Looking to Redesign Your Logo? Read This First!
Humans are highly visual creatures. As such, a logo plays a hugely important role in the success of your business, as it acts as the visual cornerstone to your brand.
But what happens when that logo doesn’t seem to be resonating with consumers? We dive into when to know and what to do if your logo needs a makeover.
When is it time for a redesign?
First things first: logos are not one-style-fits all. There are several types of logos, from word-marks and symbols to letter-marks and emblems. Regardless of which category it falls under, your logo should, at the very least, do one thing – stick in your consumer’s mind.
Make no mistake, identifying the exact point when your brand’s image would benefit from a makeover can be tricky. However, if you’ve been toying around with the idea, ask yourself the following questions in order to get a clearer understanding of whether or not this is a necessary move for your business:
- How much has your company grown since the inception of that logo? Does it still fully represent everything you are and everything you offer?
- How long ago was this logo created? Has it adapted to the digital era we currently live in or does it look out-of-date? Does it work well within the constraints of social media or would it need to be simplified to fit?
- Was this something you created yourself? Now that your business is up and running, would it benefit from a professional taking a crack at it? Do you have the budget for that?
- What do your competitors’ logos look like? Consumers are probably comparing them to yours – do you stand out in any way, good or bad?
At the end of the day, giving your logo a refresh every so often isn’t a bad idea. In fact, many companies have done this over the years (as you can see from the examples below) and for a myriad of reasons.
Still wondering if you should update your logo? Consider this:
Consumers want to feel that the brand they’re investing their money in cares about being up-to-date.
Nothing lowers a consumer’s trust and their overall perception of your brand quicker than seeming out-of-touch.
How much will it cost me?
Now that you’ve decided to make the leap and invest in a redesign, you’re probably wondering how much it will cost you. The truth is, designing a logo can cost anywhere from zero to tens of thousands of dollars – it all depends on who you go to and what you’re looking for. To give you some perspective:
- Connecting with a logo maker at a freelance services marketplace like Fiverr can cost anywhere between $5 and $100 USD;
- A freelance designer with a good portfolio but more limited experience can cost anywhere between $100 and $1000 USD;
- An experienced professional designer can do the work for $1000 to upwards of $2500 USD;
- Meanwhile, a full-service design firm with a team of professional designers can cost well above $5000, up to $20,000 USD and beyond.
“Price is dependent on your timeline, the size of your company, and the size of the firm you’re working with,” adds Paddy Harrington, founder of Frontier, a magazine, design studio, and ventures group. “Other impacts on price are the number of revisions requested. A contract usually includes a few rounds of revisions but if you start asking for more options, that’s more time and time is money.”
Figuring out what your logo should look like
Kelly Ison, co-founder of Einstein Pets, recommends a good brainstorming session to figure out the good, the bad, and the ugly and go from there. Most creative agencies want to get a handle on not just who you are but who your audience is and what they’ll respond to, as well as how you stand out from your competitors, and perhaps most importantly, what tone you want to convey. Are you a playful, fun-loving brand? Or do you want to be taken more seriously?
Take a look, for example, at the two logos below:
Put yourself in the consumer’s shoes – what do you see? How do you feel? What would make you want to buy from either company and what might turn you off from a potential purchase?
What about the two examples below – one from Apple’s past and the iconic fruit as we know it today:
Why do you think the logo has changed the way it has? What does the old logo say to you? How much does it contrast with what you know or think about Apple products today?
These are all things consumers think about (whether they realize it or not) and things you should consider as a brand owner. Look to your past logo and figure out what did or didn’t work (it’s not always all bad!). Are there too many elements, is it too hard to read at times? Simplicity is key. Maybe all you need is a generational rebranding of your logo – enough of a change that consumers can appreciate the difference but keeping the history of your original logo in tact.
“When we’re interviewing [potential clients], we ask questions related to the business specifically as well the competitive landscape. But we also ask questions about personal preferences,” explains Paddy.
“We try to find ways to translate our design language into concepts that are simple to grasp and that offer us input that we can then turn into design. Sometimes that might mean asking questions that help us personify a brand by comparing it to other popular references. We might ask something like, ‘If your brand was a movie, which one would it be?’
Our questions range from more serious quantitative questions to a variety of qualitative questions that are all really just probes to help us give shape to your vision.”
Where will it go?
Paddy states, “There are many technical considerations to think about, like how the logo works at big or small scales; How it works in three dimensions or, in instances where it can only be used with one colour, how it works from a legibility perspective.” Don’t forget to take into account where your logo will be placed. Aside from your products, where will consumers come into contact with it? Your website? Social media? In print? Video? Whatever image you use, make sure it can easily scale across all mediums, products, and/or environments to avoid any mishaps or putting off any consumers. You should also take size into consideration (no one likes an over-stretched, grainy image file) – will your logo look just as good the size of your thumb versus splashed across a billboard? One tip to remember is that when working with an agency, ask for a “vector” version (EPS file format) that can be printed at any size.
“You may not recognize the nuances at play but chances are your customers will,” warns Paddy. “Even if they can’t pick it out explicitly, they can feel when a logo is just not at the right level of professionalism and polish.”
Once you know what you want, where do you go from here?
Co-founder of Einstein Pets, Robert Ison, drew up the company’s logo himself and to much success. But the homemade option isn’t for everybody and may not always guarantee great results.
“When you are a company whose success depends on making a strong connection to your customer, designers have a ton of value,” Paddy remarks. “Great designers aren’t just about visual skill. They also think carefully about your business objectives and how to most clearly communicate the value of your product or service to the people that you are trying to reach.”
If you are considering heading to a creative agency for help and want to feel prepared beforehand, Creative Boom offers a great list of 50 questions any good company will ask you before getting to work.
But what about the questions you should be asking them? Before getting to the nitty gritty design details, how do you ensure you find the right agency for your needs and get the most out of your budget?
First off, build an outline. Besides transforming all that brainstorm magic into a clear and concise picture, figure out exactly what it is you’re looking for. This will determine many things such as what type of agency you should be going after, the time it will take them to get you what you need, and your budget.
Remember that examples can be helpful. You already do it at the salon, so why not bring images with you as a visual aid? Do a little sleuthing around the web and see what competitors or agencies have done in the past that may be similar to what you want. The goal here is not to copy but rather give the agency a clear idea of what you’re asking.
Start hunting. As I like to say, ‘Google is your friend’. However the deluge of results you’re likely to get upon searching “Logo Design Agency” will more than likely overwhelm you. Try thinking outside the box – there exists several sites where designers and creatives come together to share snippets of their work. Sites like Dribble and even Pinterest are all good sources of inspiration if you’re trying to see what’s out there in terms of design work.
This should go without saying, but don’t forget to reach out to your own network to see if there is anyone capable of doing the work!
Once you’ve compiled a list of designers you’d be interested in working with, be sure to check out their websites and/or portfolios. This will give you a clearer picture of what they can and cannot do and also help you figure out if your aesthetics align. You’ll also find out how up-to-date they keep their site (have they not worked in a while? Does this worry you?), as well as what other companies they’ve worked with in the past. Visit them on social media to get a feel for their style – do you think you’d get along? You may be outsourcing a good chunk of work to them but this is still a partnership.
Once you’ve narrowed down your selection of designers and agencies, start making contact to discuss the project at hand.
This usually starts with a simple email or phone call. Keep it brief: let them know who you are, what you’re looking for, and why you think they might be the right people for the job.
Depending on the type of conversations you have, you should have a much clearer picture of where your final decision lies. And with that, you can get started on redesigning your logo to be the very best version of itself yet!
We’d like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Paddy Harrington, Founder of Frontier, for allowing us to interview him for this article. With over 10 years of branding, strategy, and design experience, Paddy’s insights have proven to be invaluable to the Hubba community.
If you’re a brand or retailer looking for a team of amazing designers to work with, learn more about Frontier by watching the video below!
Don’t forget to apply for your chance to have your logo redesigned by Frontier and three other companies!
Follow her at @D_isforDayana
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