Chad Miller followed his dream when he decided to open a photography studio in Clearfield, Utah. He started his business with just the bare necessities to get his company off the ground and keep it running. A company logo and “brand” were low on his list of priorities, but Miller knew he needed something to represent his new studio, In Focus Photography. So, like many small business owners, he decided to design a logo himself using his home computer. The logo wasn’t fantastic but it was better than nothing, so Miller continued using it.

As the studio grew, and his company drew more attention, In Focus’ logo went unchanged. After years of using the logo he designed in college, Miller began to wonder if it wasn’t time for an update. He, like many business owners, wanted to keep his logo looking fresh and professional without alienating the customers who had come to have a positive association with his current logo, even if it was time for a facelift. Was updating his logo the right thing to do?

Many entrepreneurs face this same question as their companies grow and mature. So how do you know if you should update your company’s logo?

Many graphic designers will say a high quality logo design should never need to be updated or changed because if the design is sound, it will be timeless and will never look out of date. While this may be true to some degree, there are times when an update is warranted. Here are some things to think about that may help you decide whether or not a renovation is in order.

Was Your Logo Designed By a Professional?
Many entrepreneurs design their company’s logo themselves because they feel they don’t have the budget to hire a professional designer. These logos may or may not look nice, but it never hurts to have a professional set of eyes pick apart and tighten your logo design.

Does Your Logo Look Dated?
Almost all logos will begin to show their age with time. Certain color combinations, fonts and shapes can become obsolete and make your logo look old and stuffy; and that can make your company seem out of style or obsolete as well. Keep in mind you can make a few updating changes and still retain the original feeling of your logo. This is what Apple Computers did. They changed the logo’s colors from including the six colors of the rainbow to a one-color logo that still has the original shape.

Has Your Company Experienced a Big Change?
When major changes take place within a company, it can be the perfect time to change the logo as well. A logo change may be in order when:

  • 1) A company merger occurs (think FedEx Kinko’s)
  • 2) The company makes a major change in direction, like expanding or contracting it’s offerings.
  • 3) You’re expanding into new territories and need a more universal logo.
  • 4) The company name changes

Do You Need to Keep Up With New Competition?
The global economy is making for very stiff competition, even on the local level. As large corporations move in, it’s important for small business owners to recognize the competition and be able to keep their brand strong and positive in their customers’ minds. An updated, fresh logo design can help your customers remember you when the competition moves in next door.

With minimal updates, a logo can once again look fresh, can grab the attention of a distracted customer, can keep the competition at bay and can set a positive precedent for potential clients. This has been the result for Miller, who decided to go ahead with an update.

“The new logo is nice and clean, and it gives us an exciting play on our old logo,” said Miller. “It has also helped us with our company image.”