Let’s face it, Yahoo was heading towards extinction before their new CEO Marissa Meyer stepped in. Whether services change remains to be seen, but we do know that Yahoo’s at least being talked about again. Most recently, internet chatter revolved around the launch of their new logo (which if you read my recent product launch post, should know that a new logo should also be treated like a product launch). Yahoo knows what they’re doing because they’ve done exactly that – treat their new logo like a product launch, including keeping us guessing on which of their thirty soon to be released logos they’re going to make the official new logo. No matter what they’re going to go with, you can bet all eyes will be on them for thirty days.

Red Flags Signaling a Need for a Design Change
Which brings us back to the topic at hand…if Yahoo’s updating their logo, is it time for you to change yours? Whether or not you change your logo depends on a lot more than just a whim. Here’s what you should consider when asking yourself this question. See whether the times have changed, meaning that your competitors have shifted in a totally new (and successful) design shift. Principally though, your logo now needs to be able to adapt to a digital presence. Can it or a version of it be condensed for social use? Does it translate well across the web? If no, it’s definitely time for a new logo.

You should also definitely change your logo if the company itself has changed direction. Maybe you’re focusing on a different product, or catering to a new audience. Take Coca-Cola’s recent example. They’re launching a new “green” coke that’s eco-friendly and health-conscious. Even though they’re just initially testing the Latin American market, they’ve changed their iconic red logo to a green one in order to mimic the market. However, their color choice as a failed – one that rode on the assumption that shades of green don’t matter. Using “green” for an eco-friendly product is also these days just about the laziest move you can make. This is why it’s really important to really consider your market, do your research, and think about what you’re trying to communicate.

Since your logo is essentially you’re brand, now is also a ripe opportunity to determine if you want to tweak your brand. Everything dances around you logo, including color schemes and patterns – and since you’ll already have to get new materials printed up, you might as well go whole hog and get a brand redevelopment. This doesn’t mean you’re changing who you are or what you’re about. It just means you’re changing the window dressing so more people want to walk through the door.

How to Decide What Your Logo Will Look Like
Having worked with several graphic design teams, I know that there’s three main types of logos: (1) text only, (2) text with image, and (3) text with interlaced Image (meaning the two are tied into each other somehow. The modern approach tends to favor text only, however there’s no law against what you should go with other than it shouldn’t be complicated. Of course, here’s where you need help.

A good graphic designer charges about $500 for a logo. This should include an intake questionnaire that roughly asks you:

    1. About your industry and top three competitors
    2. Three things you’d like your logo to communicate
    3. What logo style you like (graphic icon, text, or text only – as mentioned above)
    4. What font styles you prefer

    5. What colors you have in mind
    6. Any samples of logos you like or are inspired by
    Any decent graphic designer offers 2-3 different logo concepts that you get to pick from. Once you’ve chosen you’re preferred concept, you should get about 2-5 tweaks. You then get files to your logo in various formats. This is the business standard. Going less means you are likely losing out on quality, and getting less than this from a designer means they’re not a professional.