Sometimes we get a bit tired of our own brand design and we feel the urge to change things up. As a creative, I often get this restless feeling but a brand design is nothing you change out like a pair of socks. Your design shouldn’t be running after every new trend out there. But businesses grow and evolve and you want to adapt to those changes with your design. It’s not always a drastic change like a rebrand that’s necessary. Small tweaks to your current design can instantly refresh your brand design without starting all over.
The difference between rebranding & brand refresh
There’s a lot of talk about rebranding but it’s not always the best choice. Most often, all you need is a little refresh. A touch up of your brand design can help you to adapt to your new business situation. A reason for a brand refresh could be a change in your market to which you want to adapt. You want to be up-to-date and your brand design should reflect this. Even internal changes like expanding a product line or establishing new strategies to position your brand could call for a refresh.
Contrary to a full rebrand, you don’t touch the foundation of your brand. A refresh focuses on visuals and/ or voice. Your values stay untouched. Your brand personality is still the same and you’re still attracting the same audience. What you do with a refresh is give the visual elements of your brand a spruce up.
Rebranding, however, is a drastic change. It should be well thought through because it could make you lose your current audience. Rebranding means starting all over and you should have a very good reason to do so. For example, a complete switch to a different niche or different target market, changing your name or fusing two different companies. With a rebrand, you will attract a different audience. Creating a new brand personality and visual identity are part of this.
Related post: Is it time to rebrand your business
How can refreshing your brand design help your business
There are a couple of reasons why you might want to refresh your brand design and why it might be a good idea to do so.
• Communicate new ideas, services, and products
• Repositioning in the market
• Standing out and separating yourself from the competition
• Attract new customers
• Being up-to-date
How to refresh your brand design
As I’ve already said above, the changes you make during a refresh are rather subtle. You want to achieve a fresh look but still be recognized by your audience.
The first element of your design you’ll think about refreshing is your logo. But a logo should only be refreshed if this adds value. A good logo is timeless. Refreshing is rarely necessary. That’s why brands when updating their logo mostly go for a simplified version. This can make the logo more versatile and even less depending on trends.
Of course, you can also refresh your logo design by adding style elements like an icon. As already said, only if it adds value. It could be to differentiate your brand from your competition for example. Another reason to add something to your logo could be to better explain what you do. If your business name doesn’t tell people what your business is about, this can be done by adding a small illustration for example.
A brand refresh is also the perfect moment to think about the usage of your logo. Sometimes your logo isn’t as versatile as you would like. If there are materials you create for your brand where your logo doesn’t fit very well either in size, form, or color; you might want to think about creating a variation to adapt.
Related post: Logo variations
Colors are where it gets really interesting during a brand refresh. Because tiny color changes can make a huge difference. They can be as subtle as switching a brand color to a slightly different shade. Either darker or lighter depending on the style you’re looking for. You can also add a new accent color to your color palette. This will immediately make your design look fresh.
Your main brand colors will in most cases stay the same. But adjusting or updating your color palette can help you to attract new customers and stand out in your niche. It’s also a great way to get over a brand blues. Working every day with the same design can become tiring. With a bit of new color, you can feel inspired and motivated to create.
Refreshing your brand can also mean to take a look at your current brand fonts. See if they work well for you or if it’s time to update them. A great way to switch up your fonts is by adding a different accent font. This font, even if not used often, can add a nice new touch to your brand design. Accent fonts are used to make short elements of text stand out. For example a quote or a call-to-action.
Related post: How many fonts do you need for your brand
If you’ve updated fonts and/ or colors you’ll likely have to update all your marketing materials. Add these new elements to your graphics. But you can also use this refresh to generally update your graphics. Try new layouts and create new templates for your social media posts.
You can also try to add some new design assets like patterns or illustrations. It’s important though to always keep in mind what you want to achieve with a brand refresh. The core of your brand needs to stay intact and your design still needs to reflect your brand.
Last but not least, it might be time to think about new brand photos. Switching out the photos you’ve used for some time can add more relevance. You could also use this to show off a different aspect of your brand you haven’t shown before. Show your face if you haven’t already. Or show your customers where and how you work. Photos can tell stories you might not be able to tell through design only. They can also add interest to your graphics. Another tip is to take photos with your new or adjusted brand colors. It helps to integrate photos easily into your graphics.