There have been an astounding amount of logo design makeovers lately.
Have you noticed?
Of course, you have, they are everywhere! Businesses and organizations big and small, well-known and obscure alike have been taking part in this massive migration towards logo redesign.
The first time I really started noticing the trend was in 2007-2008 (being the sports junkie that I am) when the NFL announced a drastic redesign to its iconic shield emblem. I remember thinking this was suicide! How could you possibly change something so iconic? Sure, the NHL did it a couple years before (albeit some very minor tweaks), but other leagues like the NBA and MLB had not changed their logo since they were designed in 1969 and 1968, respectively.
But, I was not in the minority to be pleasantly surprised that the new design was strong and actually prefer it to the old logo. Since then, I feel like I have seen multiple redesigns on a yearly basis.
So why the moves?
I am going to show you the old logos and new logos of the NFL shield and three other companies that have changed in the last year or two: Deliveroo (a British food ordering company), OpenTable (a restaurant-reservation service company) and Instagram (I mean… it’s Instagram, dude). Think about something all four logo designs have in common.
Have you noticed the pattern here?
All of these companies took their old design and went minimalistic in the redesign. Take a look around at many of the other logo redesigns in recent years. Just about all of them follow this pattern.
Ok, but minimalistic logo design isn’t anything new. Why is it now all of a sudden taking over just about every organization?
As big of a game-changer as the Internet was, the ability to view websites on a mobile device was even bigger. Folks now had the ability to find your company, learn about you and work with you wherever they wanted, and these organizations started to take notice.
They also noticed that on these incredibly small screens, the logos they had painstakingly designed with lots of cool details and junk in them were really, really hard to read. The answer was to overhaul logos entirely so they were more able to accommodate the modern era and how fans and customers consumed your services. In fact, the NFL cited this as one of its biggest reasons for its logo design change almost 10 years ago (my apologies for the age of this article). The NFL caught on early.
Others took note and also decided that their logos needed to be more easily identified on the smaller screens that folks were now using. That’s where we stand today, so what does that mean for your own logo design? Whether you are doing a complete redesign or designing your first logo, here are some things to keep in mind.
Recognizable at a glance
Like these other companies with their logo designs, you have to be conscious about how your logo will most often be consumed.
Yes, it will be on your store and on your business cards, but will viewers be able to easily read and understand your logo on a mobile website? Even on a desktop view, there is only so much space in which you can work with. If your logo requires a lot of room, that is room taken away from content and other important parts of your website.
This may not apply to everyone, but it is a good way to think about your logo whether you intend to make an app or not. Pull out your phone and take a look at your apps. Without reading the name underneath, how many can you quickly tell what they are?
The apps you are able to do that with have perfected a logo design that perfectly conveys itself without the use of words. Many do that through clever visual incorporations of part of their name. You will have very few (if any) words available to use on an app button, so this aspect of a logo is crucial.