When someone thinks of your company, your brand and logo are usually top of mind – at least if you’ve done your marketing right. These thoughts take up some of the most precious real estate on Earth: a little corner in your customer’s brain. With this level of impact at stake, it’s important to periodically review your company’s logo to ensure your brand stays fresh and is visually in line with the design trends of today. Don’t wait too long, or your brand will start feeling dated and the kids will say, “This looks like something out of the 80s!” With all of this in mind, I decided to share a couple of recent, high-profile logo refreshes and share our own newly updated logo.
AT&T is a corporation with a reach so large and a legacy so long, the company needs no introduction. In last year’s redesign, AT&T updated its logo with a flat design and the brand’s blue as the single color. The 3D elements of the globe were removed to bring the logo up to date with the current popular trend of flat design.
When updating your logo it’s important to take into consideration all of the previous iterations of your company’s logo. Your brand has established value over the years of its existence so you want to be sure not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. The key to a successful redesign is choosing a fresh take on the visual identity of the brand that also maintains your hard-earned brand equity.
Any new logo for an existing brand should feel like a natural evolution, as it does with AT&T’s updated globe. You may notice they even dropped the AT&T letterform in the newest update. The globe icon has become so recognizable they no longer need to spell out the corporation’s name. This is the power of an effective brand logo.
Best Western’s previous logo is an example of a logo that was arguably overdue for a brand refresh. When comparing the updated logo to the previous iteration, it’s clear they went with a more modern choice. The previous logo felt retro – and not in a good way. Unlike AT&T, Best Western chose a path that’s counter to current design trends and included a 3D element. The glossy reflections on the sphere don’t look entirely contemporary, but they do at least bring the brand’s design into this decade.
Some may say the new logo isn’t edgy enough, but it’s clear that Best Western has taken some risk in its design choices. The company chose to sacrifice its trademark crown icon for the sake of simplicity. That does make the new visual feel a bit more generic – like the logo could be used for just about any brand – but I’d say, on the whole, the update is a good move as it conveys an impression of hotel rooms that are modern, well kept and clean.
The last time we at MCC refreshed our own logo was back in 2006. That’s right, 2006, when George W. Bush was still president, and Motorola Razr phones were all the rage! Let’s just say we were so busy producing award-winning work for our clients that we let our hair grow out a bit. A little more than a decade and many, many satisfied clients later, we thought our logo was due for an update.
In the previous iteration, each letter had a different font to represent the different departments within MCC. Likewise with the boxes. Over the years we’ve shifted to a more collaborative culture, breaking down the barriers between departments, so it made sense to kill the boxes and unify the font into a single bold sans serif.
Like I mentioned earlier, we needed to maintain the brand equity we’d already built over 30 years while evolving the look. The slash on the ‘M’ in the new logo is a callback to the slashes of the previous logo, which represented slashes in a web address (http://), a reference to the many technology clients we’ve served, and to our strengths in reaching audiences through digital media. We also retained the red and yellow brand colors but combined them to create a fresh new sunrise gradient in line with modern design trends. The result of our process is a sharp new logo that looks toward the future of MCC.
If reading this got your wheels turning on whether or not your own logo needs a brand refresh, try this exercise. Print out all of your competitors’ logos and place them next to your own company’s logo. If your logo looks a bit dated by comparison, it might be time to give us a call (or email or Facebook message or message in a bottle, it doesn’t matter to us, we’re all over!)