Think Before Changing Your Logo

I am not an expert on logo’s, but I’ll give myself a nice pat on the back on understanding the remarkable and what people are drawn to. It seems a lot of companies have been changing or tweaking their company logo’s as of late, so here are my thoughts on the most recent change I read about:

Recently Seattle’s Best Coffee, which was acquired by Starbucks in 2003, has changed their logo. The reason for the redesign – they hope to be a symbol of universally “good coffee someday”. A logo doesn’t give you good coffee. High quality beans, a great brewing process, barista’s who know their trade, customer experience give you good coffee. The logo is an after-thought, an association.

Part of the idea behind this probably stems from company growth. Currently Seattle’s Best is very limited, situated in roughly 3,000 locations. Starbucks is looking to grow the brand dramatically to 30,000 by the end of next year.

Is this a good move from the company? Most likely not. The company already has a set image that has been established. A rebrand of a company logo is hard to accomplish – and most importantly, what is the reason why? It would have been better to spin off a group of products with the newer logo (if the decision was based around being generic, sustainable, low cost) instead of trying to rebrand a whole company.
Some great logo failures

Tropicana

Possible Success
Dodge might have done it right, using the Ram symbol for the Trucks, and a different symbol for their regular cars. If they aren’t doing anything else besides changing a logo, it’s a failure.

People don’t like change. They don’t like things being taken away, even they are replaced by something that is superior. Here is a great short blogpost by 37signals on the Art of Taking Things Away

Bottom line – understand your goal and work on the things that really matter. If the logo is part of the rebranding process, then fine, but it’s not your logo that makes your brand. Also, be wary of trends … most of the logo’s I’ve been seeing lately are really poppy – rounded, flatter colors, not a ton of detail, and from a non-graphic artist perspective – lack character. Does this mean you’ll have to change your logo again in 20 years to go with a new trend? Just some food for thought.

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