Logo Evolution: When, Why and How You Should Update Your Logo

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A strong logo reflects your company’s identity. Other than your name, your company logo is one of the most important things people will notice when they discover your brand for the first time. It’s a strategic business tool, unique to your company, used to set you apart from competitors. A strong logo establishes brand recognition, makes a good first impression and resonates with your audience. To attract the right audience, it is essential for your logo to correctly represent your company.


Logos and brand consistency

Brand consistency is important because it accredits your company with dependability. When your audience knows what to expect from you, whether it’s a positive experience, a stable product, an invaluable service or all of the above, they are more likely to return. Consistency signifies professionalism, purpose and stability. It also eliminates confusion and instills confidence.

But let’s face it, no logo can stay relevant forever. Technology is always advancing. Design sensibilities change. The way we do business transforms over time, as do the needs of our audience. So, when is the right time to evolve your logo?

Some companies tend to maintain their logos because its symbolizes a time when sales were on the incline and business was good. In the aftermath of the 2008-2009 financial crisis, companies were forced to re-evaluate how they did business from restructuring their sales department to finding new and clever ways to entice their audience. Technology drastically changed the business landscape as customers access the web 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Mergers and acquisitions happen every day. If the way we do business is a perpetual wheel of change, shouldn’t the logo reflect those changes?


What is a logo evolution?

Does it mean the logo completely changes direction? Not at all. It could be one or two of these minor characteristic updates:

  • A simple refinement to the icon to clarify your message
  • A contemporary font change to modernize
  • A fresh color palette to appeal to a fresh set of audiences and stand out from competitors
  • A basic rearrangement of icon, font and/or wordmark


Is it time to assess and refresh your logo?

Ask yourself these questions:

1) Has your audience evolved over time?
Millennials. This generation is a hot topic lately, as the largest generation in U.S. history, they are reaching their prime in the professional arena and fiscal spending years. Their impact on the economy will be significant. They are savvy, educated and demand convenience and flexibility at their fingertips. Do you have a plan in place to cater to them? Shouldn’t your logo reflect this change?

 2) Has your company’s focus changed over the years?
Changing your focus over time is the only way to successfully navigate a variety of expectations. Environmental changes, stakeholder expectations, human resource challenges, organizational structures, competition and new products or services are all variables that could force you to advance and grow.

3) Has a merger or acquisition taken place?
Mergers and acquisitions can drastically change the nature of a business or it’s competitive position within the marketplace. 

4) Have you adapted appropriately to modern technology and social media?
With web access 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, it’s imperative for your brand and marketing to adapt to these channels. Is your website responsive? Is it quick and easy for a potential buyer to reach you? 

5) Does your logo (brand) represent who you are as an organization?
Is it time to assess your brand?  A brand assessment provides an opportunity to evaluate the strength of your brand, to underscore the value of your brand with customers, and to reposition the brand, if necessary, to reflect changes in the marketplace. If perceptions of your company differ from the outside in or the inside out, it’s time to realign and grasp the needs and wants of your audience.


Companies who have evolved their logo over time:


Instagram Logo Evolution

Instagram’s original logo looked like a knock-off Polaroid camera. The logo changed when the CEO and co-founder realized the icon had nothing to do with the app in this modern era of mobile phones. As you can see, the rainbow, which represents the various color filters available in the app, makes its way through all iterations of the logo as it was simplified over time.


 AT&T Logo Evolution

To mark a company restructuring, the first distinctive AT&T globe logo was designed to symbolize a world circled by electronic communications. In 1998, AT&T acquired two companies which propelled the redesign of the globe symbol with added dimension and depth. In 2005, the new AT&T logo was unveiled following the merger with SBC Communications. In 2016, the globe is simplified with smoother, more precise lines and a brighter blue is introduced. The new AT&T globe without the wordmark is now the primary expression of the brand domestically.


Target Logo Evolution

From the beginning, the bullseye logo was envisioned for Target. The original logo had three rings with “Target” written in black and centered within the rings. The rings were eventually narrowed down from three rings to just a single dot with one ring. For readability sake, “Target” was moved to the side of the logo and put in all-caps. In 2000, the company opted just to use the color red. The brand itself finally became the iconic bullseye and the word “Target” was dropped altogether.



There is no definitive time when you should redesign your logo. But, if your intuition is telling you your logo is falling behind, irrelevant or just doesn’t represent who you are as an organization any longer, it’s time to reassess.

A strong image that represents your brand when your audience thinks about you will make an impact. A dated, weak and generic logo can also make an impact. Which one would you rather have?


Does your logo need a redesign?

Fill out the form below for a free logo assessment. Or contact Scott Piner @ 630.566.8465

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This publication contains general information only and Sikich is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or any other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should you use it as a basis for any decision, action or omission that may affect you or your business. Before making any decision, taking any action or omitting an action that may affect you or your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. In addition, this publication may contain certain content generated by an artificial intelligence (AI) language model. You acknowledge that Sikich shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by you or any person who relies on this publication.


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