your brand story, grabs your audience, and connects them to what you stand for, so you want to be sure your logo is delivering the right message. Does your logo effectively communicate the essence of your brand? If not, it may be time for a refresh.
Here are five questions to ask yourself as you consider updating your logo.
1. Does your logo reflect your brand’s current identity?
It is important that as your company grows, it has a logo that can grow with it that accurately conveys your current goals and objectives. Start your analysis by assessing your organization’s priorities and mission. Your logo cannot do everything, but at the very least, it needs to connect emotionally with your audience. This is a good gauge to reflect the need for change. Secondly, examine your logo and consider whether it matches your vision as a brand. Your logo must be a stand-alone symbol. Try to step outside your role and put yourself in place of the target audience. Does your market understand what your brand is all about through your logo alone, or is further detail and explanation needed?
2. Is your logo visually outdated?
An effective logo will represent your company visually and subtly communicate important messages using innovative design. Be careful about initiating change for change sake, especially if your current logo already has good recognition. Think about your logo as setting its own long-term trend. Also, consider the margin of change and how that will need to be marketed. Major changes need major marketing, minor changes, not so much. Typically, as a company or organization grows over time, it outgrows its original logo. While your logo may have been on par with current design trends when it was first developed, it may be time to freshen it up to incorporate a modern look. It’s important that your brand communicate that it is fresh and current, rather than out of touch. Subtle changes in typography that reflect today’s industry standards may be all you need to move your logo forward. Do the colors and styles translate into the era and climate in which your company exists? If your logo snaps your audience back to a different timeframe, that may be a sign that it is time for a refresh. But be careful of trends.
3. Is your logo too simple or too complicated?
The level of simplicity matters. Your logo is a stand-alone representation of your brand; therefore, it is important that it conveys your message just by looking at it! Take for example the Target logo. It is simple, conveys the name and the brand, without overshooting for a complicated design. The simplest logos are the ones that are easily recognized and symbolic of your brand. Carefully examine your logo and see if you can hone it down to its bare essentials and still represent your brand.
4. Do your logo colors communicate the personality of the brand?
Each color represents a different emotion and serves a different purpose. Colors can trigger certain feelings in association with your brand. Be sure to assess the colors used in your logo and not only consider whether they are aesthetically pleasing, but also ask yourself if they clearly convey what your brand is all about. When changing to new colors, you’ll still need to acknowledge your original color palette or risk losing the investment you made in the existing recognition of those colors.
5. Is your logo versatile?
Lastly, your logo will be at the forefront of all materials distributed by your brand. Therefore, your logo will need to be adaptable across several formats from apparel and business cards to billboards and all external communications. You also need to consider all the materials your old logo has been used for and plan to replace them. This means redistributing the logo and style guides to all your vendors. Consider customer validation surveys to test your logo’s versality and scalability with some key stakeholders before launching the final iteration of your logo.
Keep in mind, it is important that the decision makers love the logo. If the logo does not resonate with the decision makers it will hinder their ability to be your brand ambassadors. Choosing the right logo design is a major business decision, take it seriously! At Feisty Brown, we believe that great logo design can bring you closer to your audience. Our fundamental working principle – and it is a simple one – is that design and language should work together to connect people. We create engaging communications that are tailored to your audience, fit comfortably in their surroundings, and start conversations.
If your company is ready for a logo update, we are here to spice up your brand identity with some feisty graphic designs sure to leave an impression.
More About Theo Fels: A seasoned news designer, Theo directed the print and online redesigns of The Hollywood Reporter and the online redesign of the Independent newspapers in Belfast, Ireland, and England, washingtonpost/local.com, and flypmedia.com. He also redesigned chron.com, the website of the Houston Chronicle, as well as Rumbo and La Voz, both high-end Spanish-language newspapers. Theo oversees all design projects for Feisty Brown. He was a partner in the design studio Theo & Sebastian prior to Feisty Brown. His 25+ years of experience gives him a unique perspective on the management and direction of design projects. Theo holds bachelor’s degrees in Art and Art History from the University of California, Santa Cruz.