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How to work with an old logo

Posted on by Clive Walker in Web Design

I wrote this post a while back. The content can still be relevant but the information I've linked to may not be available.

Here's the story: Not so long ago, I was asked to redesign a client's website that, to be frank, was long past its sell-by date. Great! An exciting new project and I was looking forward to it! Unfortunately, there was some 'baggage' with the job, namely the client's logo. Without going into detail, it needed a redesign as well but this was not within the project scope. So, how should I work with the logo? Here are some options that I explored:

  • Use high quality images in combination with the logo. Professional stock photography, as long as it is not too clichéd, can enhance an older logo. A montage effect, although not very original, can confer an attractive surrounding or background for the logo.
  • Modify part of the logo to minimise its effect. Perhaps there is an element of the logo that can be removed to improve the overall look without detracting from the company's identity?
  • Make the logo a smaller part of the overall design.
  • Add an attractive background colour or image to the element that contains the logo.

In an ideal world, none of these options would need to be considered because a logo redesign would be part of the website work… but small company web design isn't always like that.

What have you done when faced with this situation? There may be better options than mine. Let me know if you have other suggestions.

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  • 18 Feb 2010 11:16:10

    I came across this issue recently and decided to remove the part of the logo that made it look dated & possibly a bit amateur (sorry, but it was made in Word)… Anyway, once the huge drop shadow was photoshopped out (I only had a small jpeg version to work with) it looked a lot better. Not great, but better.

  • 18 Feb 2010 12:09:56

    This is an interesting discussion as it is a common requirement for a site to be redesigned but an old logo to be left alone. Personally I find a great logo can add to a site, and a bad one does the opposite, detracting from what would otherwise be an excellent layout and design.

    I think in this situation it is advisable to check with the client their feelings on modifying the logo slightly, and if they are happy with this then modifying the logo part which makes it particularly old or bad would be best advised. Making it smaller, and perhaps a single colour can also be good workarounds. Of course if you are a good salesman you may even be able to sway the client into ordering logo redesign as well, therefore solving the problem!

    Seeing freelancers feedback on this will be an insight into the workings of most designers, as this is something everyone can learn from. Some examples would also be nice to see.

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