It’s not a new concept, but dressing up logos in the web-o-sphere gained popularity with Google Doodles. In 1998, founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin designed a logo in honor of the Burning Man festival as a quirky way of hinting to visitors of where they would be that day, just in case there were technical difficulties such as a server crash. A few months later, they featured another new logo on their U.S. website to celebrate Thanksgiving—complete with a forlorn-looking turkey. Other logos followed, such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and even one for the Olympics. Since the very first doodle, Google has featured more than 1,000 unique logos—both 2D and interactive—celebrating various events, ideas or milestones, and many businesses have continued to follow suit.
Why Dress Up a Logo?
With so many companies, websites, social community pages, blogs, and banner ads out there, it’s often difficult to differentiate between who’s who and what’s what. While the concept may have started as more of a festive gesture, giving your logo a new and refreshed presence has since become a smart, easy and effective way to brand a business and stand out from the crowd. And the beauty of swapping out logos in the digital world is that it’s relatively inexpensive and easy.
Here are some reasons why businesses are opting to add a little pizazz to their logos:
Where Can a Dressed-Up Logo be Used?
Where a company uses their dressed up logo is entirely up to the business. But adding a temporary logo can be done anywhere from websites, email campaigns and on specialized landing pages to banner ads. A good rule of thumb, however, is moderation. For instance, if the main website logo on your homepage is dressed up, that may be enough to give your website the extra energy you’re looking for. If every instance of your logo is covered in Valentines Day hearts, your website runs the risk of looking too cluttered—or worse, you might end up undermining your own brand and disconnecting with customers. When in doubt, keep the number of changes you make and the number of places you show the changed logo in moderation.
How Often Should You Transform Your Logo?
Holidays and reasons to celebrate abound, which is why it’s a good idea to plan ahead for the entire year to avoid the task of swapping out a new logo every couple of weeks. The frequency of a “new” logo will depend on what your business wants to celebrate, and this can vary by company and region.
Does your company need to create a new logo as often as Google does? Probably not. However, sticking to a theme makes it easier for companies to focus and use a campaign-like approach. Businesses who want to refresh their logo infrequently may want to choose something quarterly such as the four seasons, or perhaps make a splash once per year with an anniversary logo. Creative resources, budget and time are all factors to consider.
How Will Refreshing a Logo Affect Your Brand?
A brand is a valuable asset, and like any valuable asset, enhancing it can be a good strategy. A dressed-up logo serves to give a brand personality. For a company that is known for being conservative in its branding and marketing, this can help create a more approachable, friendly image. For a business with many competitors, this can help it stand out among others by maintaining a fresh image. While dressing up a logo generally has a positive effect, whatever the celebration is, it should be relevant to the content of your website. Case in point: It probably wouldn’t be the best idea to debut a Mother’s Day logo on a children’s apparel website.
What Does it Cost to Dress Up a Logo?
Depending on the complexity of the new design, costs can vary. Having a logo in a vector file format will save you right off the bat, because it can be easily converted into different 2D file formats. Even if you don’t have one, a vector file can be created at a relatively low cost. For even more razzle and dazzle that comes at a price, there’s the option to create an interactive logo, as Google has recently done in the form of the already famed Les Paul guitar doodle or an animated game of Pac-Man.
If properly executed, a logo with personality has benefits on many levels. Not only does it have an impact on customers, but it can increase pride and morale for employees and business partners. Giving your brand a splash of personality also adds a human touch that can differentiate your business from a competitor and also strengthen the connection between you and your customers. Ready to change up your logo? After all, ‘tis the season.