When is it time to redesign your logo? It’s easy to become attached to it over the years, but there are a few circumstances when it’s worth taking a closer look.

  • “It’s time.” Design evolution is usually the #1 reason to update a logo — it’s begins to look outdated compared to other companies in your industry, or marketing trends general. I’m not saying you should completely redesign it every five years, that’s a mistake. But few logos are actually timeless (Chanel excluded, of course). If it was done properly in the first place, hopefully it will last 10 years before an overhaul is required.
  • Production issues. Closely related to the outdated issue, if the logo becomes problematic from an execution perspective — problems translating it between print and web for example — it could be time to make a revision. Usually the simpler the better with any logo mark.
  • Business strategy. Any significant change in your business — operations, new products and services, mission, etc. — could warrant a fresh look at your branding and initiate a change.

2013 was a pretty good year for identity overhauls, these are my favorite high-profile redesigns.

#3 JAGUAR: Supposed to be “classy.” Looked super dated. The original font looks like Kabel, which I was looking dated when I started working as a designer in 1994. I think the designers did a great job updating the look while keeping the essence of the original. It also reflects the contouring trends that are appearing on the vehicles these days.

A light “refresh” like this is a good way to keep it fresh when beginning to look dated.

OLD:

Old Jaguar Logo

NEW:

New Jaguar Logo

 

#2 MICROSOFT: Really, really needed updating. Really. Their corporate logo finally caught up to the software branding they’ve been evolving in the last few years. I might have thrown a little dimensionality into the quad color mark, but at least it caught up to the more colorful trends of the internet company (think Google).

This is a major overhaul of a big corporate brand. You can see they were bold, but kind of conservative.

OLD:

Microsoft-Old Logo

 

NEW:

New Microsoft Logo

itv: I’ve never heard of it either, but this broadcast brand went from ho-hum to a unique identity. What I like best is how the colors of the new logo work so well on a dark background, when the black “t” gets reversed to white.

To me, this redesign reflects a strategic shift in their brand approach, since the vibe of the new logo is so different than the original. I think it’s my favorite.

OLD:

Old ITV Logo

 

NEW:

New ITV Logo

itv identity applied

Lastly, here’s a quick look at the evolution of the Starbucks logo, over 40 years. See how they’ve simplified and updated to reflects the times, in that way it evolves to remain on trend:

Starbucks logo

 

We’ve done a number of redesigns over the years, check them out in our collection of “Before & Afters.”