3 Brutally Honest Questions You Need to Be Asking About Your Current Logo

By January 21, 2016Branding, Logo Design

Designing your logo was probably one of the first steps you took when transitioning your business from idea to reality.

So it’s understandable why many business owners get attached.

If your logo has been in place since your business’ infancy (or is more than five years old),  it’s vital you reflect and revisit.

Ask yourself these three brutally honest questions as you critique.

1. Is my logo memorable?

Consumers have lots of options when selecting a company to do business with. While your logo is certainly not the only factor potential customers will consider, having a distinctive logo can give you an upper hand.

How does your logo shape up to the logos of your industry competitors? Does yours get lost in a sea of relative conformity, or stand out and impress?

Take a hard, critical look at your logo as seemingly inconsequential things could make a major difference. 80% of all logos feature blue, for example, so staying away from this hue could naturally set your logo apart.

2. Did I over-design my logo?

Smashing Magazine reminds, “A good logo is distinctive, appropriate, practical, graphic and simple in form, and it conveys the owner’s intended message.”

Simple is the key word in this description. And there are several important reasons for that.

“Busy” logos with complex design elements, for example, run the risk of losing detail when resized. The result is a logo that looks muddy and flawed.

And that’s not all.

It’s not just the shapes that should be simple on your logo, but the typography, as well.

If your logo features a collection of fonts, you’ll overwhelm viewers. Best practices suggest you limit your fonts to two for maximum impact and appeal.

As a final “smell test,” if your logo isn’t distinguishable in black and white, it’s not an effective graphical representation of your company.

If after critique it seems that your logo may be a bit too busy, don’t fret.

Even the heavy hitters have returned to the drawing board to lighten up their logo.

Starbucks, for example, used to feature a detailed, double-tailed, mermaid logo. Today, they use a streamlined and simplified version of the original logo that still retains relevance to the original.

3. Does my logo reflect my brand today… or my brand yesterday?

Your business is a living thing that is continually growing and maturing.

Internally, your customer profile may change, for example. And as years go on, brand personality evolves.

Externally, maybe there’s been a shift in the competitive landscape that’s impacting your growth potential.

Whatever the catalyst, when your business makes major changes, your logo may need to as well.

Here are a few bonus questions that may indicate it’s time for a redesign:

  • Does your current logo limit your business?
  • Does your logo tell an outdated brand story?
  • Based on what you anticipate, will this logo continue to be relevant in the next weeks, months and years?

Final thoughts

Branding is a process. And that process doesn’t end with the production of a logo. Continual review and revision is a must.

We understand that critiquing your long-loved logo is never an easy process. Your logo is important enough, however, that you really must be brutally honest with yourself about its strengths and weaknesses.

Be critical. Decide what’s working. Cut the fat to make a lean and powerful logo.

Be selective. You aren’t likely going to toss your old logo entirely. Break your logo apart and decide what elements need to go and which can stay.

Be conscious of meaning. Make your logo concise, not silent. Let it say what it needs to say, but as simply and clearly as possible.

How does your existing logo stack up when you pose these questions to yourself?

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