It's easy to fall in love with fresh new branding seen out and about, online and on social media and feel like yours is not as exciting and fresh as it once was. If you are feeling the "grass is always greener" syndrome, it might be a good idea to think about modernising your brand image. That doesn't mean you need to change your logo and your branding but rather update it so that you fall in love with it again - and so do your customers.
Simplifie your vision statement
The first step would be to look at your vision statement and see how you feel about it. Does it still ring true or has your business evolved ever so slightly? How many words are there in your vision statement? My guess is it's probably too long. When I was working on advertisement posters for benches located on busy roads, I learnt that the average person can only absorb 3 words on these posters. 3 words! Admittedly people can handle much more than 3 words in a vision statement but still, less is more. Clean up your vision statement so that it is simplified down to a short sentence that gets straight to the point.
Clean up your logo
Once you have cleaned up your vision statement, it's now time to address the question of your logo. Try getting rid of all superfluous elements and see what you are left with. When I say superfluous elements I mean gradients, shading, strokes, lines, boxes, icons . See what that leaves you with and how you feel about it. My hunch is that you will like it better like that. You can also try getting rid of one or 2 colours and maybe even getting rid of colour all together and see how you like it in black and white. If you get results with that process, please comment below. I'd love to hear what you think.
Rethink your other assets
When you are happy with your clean and shiny logo, take time to look at the other assets you have been using. Are you using photography, illustrations or other images? Do they complement your brand or take away from it? My suggestion would be to start off with no more than 2 incredibly good images. It goes without saying that it is much better having 2 fantastic one than 10 mediocre ones. When looking at images, it might be wise to have a small budget to purchase good ones. For a small amount, you can buy a couple of spot on stock images that really complement your brand. Same idea with illustrations - if you are on a limited budget, you can find decent ones online. Of course if you can stretch that budget a bit, having illustrations custom made for you are a worth while investment. When rethinking these assets, don’t hesitate to think outside the box. My preference for a lot of my clients (when it suits, of course) is to enhance their brand with textures or patterns. I love to create custom patterns or textures which complement the logo and can be used alongside them. It’s a great way of making a brand more cohesive whilst keeping it simple. For inspiration, have a look at some uses of textures and patterns alongside logos in the work I have done for Hanley Mortgage Group and for John Chartrand Photography.
Choose 2 fonts
A good final touch for a modernized brand is new fonts. One of my pet peeves is the overuse of different fonts in documents. Imagine a presentation where the title, subtitle, body text and the signature are all in different fonts. Aaarrrgh! Makes my skin crawl just thinking about it! For small to medium brands, I recommend the use of 2 fonts (excluding the font used in the logo). This is a gross generalization but I basically suggest using one font for titles and one for body text. And within that please don’t go crazy with the various boldness / italics/ underline. Keep it simple! You’ll thank me for it later. For free fonts check out Dafont and Fontsquirrel. They are so many great free fonts out there to choose from.
And finally once you have been through all the above steps, the key from now on is consistent implementation. Go through all your printed and online material and make sure that you change them all to the latest version of your logo and your new assets. Don’t forget social media either. Imagine someone looking at your business card and deciding to have a look at our website and then clicking on your various social media links. Would it be a visually consistent experience? Or would they have the impression they are checking out different businesses / people ? Whatever platform you are presenting yourself on, make sure it looks seamless and coherent.
Now that you have all the tools in hand to modernise your brand, there are no more excuses for a dated logo and that unjustified brand envy you get when browsing the web. With only a few easy changes you can transform your existing logo and make it one you are proud of. If you understand the steps involved but have no idea how to implement them, get in touch! If you need more than a modernized logo, have a look at my small business branding package for all your branding needs.