Is Your Logo Worse for Wear, or Good To Go?

How do you know if your logo is turning into a fashion faux-pax?

You know that one sweater in your closet? It’s comfortable, familiar, and just seems to go with everything. You love that sweater.

The only problem is it doesn’t quite fit like it used to. It’s a little short, snug in the wrong places, and starting to get a tiny hole in the back. Your sweater may have once felt classic, but today, it’s a little worse for wear.

For some companies, maybe this describes your logo, too. But how do you know if your logo is turning into a fashion faux-pax? Here are a few tips to detect a logo that may be in need of a makeover.

1. Is your logo out of style?

They say clothes make the man. And I’d say the logo makes the brand. We all know your brand is far more dynamic, complex, and nuanced than just your logo, but nothing reinforces a well-respected company like a sophisticated logo. So the question is, is your firm’s logo giving off the right vibes? Does your logo say “we value design and technology,” or is it saying “we’re stuck in the seventies”?

2. How does your logo make you feel?

Sometimes it’s hard to put into words why a particular fashion works for you, but when it comes down to it, it just feels right. A great logo should do the same for you. It should instill confidence and make you proud to display it to the world. Is your logo something your firm is proud to put on display, or do you hope nobody is looking?

3. Does your logo go with everything?

Discerning shopper look for pieces that can serve many needs. You need some pieces to work well for business, casual, evening, or just hanging out. And a great logo should work similarly. Your logo should look stunning in any situation: large, small, color, black and white, print, online, and even embroidered on your shirt. Does your logo handle the demands of any situation, or does it occasionally fall flat?

4. What does your logo say about you?

Fashionable clothing makes a statement, but a great brand speaks volumes. What does your logo say? Sure, the actual words matter–are they unique or generic–but I mean, what does the look of your logo imply, connote, or suggest? Does it look overly playful, or maybe a little too stuffy? Does it portray how you want to be seen, or is it becoming a little out of fashion.

5. Make a social statement

What do shoelaces, pocket squares, and the soles of your shoes have in common? What were once utilitarian elements of fashion are now opportunities for a little pop of color. And while logos have always been used in varying sizes, today the most diminutive of digital details matter. Specifically, how does your logo translate to the world of Twitter and Facebook? Does your logo flow smoothly in the social streams, or is it 140 characters of awkward?

6. Who wore it best?

Don’t go looking for trademark conflicts. Showing up to the same event with the same bow tie or gown is embarrassing but not nearly as frustrating as a cease and desist order. Trademark conflicts are serious business, so when it comes to a look that is incredibly similar to a competitor, be sure and seek out advice from a savvy intellectual property attorney.

7. What does your tag say?

In some ways, your corporate brand is not so different from the retail world. The brand you exude says something about the types of clients, projects, and employees that will be attracted to you. Likewise, when you look at your logo, is it something you want to associate your company with, or would you rather not be seen in public with it?

8. Fashion meets function.

Many fashions are rooted in functionality, like eyeliner and popped collars (seriously, look it up), but today they’re seen very differently. Perhaps your logo was created when your firm stood for something different, too. Maybe your firm started in interior design and has grown to encompass architecture and 3D modeling, but as your company evolves, has your logo continued to keep pace, or does it feel a little out of place?

9. Get the details right.

Most guys wouldn’t wear white socks with a black suit. And you probably wouldn’t pair cowboy boots with a Hawaiian shirt. In fashion, details matter. And when it comes to your logo, details are what communicate who you are. Consistent color, impeccable icons, and top-notch typography are a must. Does your logo dominate the details, or do the details dominate you?

10. A great logo brings it all together.

Sure, some pieces go with everything, but what about the ones that singlehandedly complete an ensemble? Your logo should be the same. As the primary identifier for your company, your logo should be the piece that brings the rest of your corporate identity together. Is your logo the centerpiece of your brand identity, or does it fail to complete the look?

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