A logo is a bite-sized design with oversized responsibility. This small emblem should encapsulate your values, services, and company brand identity in a simple design. But as times change and your business grows, your logo may need to change as well.
This article explains a new trend called debranding. The decision to change your corporate visual identity shouldn’t be taken lightly, but rebranding doesn’t require you to completely redesign your business. Instead, debranding asks you to do something much harder: simplify.
Keep reading for a quick primer on debranding, three key questions to help you decide if your business could benefit from debranding, and what awaits you if you decide to unbrand.
What is debranding?
Debranding is a move towards minimalism in a company’s brand visual identity.
Debranding is the reduction of an existing logo to its most simplified and recognizable form.. Instead of flourishes, complex typography, drop shadows, and gradients, debranding values are flat, 2D designs with minimal embellishments.
Debranding is not the same as rebranding. Rebranding often results in a whole new visual direction, with completely new colors, fonts, and shapes.
This trend is not a marginal fashion! Big companies like Burger King, Warner Bros., Intel and Pringles are rebranding. Why? Because the benefits of debranding are powerful in such a pixel-intensive world.
Simplified logos are much easier to recognize in the fast, miniaturized digital spaces of mobile phones and tablets. Mobile-friendly design is essential when you realize that more than half of all website traffic on the internet is generated by people using mobile devices.
Simplified logos are more adaptable to different audiences, niches, practice areas, and locations. With a skillfully demarcated logo, you can easily use a new color to create an entirely new offering for your business without losing the distinct brand recognition you’ve worked so hard to cultivate. For example, you can use a beachy pink to mark your new office in Miami and a deep blue to mark your office in Tampa, with the same branded logo.
Is it a good time for your business to consider debranding?
Debranding may sound scary, but with great risk comes great reward! Here are some questions to help you decide if you might benefit from debranding:
- Does your company’s branding look dated?
- Does the brand look good on all devices and are all parts of the brand legible? (Names, complex design elements, etc.)
- Does the brand match your current level of experience and can it grow with you?
A standout logo is neither simple nor childish. Instead, a demarcated logo can actually signal maturity.
You may have started your business initially with an emphasis on boldness, agility, or innovation. But now you have more experience and the practice has evolved.
Markdown can help you adopt a more mature brand identity that telegraphs both gravity and modernity without losing your uniqueness.
After deciding to unbrand
Don’t panic that your practice will be unrecognizable to your clients and colleagues! In fact, you can even get more recognition with your clients and colleagues if your monthly newsletter logo is easier to see, or if your Twitter avatar isn’t a small graphic with your company’s 82-letter name.
Working with an experienced designer is the best way to ensure your standout logo supports your business goals.
Review and next steps
Debranding is a new trend that emphasizes minimalist logos to improve brand recognition. This might work for your business if your logo is outdated, if you want to expand into new areas or practice locations, or if the logo is too complex to work well on mobile devices.
Every company and every logo is different. You’ve done the work to cultivate a solid reputation.