Recently I was inspired by a couple of events to consider updating the logo for my business. One of my favorite things is to redesign a logo. It’s something I have done many times over the years. Unlike creating a new logo, there are many more factors to consider in a redesign.
Why start a logo redesign?
When you start to think about changing you current logo, it’s an indication that the transformation has started. The first inspiration I got to redesign my own logo came last week I went to a networking event in Ventura, The Ladies Luncheon: Eat Meet & Greet. The guest speaker was the owner of a local retail store – Trystology: For love or Passion. Along with presenting all the products in her retail store she also spoke about her recent brand change – formally Karmasutra Closet. New names is a classic process for many business. Her branding change also includes a new logo and tagline – but the essence of her business remained the same.
The second nudge, that pushed me over the edge, was a suggestion from a close friend. After observing my business he suggested I create a new logo based on the Phoenix. I instantly got excited about the suggestion because I have been inspired to paint the Phoenix in the past as a symbol of rebirth and transformation. It’s a perfect reference for the type of work that I do professionally as a designer and also as an artist – as many of my clients are giving new life to an idea or passion in their lives. It’s also a reference to the creative process in general – as an ongoing cycle of burning the old to make room for the new.
What to consider when redesigning a logo?
The essence of your business
The most compelling idea for me to redesign my logo is that the new design will more accurately represent the essence of my business. As a small business owner I have had many turns and twists in my focus – growing pains so to speak. Also, as a designer I have enjoyed the process of identity development in a visual sense immensely and probably have undergone more transformations than most businesses in the last 10 years.
A very brief summary of my own process is: Indoor Gardens > Outdoor Gallery > Artist Cooperative > Independent Designer > Creative Studio. The essence of my business has been the same – creative transformation for growth. Inside gardens that transform your space for better health. Mobile galleries the transform the outdoor world into social spaces for better community. Artists groups that transform culture and create better communication. Graphic design services that help businesses grow and communicate with customers to make produce and services better…. you get the idea.
Cultural Relevance of Logo
Now that I have discovered a new essence quality for my business that I want to turn into a visual logo – the next step for me is to do a little research. My logo is a symbol for my business – and I want to make sure that it’s culturally representing what I *think* it’s representing. The earliest way to get a good sense is to do a google search for they keyword and also take a look at the images. In addition I like to check out wikipedia definitions and also scope out similar designs on a stock sites like graphicriver.com.
Phoenix, in ancient Egypt and in Classical antiquity, a fabulous bird associated with the worship of the sun. The Egyptian phoenix was said to be as large as an eagle, with brilliant scarlet and gold plumage and a melodious cry. In Greek mythology, a phoenix or phenix (Ancient Greek φοίνιξ phóinīx) is a long-lived bird that is cyclically regenerated or reborn. Associated with the sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor.
Specific Relevance of Logo
In my case there are several other specific connections with this logo that are really nice. It’s very powerful to have an authentic and meaningful connection to any symbolic image. For me, as a business owner, it’s cool that my name is also a reference to worship of the sun. I have use my name in logos in the past – and it’s meaningful to find a symbol that combines my name with my business in some way. I also have painted the Phoenix in the past – as a memorial to my great-grandfather who had passed and all my assessors in general.
Other key connections include the fact that my business is called forever bird studio. I didn’t specifically think of a Phoenix at the time, but it seems obvious now. I have already been moving my color palate in my logo toward the red and yellows of a fire bird. I have also been drawing stage dragon bird hybrids… like drag-bat and dragon-parakeet.
All it all it’s clear to me that the cultural as well as personal symbolic meaning of the Phoenix would be a better way to visually represent the essence of my business to myself and my clients. My current logo has only one visual element (a bird) represented in the imagery and tagline. The tagline is, ‘Where creative ideas take flight’. My brand focus is on the ‘bird’ as a reference for freedom and launching of new business but does not represent the other half – the forever, the redesign.
With the new changes in my logo I can expand my essence to be represented – forever / transformation – the Phoenix. It happens to be a subtle but important evolution of the design. I can also reinforce the new image with a tagline change. I could say, “Where creative ideas burn bright” or something like that…
Importance of Original Design
In the past variation of my logo I have used both custom and stock graphics. In fact my current bird logo was purchased for $29. I have had challenges working on my own designs. It’s easy for me to get lost in details and forget the focus – so choosing a template seemed like the best idea at the time. I normally recommend to new business owners that they start with a template design, after all Twitter did it! It’s just the first logo – and most business go through several identity changes before they find the right fit.
Time can be a factor in many businesses for logo development. When your product, sales, and marketing teams are waiting for materials, the logo can hold up other essentials business processes. When time is a factor, it’s always a good idea to choose a template logo that has already proven itself to be popular in the stock art world. Chances are your logo will never be side to side with your competition in your corner of the globe – but it does happen. It’s kind of like showing up to a party to find that someone else is wearing your shirt – but al least it’s a nice professional design.
Redesign logo projects can be more relaxing and exciting both for the designer and the company. First of all – the time factor should be less pressure. Second of all – the company has a clearer idea of what essences are important. At this point in my business this is the case – I am taking my time in development of an original logo design. An original logo design is a sign of commitment and clarity in a business.
In summary, redesigning a logo can be a powerful and meaningful process. There is no perfect time and no perfect logo. The logo is a symbolic representation of your living business – and as such is included in the ongoing process of growth and transformation.
Enjoy the journey!