Logo Refresh: How to Breathe New Life Into Your Brand

In today’s competitive business world, a strong brand identity is crucial for success. A logo is an essential element of brand identity, serving as the face of the company and the first point of contact with customers. However, as time passes, a logo that was once fresh and innovative can become outdated and lose its relevance. This is why logo redesigns have become a common practice among businesses of all sizes and industries.

Nike is one of the most recognizable brands in the world, known for its iconic “swoosh” logo. However, even a company as successful as Nike recognizes the need to evolve and update their branding from time to time. In 1995, Nike underwent a significant logo redesign, dropping the “Nike” lettering from the logo and placing the swoosh symbol above the word “Nike” in a smaller font.

The reason for the redesign was to simplify the logo and make it more versatile, allowing it to be used on a variety of products and marketing materials. Nike’s previous logo was heavily reliant on the company’s name, which could limit its usage in situations where the full name couldn’t be used, such as on products with limited space.

By removing the company name from the logo, Nike was able to create a more minimalist design that could be used more effectively in a wide range of contexts. Additionally, the smaller “Nike” text underneath the swoosh symbol allowed the company to maintain brand recognition while still having a more flexible and adaptable logo.

Prioritizing a logo redesign may seem simple, but rejuvenating something that has been successful for a long time can pay off very much. Before you tear down your current logo, make sure to ask 5 critical questions to determine if a redesign is needed. You can determine if an overhaul is required if you ask the following questions.


What is the purpose of the redesign?

The purpose of the redesign is critical to understanding why the change is necessary and what it should achieve. A logo redesign may be necessary because the current logo is outdated, not aligned with the brand values or goals, or simply needs a refresh. Before starting the redesign, it’s essential to identify the reasons for the change and what it should achieve.

Ask yourself, “What story does our current logo tell, and what story do we want the new logo to tell?” Think of your brand as a character, and imagine how the logo redesign will help evolve its story and personality.

In 2016, Airbnb redesigned its logo to better represent the company’s values and goals. The previous logo was a stylized letter “A” with a star, which did not communicate the brand’s mission to “create a world where anyone can belong anywhere.” The new logo features a geometric symbol representing people, places, love, and the “A” in Airbnb, representing belonging.


How does your current logo perform?

Evaluating the current logo’s performance can help identify what needs to be changed or improved in the redesign. The logo should effectively communicate the brand’s message and values, be easily recognizable, and appeal to the target audience. Understanding how the current logo performs can help ensure that the new design is an improvement over the old one.

Instead of just analyzing data and metrics, try to personify your current logo and imagine how it would describe its performance. Is it tired, outdated, or misunderstood? What would it say about its strengths and weaknesses?

Mastercard redesigned its logo to simplify the design and make it more digital-friendly. The new logo removed the word “Mastercard” from the design, leaving only the two overlapping circles. This change was made because research showed that the wordmark was unnecessary, and the symbol was recognizable enough to stand on its own.


What are the current design trends?

While it’s essential to differentiate from competitors and stand out in the market, it’s also important to stay relevant. Researching current design trends can help determine if the current logo is outdated and whether a redesign is necessary. However, it’s crucial to ensure that the new design aligns with the brand’s values and goals and doesn’t just follow trends blindly.

Look beyond the usual design sources and draw inspiration from unexpected places. For example, look to nature, art, or pop culture for ideas that align with your brand’s values and goals.

In 2019, Slack redesigned its logo to be more consistent with current design trends. The new logo features a simplified, flat design with brighter colors and a more modern typography. However, the redesign still maintained the original logo’s core elements, such as the hashtag symbol and the brand’s signature color palette.


How will your audience respond?

The redesign should consider how the audience will respond to the new logo. Will they understand and connect with the new design? Will it be perceived as an improvement or a downgrade? It’s essential to get feedback from customers or target audience to ensure that the new design resonates with them.

Create a mood board or collage of images and words that represent your target audience. Use this to visualize how the new logo would fit into their lives and evoke emotions or reactions.

In 2020, Burger King redesigned its logo to be more modern and dynamic. The new logo features a simplified design with a more vivid color palette and a new typography. The redesign received mixed reviews from customers, with some praising the new design, and others criticizing it for being too similar to other brands and lacking the iconic “crown” design of the previous logo.


How will the redesign impact your brand?

A logo is a critical element of a brand’s identity, and a redesign can have a significant impact on how the brand is perceived and how it stands out in the market. Before making any changes, it’s crucial to consider how the new logo will fit into the brand strategy and whether it accurately represents the brand’s values and goals.

Think of the logo redesign as a transformation or makeover for your brand. Ask yourself, “What would our brand look like if it were a person getting a makeover?” Imagine the before and after, and what aspects of the brand’s personality and style would be enhanced or changed.

In 2021, Kia Motors redesigned its logo to better align with the brand’s new direction and focus on electric and autonomous vehicles. The new logo features a modern, dynamic design with a stylized letter “K” and a rising sun, representing the brand’s aspirations and future growth. The redesign was part of a broader brand transformation and helped to reposition the brand as a leader in the electric vehicle market.

How to do it right

1. Understand the reason for the redesign: The first step in the redesign process is to understand the reason for the redesign. This will help to determine the goals and objectives of the redesign.

2. Research: Research is an essential part of the redesign process. It helps to understand the market, competition, and trends. This information can be used to create a logo that is relevant and unique.

3. Collaborate with a professional: It is important to collaborate with a professional designer who has experience in logo design. A professional can help to create a logo that is aesthetically appealing and reflects the values of the brand.

4. Keep it simple: A simple logo is easier to remember and recognize. Avoid using too many colors or complicated designs.

5. Test and Refine: Once the new logo is designed, it is essential to test it with the target audience. Feedback can be used to refine the design and make it more effective.

In conclusion, a logo redesign can be a powerful tool for businesses looking to refresh their brand identity and remain competitive in a fast-changing market. As we’ve seen from the examples discussed, a well-executed redesign can help modernize a brand, reflect a change in business strategy, or simply make a logo more visually appealing and versatile.

However, it’s important to approach the redesign process carefully, with a clear understanding of the brand’s values, target audience, and marketing goals. Collaborating with experienced designers and branding professionals can also help ensure a successful outcome. Ultimately, a logo redesign is an investment in a company’s future, and a powerful way to communicate the brand’s identity and values to customers in a fresh and impactful way.