Logo revolution – or logo evolution?

Posted by Colin Higton

What do you do, when the devil on your left shoulder wants to change your logo and create a new look for your company or organisation, but the angel on your right wants to keep the old logo at all costs?

How do you square that circle and achieve a successful compromise when both ‘sides’ offer convincing arguments?

Change it?

Creating a new logo and a fresh new look for your organisation has lots of benefits. it shows your customers that you are fresh and dynamic – and able to grow and change as they do. It creates a new perspective for your whole team – and shows them that things can be improved and that they are part of something that has a clear new direction. Most importantly, it creates new impetus that can help carry you, your sales and your whole marketing or communications forward.

Keep it?

But what about history and heritage? Your old logo has served you well – and at one time was the way you achieved all of the above to get you where you are now. People know and recognise that logo in the same way they know and recognise the people they work with – whether they are customers, colleagues or suppliers. Do you really want to throw all that away?

Sometimes the answer is glaringly obvious. If you’re CocaCola, Abbey or Gap you will realise you shouldn’t mess with a successful brand – even if it’s after the event. But if you’re BP or Ratner jewellers, you might be wise to think about making – and being seen to make – a fresh start.

But for most businesses in the real world it isn’t so black and white – so which way should you jump?

The answer…

The answer is to stop thinking in terms of right and wrong, jumping or staying still – they’re both right, and with the right approach you can achieve both objectives.

Logo evolution – or more accurately Visual Identity evolution keeps the strength and the history of your brand, but reinterprets it in a fresh new way. Show your customers and staff that things are changing and moving on – but that your building on everything that is great about your organisation right now.

It might be taking your existing logo and reinterpreting it in a more modern or dynamic style (BRUSH), or creating a new logo but applying it in a traditional way that reflects the company’s heritage (deVOL). It might even be like our project for Chubb Locks where we had to manage a transition that saw everything about the old brand disappear – but carried the values and prestige of the old brand across to the new.

It’s just a case of finding a creative approach that identifies what is important and valuable about the old, and carries that forward in a dynamic and effective way. It’s a process that every company and every brand has to go through – even if you think you’re too small or too mundane to qualify as a ‘brand’.

It’s just evolution – and like evolution it makes sure that only the smartest, the fittest and most adaptable will survive.

Picture credit
The History of the Shell Logo

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