A Facelift or a Rebuild? 3 Questions to Ask Before Changing Your Nonprofit Logo

  • by Christine Batta
  • 0
  • 0

A thoughtful logo redesign has the potential to make a big impact on a nonprofit organization because its message can gather, focus and unify your key leaders, board members, donors and volunteers. Many nonprofit leaders are curious about how they can update or refresh their logo to concentrate the impact of visuals which have become diluted through time, use and modification. However, what may seem like a small logo adjustment could really uncover deeper demands to reevaluate your brand's full visual character and messaging.

Jessica Hische's recent facelift for the MailChimp logo makes a logo update seem deceivingly simple. With small budgets and hectic schedules, nonprofits are usually confronting much larger brand shifts when the attention falls on their logos and branding.

Because a logo update may just be the tip of your project's iceberg, here are 3 questions we recommend you answer to determine the scale of your organization's branding needs before beginning a logo redesign.

1. Where is the push for a new logo coming from?

The first place you can start to uncover your organization's branding needs is by pinpointing the individuals who are bringing up the idea of making a change. Even if it takes some digging to articulate why, if people in your organization aren't happy with the logo it means the logo in some way does not successfully identify the work they do. If people are talking about the logo, you need to find out if something about the organization has changed.

You have to get everyone on your team on the same page in order to narrow & specify the goals that your logo's personality should represent. Don't spend your design budget on a bandaid for an organizational identity crisis. Seriously evaluating whether your logo aligns with your goals will help you decide if you are looking at a typographic or color adjustment or something as deep as a name change!

2. Is your story changing?

The imagery and symbolism of your brand is a strong foundation for representing your mission in a memorable way. You should carefully evaluate whether your logo tells the story of your organization's involvement and impact. If your organization's mission has drastically changed, expanded or narrowed, is your existing symbol telling stories that no longer exist? Still, also keep in mind that a new logo doesn't need to start from scratch as many organizations seek to improve their existing brand language. Ditching an icon which your audience is familiar with demands additional time and research to make an informed choice.

3. Will an updated logo fit with your graphic style and brand guidelines?

Leaders often look at their logo in a bubble and fail to envision what the new logo will look like applied to all the existing materials your organization uses to operate. If your logo is outdated in terms of style or message, the problem will often have a deeper root in your overall graphic style. Your logo's new tone may clash with existing typography styles and imagery which were inspired by the older logo. Or a new name can be tragically wasted on an old website where your new tune is hidden by an interface no one wants to engage with.

If you would like to get an expert opinion on the scale of your logo design needs, get in touch with our passionate team of designers at hello@swcreatives.com. We would love to chat with you about your nonprofit brand!