Changing with the Times: The Evolution of a Logo
As business owners, we all know how important our company image is to doing business. Many times, a company’s first impression is based not on customer service, word of mouth, or even the product line; it is instead based on the company logo. The design of a logo says a tremendous amount about a company and can give your clients a good impression of the values your company holds.
Logos have been around, in one form or another, for thousands of years. Beginning with the earliest types of logos, which were little more than a distinctive mark or brand, it has long been important to establish who was responsible for making a product. This concept became more prevalent during the 19th century, as more and more companies were created during the Industrial Revolution, making it even more essential for companies to establish their products in the forefront of their customer’s minds. However, it was not until the early to mid 20th century, when trade marking became prevalent, that logos began to resemble what we know them as today.
Logos evolve for a number of reasons. Most noticeable is when a logo is changed as the result of two companies merging together or one company being bought out by a larger competitor. More often, however, a company’s logo evolves over time, adapting to new stylistic trends, technological advancements, and changing demographics. For example, take a look at the evolution of the following logos:
In these examples, each logo moved from a highly detailed, hand-drawn style to a more minimalistic, graphic representation of the brand made up of simple shapes and design elements, or clear, concise typestyles. Generally speaking, this trend is fairly widespread throughout the business world, especially as mobile technology, complete with smaller screens, become a driving factor in business. Additionally, utilizing simpler logos also prevents them from looking out-dated as quickly, resulting in fewer stylistic changes in the long run.
Regardless of the reasons companies have to make changes to their logos, it is important that the new logo convey a company’s values, culture, and experience. Before rebranding, every company needs to carefully consider the reasons behind updating their logo and weigh the amount of potential backlash versus the anticipated gains. Often, these issues can be mitigated by seeking feedback from the company’s most loyal customers. Typically, those individuals who react most strongly to a logo change are those who are most invested in the company and who have the most loyalty to a particular brand. By involving these individuals prior to making sweeping changes that effect the company’s image, consumer buy-in can occur in the early stages and make the transition to a new logo much easier.
Logos are an essential component of establishing a brand. Far beyond a basic design, a well executed logo allows customers to easily identify products, and make associations conferring the style, values, and culture that are important to your company. As business trends change, logos need to evolve in order to remain relevant in the marketplace and continue to reflect the values that make your company successful.