When does redesigning a logo make sense?


The Girl Scouts organization is now over 30 years old. That may explain why the iconic logo has gone under the knife. But was it a good idea? When does redesigning a logo make sense? And in the Girl Scout’s case, would anyone notice the redesign if it were not specifically pointed out?

In our local survey, when the logos were shown separately, no one noticed any difference in the design. Some did notice the brighter color.

Very minor changes.

The Girl Scout’s logo has traded its graceful lines for slightly awkward elongated lines. Oh, and one of the girl profiles got a new hairdo: Bangs. Or is it a hat, or a chunk missing from her head? Not really sure.

On extremely close examination, a graphic designer pointed out that the three girl profiles also got “perkier” (younger?) noses and nicer shaped lips. Very, very hard to see that.

Are unnoticed changes worthwhile?

So why the surgery? Chief Marketing Officer Laurel Richie explains, “While we are proud of our $700 million cookie business run by girls, we offer so much more than that, and this new work is designed to let people know about all the new and exciting things girls do every day as Girl Scouts.”

Does the redesigned logo support that objective more effectively than the previous logo?

What is the goal?

The Girl Scouts are describing the makeover as part of “a long-term, multichannel brand campaign that is designed to reacquaint the country with the iconic organization and communicate the power girls have to change the world through Girl Scouting.” Does this new logo support that initiative? Effectively? Was this money well invested? I don’t think so.

Is the age of the logo the barometer to use when considering a design change? If a logo is 30 years old, does it need to be redesigned? Perhaps, if being fashionable is appropriate or critical. The age of a logo is relevant when the product or service it represents needs to be trendy or “modern.” The new Girls Scouts logo design is not any more fashionable than the previous design.

Another very important consideration is that it is common for a logo that is “old” to have real equity. That is why the idea of changing a logo must be approached as a serious strategic concern.

Logo redesign can be meaningful.

A logo redesign can have significant influence. But an imperceptible tweak is a waste of money. If the intent is to signal organizational change relating to service or products, mere tweaking has no impact and does not serve the cause. That money could be better employed.

The campaign also includes the definition of a comprehensive visual style for the organization which I think is a good investment, if followed. It provides a lot of flexibility within a distinct framework. And the brighter color green is positive and a little more exciting.

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