Have you ever watched a film from the 1920s and found yourself thinking about how odd everyone looks? Whether it’s the Great Gatsby look men sported (club cut, flat hair with a clean-shaven face), or for women it was overly plucked eyebrows and bow lips, which gave otherwise attractive movie stars – dated faces.
That’s what an outdated logo can do to your brand. Your logo is one of your brand’s most important assets, and it was probably designed with longevity in mind. But just like facial hair, things like type, color, and graphic elements go in and out of style. Here are some signs that indicate integrated marketers may want to think about refreshing their logos.
It Uses a Jokey or Gimmicky Font
Comic Sans, Lemonade, I’m looking at you, and Fajita. Designers love to rip on these fonts, and there’s a reason why: they look silly. It’s like putting a big red clown nose on your business.
It Uses a Generic Font
A logo should communicate what’s special about your business; if yours uses a generic font like Helvetica or Arial, what your customers see is that your business is indistinguishable from others.
Your Graphic or Mark is Just There for Looks
If your logo includes a mark, it should mean something or say something about your brand. For example, the Nike “swoosh” is supposed to represent a speed blur. Though it isn’t quite a graphic, per se, the FedEx type logo smuggles in an arrow that indicates movement.
It Only Works in Certain Layouts
Logo lockups that are oriented in one direction or another—either a long name that stretches out on a horizontal line, or elements stacked on top of one another—limit a logo’s utility. You should be able to place your logo on a website, signs, direct mailers or promotional products, and it should still be crisp with all of the elements easily readable.
Does It Really Reflect Your Brand, as it is Today?
Brand change over time—and if your company has changed substantially, maybe it’s time for your logo to do the same. Perhaps your business has grown, or you’ve added new products and services to your mix. Or maybe you had the logo designed when you just started out, and now your business is a market leader.
The antidote to all of these potential pitfalls is, of course, for integrated marketers to choose a graphic designer with a good portfolio who can talk through how business decisions influence their artistic choices. For best results, avoid those services that promise logo design for $50. Good design makes a measurable difference to your business, and you get what you pay for.