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Logo Redesign or Refresh? How to Tell the Difference

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  • Your current logo is outdated, whether it’s the aesthetic that’s feeling tired or the actual compatibility of the logo with new technology.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

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