This is a good question and one I am asked regularly. My answer is pragmatic, there is no definitive timeframe but there are a range of factors that can help inform you on when your logo could benefit from being tweaked, developed or revamped altogether.
As a rule of thumb, you should review your logo every three years and expect to at least tweak it every five years. A well-designed logo will stand the test of time. Take a look at well-known brands and their logotypes to identify if there are any key trends emerging such as clean and simple typographic logos as opposed to using a mix of typography and graphics. Compare your logo to your competitors and business sector. Ask yourself:
Does it feel current?
Does it still stand out?
Do you prefer your competitor’s logos over your own?
Does your logo still reflect your organisation?
Your organisation doesn’t stand still, it will continually evolve and your logo naturally needs to do the same. You might for example require a sub brand as your organisation opens up a new division or you add a service offering.
Remember, there’s only one first impression!
Your logo doesn’t have the ability to communicate all you have to say about your business but it does have an important role. It creates an immediate identity in customer’s minds about what they can expect and sets the tone and level of professionalism. The most memorable logos engage you and make you smile in the mind. A logo can truly give your organisation a personality and a first impression for everyone who comes into contact with it – so make sure it’s a powerful one!
In a crowded world how we communicate is a continual moving feast and is governed by the nature of your business as well as the best channels to engage your customers. As part of your logo review you need to consider if it can be easily applied across all communication platforms. A well-designed logo will be able to reproduce in colour/single colour/black & white otherwise you will encounter issues. When we design a new logo we run a sense check across all media channels and produce a series of versions to suit eg. a stacked logo to fit Facebook Profiles, a logo that will reproduce on branded clothing etc. So, it’s essential your logo is managed through consistent application.
Tweak it or a revamp it?
Once you’ve considered updating your logo, you should be in a position to brief a creative agency on whether it simply needs tweaked or it’s time for a new logo altogether. I’ve shown an example of an accountancy firm’s old and new logo that we recently designed – you’ll see we’ve retained elements from the original logo whilst developing a current and more engaging piece of communication.
Look out for my next post which will provide some tips on how to write a concise design brief that will ensure you’ll have a logo that matches your expectations.