Have you been in business for a long time?
You probably fall into one of two camps as far as your company logo is concerned: you either love it, or you very much hate it.
If you’re still happy with your brand moniker and you wouldn’t change it for the world, this post probably isn’t for you. Carry on. Stay proud. (Although you still might benefit from a professional opinion, especially if you haven’t updated your brand graphics in a very long time.)
If you either can’t stand the sight of your visual identifier, or there’s something not quite right with it that you’re struggling to put your finger on, read on.
And if you have never been satisfied with your logo, but you just went along with it to get your brand off the ground – well, maybe this blog will convince you to take action!
Why don’t you like your logo?
It’s a question I often ask a lot of my design clients – and interestingly, it’s one that they often struggle to answer. Sometimes, business leaders don’t know why they don’t like their most vital branding asset. They can’t articulate their thoughts and feelings. They just know it’s not the right fit for their company anymore.
Sound like you? Well, it’s my job to help you work out what the issue is, then use my design expertise to fix it!
Here are a few reasons why you might not be totally over the moon with your logo:
It looks amateurish.
If you didn’t invest in your logo design back when you first started setting up your business, chances are it’s now starting to affect the way your audience views your brand.
‘Amateur’ logos tend to look unbalanced, too busy or flashy, poorly drawn, or a combination of all three. They are the antithesis of what a skilled and experienced designer can – and should – create for you.
I know how tempting it can be to cut costs during the start-up phase and put your hard-earned cash into other things instead. But I’ve worked with SO many companies over the years who have initially chosen to either ‘do’ their logo themselves or pay pittance for sub-standard work, then paid the price as they have tried to scale up their business. Unfortunately, both these approaches will have a significant knock-on effect on how an organisation is perceived. Potential customers can spot a badly designed logo a mile away, and often associate sloppy graphics with unprofessionalism and a lack of attention to detail – two traits that you definitely don’t want to come to mind when people think of your brand.
It looks out of date.
The problem with trying to pack too many of the latest trends into your logo design is that it will eventually become obsolete.
It’s all too easy to ask your logo designer to come up with an illustration that’s en vogue, but it will inevitably go out of fashion when the seasons change (and best practices shift with them).
The typography used in your logo and its strapline is often the biggest giveaway that your logo was created some time ago. Sure, classics are classics – but there are certain styles that don’t appeal to design-conscious consumers anymore. Take the infamous Times New Roman, for example. It’s been a design staple for decades, but nowadays, it makes graphics and documents look like they were put together around 2001. Sans serif fonts, on the other hand, will immediately make these assets look more current.
It looks decidedly rubbish compared to your competitors’ efforts.
Perhaps you have become more conscious of your position in your market, and this new awareness has made you look at what’s on offer from your biggest rivals. If this is the case, it’s only natural to compare your design output with theirs – and to be pretty unhappy with your existing logo if it looks antiquated in comparison.
Again, it’s likely that your competitors have better logos than you because they have used their time (and money) to come up with a stronger, better informed brand identity for their business. They haven’t cut corners, and it’s worked to their advantage.
You’ve realised it looks too similar to another logo.
Even if you carried out extensive market research before signing off on your new logo, you can’t guarantee that there’s not going to be another design out there that looks strikingly similar to yours. On the flip side, new entrants to your industry can knowingly or unknowingly steal your ideas. It’s important to always be on the lookout for logos that have the same features as yours.
If you think that a competitor or another business has deliberately copied your design, you can send them a cease and desist letter in a bid to get them to change their graphics. But most legal teams will tell you that it’s only worth taking this route if you have absolute proof that the idea belonged to you first. That’s yet another benefit of working with a professional logo designer – they will store all their work and keep records of all correspondence with you, so you’ll have evidence that you/they came up with the concept.
It’s too colourful (or not colourful enough).
The psychology of colour in graphic design is a huge topic. But regardless of the shades you choose to use within your branding materials – and why you decide to use them – balance is key to achieving a logo design that looks clean, fresh and contemporary.
Logos that ignore the basics of colour theory will overwhelm the viewer, as will illustrations that use clashing or incompatible hues. However, you won’t always win if you go for a black and white or greyscale option, either. These kinds of designs often lack any ‘pop’, which makes them difficult to distinguish and easy to forget. If you feel like you’ve made bad choices with your logo’s colour palette, you’ll need to address the problem sooner rather than later.
You can’t scale it up or down for different applications.
This is yet another one of the pitfalls that comes with not employing a professional to handle the creation of your business logo.
The experts will make sure your logos are supplied in a variety of formats that can be used across all kinds of assets, from Word documents to van wraps. They will factor this in as part of their logo design process. The first-timers and the hobby designers will often forget to take the resizing of your logo into consideration, leaving you with a lossy jpg that doesn’t have the sharpness you need and will continue to lose its clarity every time it’s edited.
You can’t turn back time. But you can take action now.
Hopefully, running through the above points has helped to work out exactly what it is that you don’t like about your current logo.
You can’t jump in a time machine, but you can take steps to update and refresh your logo so it becomes something you’re proud to show off to your customers, not something you want to hide at all costs.
I can either create a new logo from scratch, or help deliver a brand refresh that brings your logo and all your other assets up to date. Learn more about the difference between a rebrand and a refresh here, or contact me to see which option would best suit your business!