What to do when you KNOW your logo needs to go!
Unfortunately, sailing away is not one of the options.
It’s never easy to rebrand your identity. It is, after all, your identity. But sometimes, even logos and brands need a good haircut and makeover. We’ve compiled 25 ways to leave your logo – and start fresh. Let’s get started.
Explore & find inspiration
Finding inspiration is key to your success of designing a logo. I personally love to walk the isles in stores and concept them, but a much easier way for those without this fetish is to explore online. I’m going to be punny here, but walk a mile in your audience’s shoes. Find the designs that might draw in the type of people you want to work with. Anything that inspires or brings a positive effect of emotion is sure to be the start of an awesome idea.
Do a brand analysis
You can absolutely do this by yourself, or work with a professional. If you have the time and patience (software helps), pull together every file you have on your business – from fonts, to colors, to letter style and templates, website elements, client type list, social media links, online portfolios and galleries, etc. Once you have everything, lay it out and make sure everything has the SAME CLEAR message you want to send. It is time consuming if you have a wide client base or online presence, but well worth the effort to provide your clients with one message not often said, which is “We are a strong, well put together company”.
Date your current brand
Not as in 1992, but sit with your logo in a quiet place and relearn what you like and love about it. Keep those pieces of it and build it up once again. Maybe the spark is completely gone. If that’s the case, it may be time to get some logo and brand therapy from a professional.
Research your industry
Take the time to look at those you are or will be competing with. Even the friendly competition. Check out their brand, their tone, their emotional impact on their audience and how they connect. You will find many twists and plots that can spark a creative process for your own identity.
Research your audience
Knowing who you are communicating and working with is huge – This is no understatement. Your audience will be diverse, but there is a single connection – and that is your product or service – you can’t go wrong when you design your logo and brand to speak volumes to those who silently observe and quiet those who blatantly converse. .
Research online variables
One less used tactic by those trying to design their own logo is to search the internet for things like keywords, hashtags and taglines. The reason these are important can range from inspiration, to identifying additional competitors and followers. it may seem a slow trickle to many different opportunities and resources you can use to create your logo and brand identity, but one well worth the research.
The first step to this is describing your business, and being brutally honestly with yourself. What do you do? What does your About Us look like? Who are you currently doing business with? What does your current brand make you feel? Is it visually pleasing? Step away from the fact that it is your business, write those things down as if you are doing a business review for someone else and then conceptualize creatively. How you creatively conceptualize is up to you – crayons, pen, pencil sketches… Draw it out in all ways you can imagine until the creativity is unstoppable, and the goal feels obtainable.
It will take a few rounds of conceptualizing, so be sure to take some time to stop, walk away and return with fresh view of your logo. Sometimes that means a few hours, and other times a few days.
Share, share, share. The FFFFundamentals that many use is Family, Friends, Faith, and Food. Grab some pizza (or your favorite foodie weakness), present your ideas to your friends and family who you feel would give you their honest opinions, and have faith that their full and grateful stomachs will help you toward a successful logo design.
Dive into the brand
We usually begin the entire logo processes with this in mind, but forget that there is also that counter action to step out. Yet, when we counter, we often do not dive back in. It’s a must to keep your brand strong. Check often that your passions still align with your business, and keep the flame burning. Think of this as a short investment of time – ans ensure that you take additional time to have an ongoing journal of the edits to make. You never know, you might be the next great success story to share their logo brand development – and you’ll need this history on paper.
Step out of the brand
If you are going to manage your own logo and brand, you will need to step out of the brand. It’s not easy at first, but when you practice it, the process tends to become a healthy habit. Having the ability to look at your business representation from different perspectives allows you to develop your brand more effectively. It is also a relatively small investment that will yield returns.
Create a mood board
Creating a mood board is awesome. Sometimes seeing ideas really big in front of you is the best way to find the depth of a message. And when many things are put together for a common goal, there is often the element of surprise to what you can come up with.
Draft some ideas
It is important to take the time to draft your ideas on paper to ensure your visual message is conveyed. While it is a rarity to do one and be done, it is possible. For the not so possible, do several and then stand back for an overview of them all at once. You may find that a part of one goes with a part of another. Be sure to keep all your drafts so you can revisit them as your brand grows. You may quite possibly be visioning your brand in the future of 20 years – but today’s look doesn’t fit that design yet.
Design for versatility
Versatility is a must. Because you won’t be using just one logo style for everything, be sure to consider the other ways you will be using it, such as letterheads, Social Media headers and posts, blogging, product development, and client engagement to name a few.
Certain curves, shapes and sizes are timeless. All that means is that you can combine them to ensue when the next trend of circles comes through, you have a piece of representation in your logo or brand, and not necessarily your entire brand made of a singular shape.
Sometimes these are a “thing”, but at all costs, study them in detail to ensure they are going to last before making changes to your design. This includes many of the things we’ve pointed out such as tone, colors, shapes, etc. Clichés change – your logo or brand should represent a strong presence which means little change.
Use fonts creatively
Using fonts that are unique can work wonders. First, it discourages plagiarism, but it also allows you to use the font shapes to talk to your audience. For instance, the Allura font wouldn’t work for a vintage logo as well as a grunge font.
Tell a story
If you have an evolving business or a series of services, you might consider a moving logo whereas the logo itself flows with a story. For instance, an artist may design their logo to show they can sketch, paint and use computer apps all in one logo. A therapist may design a logo whereas they exchange dark colors for bright to show the transition in one’s life they can bring.
Give your logo a voice
When you want your logo to expel the same passion you have, be sure your passion aligns with your business. There is a deathtrap in logo design whereas one may have a passion unrelated to or off track of what their business does specifically. For example, the piano teacher may love playing in a band on Friday nights at the club, but a logo that crosses the line from piano lessons to night club activities will not play well with the new clients wanting to simply learn classic piano.
Use color to attract
Some logos and brands are amazing in B/W. There is usually a certain eloquence in B/W logos and type logos. Before going this route, be sure that B/W will flow nicely with the rest of your brand.
That said, there is a psychology behind colors and it’s best to use it to our advantage when speaking to our audience. Choosing colors that you like aren’t necessarily the best choice, unless you are 95% of your brand. Choose colors that speak to your audience. Ultimately, those colors are part of your brand, and part of your prospect’s brand experience. If they feel the colors, they likely become attracted to your brand. Consider using a color picker like Adobe Color CC to help you choose your complimentary colors wisely.
Take online tutorials
There are absolutely tons of online tutorials on logo and brand development. Some of our team have spent their entire adult lives studying logos and brand relationship. While being a business owner won’t allow such focus, go to the places the experts go. Some suggestions might be lynda.com, skillshare.com, spoongraphics.com, planetphotoshop.com, create.adobe.com, and Adobe forums.
Challenge your skills in software
Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are great applications for creating your logo. They are versatile to digital, publication and multimedia formats and can outperform many other applications with their special effects.
Break some rules
If you have an unconventional vision for your logo or brand, go for it. First find the trends so you know what you are competing with, then jump in. There is nothing that should be ruled out if it fits your passion in business. You will never know the practical uses of your design if you don’t try them out.
Digitize your final few ideas
Going digital is always an exciting step in the process of logo design. You should always go to the digital stage of design with more than one design at task because digitizing your ideas can yield very different results from your sketches. With that, digitize the versatile versions so you aren’t left with the question of what to do with your logo or brand when a new campaign starts. Planning ahead at this stage will prevent a round or two of headaches later.
Create a Style Guide
A style guide is going to help you immensely as your business grows. It is a statement of directions that will allow you to hand off your in-house design matters to staff or an agency when you find business is large enough for you to share those responsibilities. In this, you will identify colors, fonts, styles, tone, white space, medium variables, etc.
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