Today, we unveil an updated version of the Adpearance logo.
More modern font
The new sans-serif font is an adjusted version of a Gothic/Grotesque typeface. The heavier weight and simpler uniform x-heights contribute to a better readability of the logo at smaller sizes.
For SEO purposes and to avoid confusion, we’re no longer AdPearance, but rather Adpearance. The new logo removes the uppercase P, the mixed weight of the fonts, and the dual colors to reflect the change.
A new color
The gray-blue was removed from the logo and replaced with a more vibrant red-orange. The new color is a Pantone-safe color and is far easier to match for real world use, such as for our new hoodies, new business cards, or future company swag.
For some time, we’ve been using the isolated A/cursor icon on social network sites and elsewhere. We want the icon to become as synonymous with our brand as the full logotype version. You’ll notice on our business cards, Facebook, and Twitter, we’ve incorporated the angled line of the A into the design as well.
The decision to update a logo
As any first year Marketing student can tell you, a logo is an important aspect of a company’s identity—the chief visual component of the overall brand. In a sea of competitors, the logo provides a face for your company that helps consumers remember you. With such a heavy emphasis on a logo, how could any company dare to change theirs?
Many business owners are torn between keeping their brand looking fresh and professional, and the desire to avoid alienating customers who have a positive association with the existing logo. Theoretically, a high-quality logo design will be timeless and never look out of date; therefore it will not require updates or all-out changes. While this may be true to a degree, there are times when an update to a logo’s design is warranted. Here are some things to consider that may help you decide whether a renovation is in order.
Was your logo done by a professional designer?
Many start-ups and young companies design their logos themselves because they lack the budget to hire a professional designer. Without a professional eye to pick apart the design, you may end up with a logo that over time looks less professional alongside your competitors or age poorly because it relied too heavily on trends at the time. Amateur design shortcuts like using stock icons or system fonts can add up to reduce the uniqueness of the logo.
A quick search on iStock shows how simple it is to find an abstract logo for your company. Just plop one of these in front of a Helvetica rendering of your company name and pair it with some jargon design speak and you can have a logo of your very own!*
Google’s logo was designed in 1998 by Sergery Brin, one of Google’s founders. Since then, it’s been fine-tuned several times, including the removal of the dated drop shadow, but the original concept remains intact.
Other times, the company does hire a professional designer and will spend tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars on a design they are then reluctant to change years down the line because of the high price tag on the initial design. The BP logo was redesigned in 2008 for $211 million.
Does your logo look dated?
This is often the number one reason why large companies will update their logo and it’s no surprise, as almost all logos begin to show their age with time. Certain color combinations, fonts, shapes, and trends can become obsolete and make your logo look old and stuffy. In turn, an outdated logo can make your company itself seem out of style or disconnected from its consumer base.
With a few changes, your logo can still retain the original feeling without completely redoing it. For example, Apple Computers went from the rainbow colors of the 80's to a one-color logo in 1998.
It takes a trained eye to spot the differences in the new Firefox logo released earlier this year. The visual refresh includes the removal of the high-gloss typical of the Web 2.0 look and a simplification and higher contrast of the fox so as to appear better at smaller levels.
Here are several other new logos released in 2013 from well-known companies. Note how the logos appear more modern with simplified fonts and flat colors.
Is your logo technically problematic?
In the past few years, I’ve noticed an increase in the number of large companies “updating” their logos, many of whom haven’t updated their logos in more than 25 years. What has changed in the past decade that would warrant so many updates?
The Internet, of course.
Logos are no longer constrained to signage and product packaging; we’re seeing a higher need for logos that will appear well as small profile pictures on Facebook and Twitter, crisp on retina displays, and readable at small sizes. Complex logos don’t scale well down and a majority of logos out there aren’t able to be cropped to a square size or reduced to an icon. Or perhaps your company is producing more print items; multi-colored logos become too expensive to print or cannot be used as imprints on products.
Mailchimp subtly updated their logo primarily to improve readability at small sizes since the company was pushing mobile-friendly emails from their service.
The NFL logo is embroidered on everything from shoelaces to jackets to hats. Minimizing the number of stars and opening up the space allowed for easier usage on the many items the logo appeared on. Bonus? The number of stars are equal to the teams within each division.
Has your company experienced a big change?
When major changes take place within a company—such as a merger or an expansion—it can be the perfect time to change the logo as well. A new or updated logo can reflect changes such as the company name, new territories you are targeting, or a new suite of product offerings.
Starbucks removed the “Starbucks Coffee” that wrapped around the iconic mermaid, signifying the company was expanding beyond just coffee.
Motorola’s new logo reflects its merger with Google, sporting a more vibrant array of colors akin to Google’s own rainbow logo.
Would a new logo make a postive difference?
Sometimes new logos are quietly rolled out, while other times the company will publish a larger press release outlining the reasons for the redesign. As large competitors move in, a well-publicized announcement of your new logo can help customers keep your brand at the top of their mind and lead them to discover other new announcements you may have.
Microsoft and American Airlines both rolled out new logos this past year for the first time in 25 years, each also simultaneously announcing new releases of products and updates to their company.
American Airlines published a whole microsite not only covering the change in the logo, but all the other changes customer could expect for the company, like new planes and a better travel experience for loyal customers.
While the aging Internet giants AOL and ebay rolled out new updated logos within the past two years, Yahoo sought to gain more attention by releasing a new logo every day for a month until unveiling the winning choice last September. While the reaction to the new logo wasn’t particularly enthusiastic, the buildup itself gained more attention than just a normal press release and announcement.
Not every logo update is a positive experience, however.
In 2009, Tropicana introduced new packaging for their juice. The mastermind behind the new logo, Peter Arnell (who was also behind Pepsi’s new logo) stated the new logo “evolved the brand to a more current, more modern state.” Consumers, however, hated the new idea. When the familiar logo of the straw stuck in the orange was removed, the company saw sales tank by 20%. Two months later, Tropicana returned to the old design.
Gap’s temporary redesign in October 2010 was also another failed attempt at a logo update. Within hours of the announcement and unveiling, Twitter and Facebook protests popped up, along with the viral DIY Gap Logo Creator mocking the design choice. In less than a week, Gap went back to the original logo.
What will be the cost of changing your logo?
When first deciding if you should invest the time and money in redesigning your logo, list out all the items where your logo appears. Luckily, as an online company with no physical products, Adpearance had a small handful of items where our logo appeared: our website, business cards, social networks, contract documents, our front door sign, and a few other online accounts. The time it would take to swap in the new logo was fairly minimal.
Other companies may have a much larger presence of their logo: building signage, imprints on products, uniforms, catalogs, packaging, POP displays, company schwag, third party sites, etc. Beyond the cost to design a new logo, what will the cost be to implement it? Are there sub-brands that use the parent logo which will also require an update?
A logo update doesn’t always result in a positive change, as seen in the Gap and Tropicana examples named previously. When rolling out an updated branding of your company, consider taking small steps. Start with low-cost areas, such as your online outlets, where you can test out the new logo and gauge a reaction before investing the entire budget on less reversible items like signage and product packaging.