Your Logo Sucks. Keep It or Redesign It?

July 12, 2009 | Branding, Design Basics, Startups

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Many entrepreneurs feel the pinch when starting a new business. They can’t afford a professional logo, so they rely on DIY logo design or low cost logos. Or, they have so much to do that they get business cards printed and a web site up before developing a real logo.

When their business starts to grow and shows signs of success, they step back and reassess their logo. You may be wondering: Is it better to stick with what you’ve got or try something new?

Should you hire a professional graphic designer to redesign your logo?

  • Yes. You will look more professional and people will stop snickering when they receive your business card.
  • No. People have come to embrace the “old skool” look of your logo.
  • Yes. You really haven’t been in business very long and it would be better to bite the bullet and do it right before growing any more.
  • No. A logo is not critical to your business, switch to a logotype and ditch the sloppy old logo.
  • Yes. You have the money to invest in a branding strategy and understand the benefits.

Update rather than redesign

Instead of a complete redesign, consider an update. A skilled graphic designer should be able to identify some of the key attributes of your logo and polish those. Ideally, you’ll maintain some elements so that you are building on your existing strengths. Below are a couple of examples from Visible Logic’s portfolio.

Old logo

Old logo

Updated logo

Updated logo

Chicago Tri Club. I actually designed both of these logos. The first one’s not great, it was the typical story of needing to rush to get something in place on t-shirts and a web site. When the club decided to shorten it’s name, it was the perfect time to update the logo. Notice how we used the same colors and those same critical figures (with some tweaks), but ended up with a much stronger logo.

Old logo

Old logo

Upgraded logo.

Updated logo

3 Fitness Coaching. My second example is also from the world of triathlon. The original logo was created by the business owner using Corel Draw. Visible Logic took the essence of the logo and redesigned it. We kept three figures in a circle. We kept the very graphic mandala-like look. We kept it black and white. But the end result is much, much better.

If it is time to redesign, consider using your current logo design as a launching pad to a stronger, more professional logo.

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