Have you noticed a spree of redesigned logos lately? From Mastercard to Dropbox, brands old and new are taking a second look at their logos to reconnect with consumers.

A logo visually expresses the values behind your brand. So when your business evolves, it makes sense that your logo might need a makeover as well. Should you start fresh and design a new logo or just update your current one?

Logos empower your brand message and become a rallying symbol for people who love your business. You could lose goodwill with loyal customers if your new design doesn’t speak to your audience. Making small, subtle changes over time is one way to keep your logo fresh and relevant without abandoning the visual identity you’re known for.

Before you rush to redesign, think carefully about your reasons for editing your logo. Weigh the benefits of a partial or total update to create a logo that has staying power.

How Memorable is Your Logo?

A forgettable logo doesn’t bring much value to your business. The point of a brandmark is to provide a consistent visual representation that reminds people who you are. Take an honest look at your logo design. Are there any unique elements to distinguish your brand from competitors?

It’s common for business owners to make a quick logo in a hurry without thinking about the message they want to convey. The result is a bland logo design filled with overused clipart. If your logo is entirely unoriginal, a fresh start is the way to go.

A strong logo should be memorable and tailored to your brand positioning. Even if you decide to use an online logo maker, try to come up with a unique concept first. That way, you can create a better design by pairing elements that are less common in your industry.

Is Your Logo Outdated?

Good graphic design surprises and delights the viewer. The problem is people eventually get tired of seeing the same aesthetic and turn their attention to newer design trends.

Getting customers to connect with your business is hard when your branding has strong ties to an older design era. But there are exceptions. Brands such as Cracker Barrel and Stella Artois use vintage-style logos to stress their heritage and expertise. If you genuinely prefer a retro design, make sure you use vintage elements to highlight the best qualities of your brand.

Otherwise, reflect on the goals of your redesign as you evaluate these elements:

  • Graphics: Do the major shapes and elements in your logo look dated? Can you make minor changes or simplify the artwork to modernize your logo?
  • Color: Is your logo’s color scheme old-fashioned or inconsistent with your branding? Can you refresh it by using different shades of the same color?
  • Typography: Do the logo fonts match your brand personality? Can you fix the design by choosing a more streamlined, timeless font?

A partial edit is more effective and less risky when you only need to update a few aspects of your design. But if the graphics are old-fashioned, the fonts clash, and the colors are cringeworthy, cut your losses and design a new logo.

Does Your Logo Fit Your Brand?

As your business evolves, you might change how you position your brand in the industry. Your logo should match your revised mission statement and brand identity. If it doesn’t, ask yourself why the logo design isn’t working anymore.

Look to industry-leading brands like Instagram and Morton Salt for inspiration. Amid criticism, Instagram forged ahead with a colorful new icon to celebrate its vibrant, transformative social community. The app was no longer just about snapping photos.

On the other hand, Morton Salt capitalized on the long-established heritage of the brand. The company gave its signature mascot logo many updates over the years, always preserving vital elements of the design.

Does Your Logo Have Negative Associations?

The internet is filled with embarrassing design fails. The last thing you want is to see your logo used as an example of what not to do. So if customers or staff have mentioned that your logo is confusing or off-putting, thinking about dropping the negative imagery.

Some business owners use provocative logos to grab attention, but this approach usually backfires in the long run. A gimmicky logo gets outdated very quickly, and it may drive away potential customers if it contains suggestive graphics.

First and foremost, be professional. A well-planned logo redesign should attract more customers, not repel the ones you already have. And focus on creating brand visuals that reflect the needs and values of your audience. While branding is about defining your business, the goal is to be relatable to your target customers.

Does Your Logo Work On a Variety of Media?

Did you create the perfect logo, and then discover that it’s hard to read at small sizes or oddly colored on apparel? When you make your own logo design online, it’s essential to choose graphics and fonts that work on a variety of print and digital media.

A designer would typically help you build a brand kit with logo graphics in the correct file types and image sizes to fit many applications. Since you don’t have this built-in guidance on a DIY project, stick with design tools that provide multiple files. Many online logo makers also let you preview your logo design on print products to make sure it matches your expectations.

Consider all the places where you plan to use your logo. Websites. Social media profiles. Store signage. Promotional products. Does your logo work as-is on most media? If not, don’t assume you automatically need a new design.

Is your logomark identifiable without your business name? Can you easily create a black or negative-space version of your color logo? Look for ways to make your logo design more flexible by coming up with simple variations.

Let go of your fears of redesigning your brandmark. Most logos become outdated at some point, and a redesign gives you a chance to renew your brand identity. If all the signs suggest that it’s time to design a new logo, embrace the experience. Keep your customers informed about why you’re rebranding, and get their feedback to produce a design that elevates your business.