Say your organization has a logo that’s looking sad, dated, and uninspiring. Your first reaction would be to through it out the window, but that may not be the best choice, especially if your logo holds sentimental value and is recognizable. Instead you should consider evolving your church logo. I recently went through this process with the logo for this very blog.
I’ll quickly go through the thoughts that led to each change. The original logo was made when “grunge” design looks were still popular with church organizations. Like most church trends, they tend to linger long after their popular appeal has ended. Next, I decided to get crafty with a corduroy feel, to match the etsy/knitting bomb trends that were popular at the time. This version was short lived. With the next version I decided to be more playful. Hand drawn logos and fonts were very popular that year. Finally, I gave into the current prevalent design trend, “Flat Design”, which has had some amazing staying power because of it’s simplicity, versatility, timelessness, and web applications.
THE NEW LOGO
This logo keeps with Flat Design, even though things are getting slightly less flat. I made the “L” suggestive of a heart and used it to replace the word “Love”.
If you are looking for a more popular example check out American Airlines.
It’s only in the last couple of decades that Airlines have been putting their logo along the length of the entire fuselage, hence the long logo. They’ve also used a popular design concept called figure/ground to keep the eagle while actually subtracting detail.
WHY YOU SHOULD EVOLVE INSTEAD OF SCRAP
The brand that you’ve cultivated has value. Businesses with established logos actually account for the value of their intellectual property as an asset, sometimes to the tune of millions of dollars. It’s no different for churches, that logo will mean something to some people. It’s hard to imagine what connections they’ve made to it over the years.
WHEN YOU SHOULD SCRAP YOUR LOGO
If your church has a strong vision and you can’t contort your logo enough to match it, then it’s time for a new logo. Note, you should never just “add” more detail to your logo to make it fit, it should actually be transformed. An overly complex logo is seldom flexible or memorable.
HOW TO EVOLVE YOUR OWN LOGO
- Follow the trends. The reason a logo looks “stale” is because it doesn’t match the new stuff you are seeing around you. There are hundreds of design blogs that follow these trends. Check them out! Fonts and colors have their own trends.
- Consider Your Vision. What is at the heart of vision for the world, can that be referenced graphically in your existing logo?
- Consider the Usage. If the ways in which you use your logo have changed, is there a way it can be manipulated to fit the new usage? This is similar to American Airlines making their logo longer to fit on the sides of their planes.
- Consider Your Identity. Has something significant about your identity changed since you logo was made? Did your church get painted green from red, but you logo is still red, for instance. Then change that aspect of your logo.
- Subtract, Replace, or Add (In that order). Is there a way you can subtract detail (figure/ground) to get your message across, similar to the eagle in the modern American Airlines logo? If not, is there a portion of the logo that can be replaced, like the “heart L” in URLoved which replaces the entire word “Love”. If those two fail, then can you add something without overly complicating your logo? If yes, then go for it!
Evolving your logo is a good practice. It keeps it fresh and relevant while maintaining a link to the past. Have you updated your logo lately?