You see your logo every day, but when was the last time you really looked at it? As the public face of your brand, it carries a lot of the load for your brand strategy. A logo that no longer works may be a warning that it no longer represents your strategy.
Brands evolve to survive. Logos evolve to help them along. Here are 7 signs that it might be time for change.

Your company is undergoing a big change, transition or merger
New leadership, new directions, new strategies. Times of change are the perfect opportunities to re-evaluate brand strategy. As your business strategy evolves – or is turned upside down – it makes sense that your brand should evolve with it. A new brand mark is a natural way to mark change for both your employees and your customers.

You see part of your logo in a clip art catalog
It’s always a sobering moment when you discover that your brand identity may not be that original after all. Designing a strategic logo should be inspired by brand strategy, not by logo clichés that might seem cool but are really copies. If your logo isn’t as unique as your brand, it could be time.

Your logo has way too many versions
Collect every example of your logo in action. Are the logos identical, or is it a jumble of special exceptions for events, sales, sub-brands and anniversaries (often cobbled together by well-meaning employees)? Too much variety is confusing and erases your true identity. A rebrand and strong set of brand guidelines restore order and keep everyone in line.

Your logo makes you feel nostalgic
Or retro. Or maybe even a little old school. Whatever you call it, a logo that recalls another era is simply outdated. Brands chase fashion with the best of them. Technical limitations, trends and positive associations create a recognized style that seemingly makes sense to follow. But your brand isn’t a follower, it’s a leader. So it’s time to evolve your brand and bring it up to date.

Your business doesn’t reflect what your logo shows
So you’re an innovative tech company – why does your logo look like a newspaper masthead? Or your brand strategy promises energy and hipness, yet your logo seems flat and plain. Brand strategy and brand voice should be clear in your visual expression. If your brand is about speed, strength, positivity or reassurance, make sure your logo is too.

Your logo isn’t flexible enough to survive
Today’s brands live everywhere and logos have to keep up. Different mediums flex type, color and motion in different ways and each has its limitations. Will your logo work just as well and look the same in print, digital animation, a billboard and social media? How about on an enamel pin or an embroidery? A redesigned logo can help your brand identity live in all forms and formats. Even tattoos.

Your logo is simply chaotic
Brand logos can actually gain weight over the years. Maybe you started with a clean, lean look. Add a tagline here, an arc there, maybe a founding year, some 3D elements, extra color, a secondary font and a carnival of shapes and you end up with a heavy branding stew. Get back to basics for a truly necessary – and clear – idea that expresses brand strategy. Simplicity is harder that it looks.

Change is part of the natural order in branding. Knowing when to make those changes – and how to do it strategically – will help your brand survive. In the end, if you’re even wondering whether it’s time for a brand update, it’s probably time.