Logo makeover competition
During December 2018 I ran a strategic logo makeover competition. I wanted to help 5 small businesses improve their brand image, and I also wanted to create an opportunity where the public could become more familiar with my specific design style and ethic.
To get the word out about the compo, I ran a 5-day Facebook ad to my immediate local community and asked them to comment with why they needed a new logo, and to also like my page and tag a friend who also needed a new logo.
I had a lot of interest in entering but only 15 entrants actually filled in the online form and sent me their current logo as per the competition Ts and Cs.
How did I select the winners?
I did lay down some rules in choosing my 5 winners. They weren’t randomly selected. I based my selection on …
- how badly the logo needed to be updated,
- whether it would improve the overall brand aesthetic for the business, and
- whether the logo would translate into my design style.
Because the compo was for a makeover, not a complete logo re-design, I had to stick to the current logo concept and colours, unless the winner/s were happy to change the palette.
Entrants who didn’t win were emailed my feedback on their existing logo, why it didn’t qualify to win, and ways they could improve on it to lift their brand.
My logo design style and rules
My design style is characteristically minimalist. Which means simple lines, no detail, clear, crisp, easy to remember. I apply the following rules when I create a logo:
- It must be able to be reproduced in a single colour even if it has a multi-coloured palette.
- It must still be clear at small scale; it must fit into a square nicely (for social).
- Any fonts in the logo must be clear and easy to read in a split-second.
- And it must be unique, ie. custom created and not something copied from somewhere else.
Here they are, the winners.
Below are the 5 winners of my logo makeover competition, with their before and afters and details on why I did what I did with the new design.
Winner no. 1 | Green Everything Recycling
I chose this logo because it is really outdated and too detailed. The ‘shine’ and textures make it impossible to produce clearly in one colour. Eco is big right now and growing and, of course, important in helping to clean up our planet so I felt a clean image for this company would really help to spread the message.
I’ve kept to the leaf concept in creating a stylised plant using the g and e letters (for green everything). The recycling icon isn’t necessary because the company name has the word ‘recycling’ in it – and that icon is really overused and not ideal for a logo. The new version is clean, quick to recognise and easy to remember and the little icon will work well as a standalone mark on branded goods.
Adrienne had this to say about her new logo: “Wow!!! I absolutely love your redesign and given our current growth again it kind of feels like a rebirth … I love the visual simplicity of what you have created! It is eye-catching and beautiful!”
Winner No. 2 | Women of Worth
This logo was chosen because Women of Worth is an NPO that runs programs to promote an abuse-free society for girls and women, providing emotional and physical support for victims of abuse. Their values are centred around integrity, respect, love, unity and reliability. I felt that their previous logo was too ‘wishy-washy’ and didn’t fully represent the love, power and strength that are integral to their organisation. The font was also very difficult to read so didn’t communicate the brand well.
The new logo retains the profile/face concept of the original but I’ve made it into 2 faces to show support and strength. The crown/flame is for pride and passion and the wings for freedom. The overall logo is shaped as a heart for love which is the cornerstone of this brand. I’ve kept the purple palette as requested by Nomfundo, but added gold to lift it a bit and accentuate the 2 central elements. This icon will work well on it’s own in a single colour across a variety of media.
Here’s what Nomfundo has to say about her new logo: “I love the concept and what it represents. I love that it is themed around love which is one of our core values. Thank you for taking your time to understand our initiative. It really means a lot to us.”
Winner No. 3 | Bedazzle Embroidery
Dulcie, who owns Bedazzle Embroidery with her daughter, is actually a past client who I haven’t heard from in about 15 years. She found me through the compo and we’ve reconnected. That’s not why I chose her logo to make over, though. I chose it because I felt that it didn’t accurately represent the beautiful work she produces. Her embroidery is amazing. The bee in the previous logo bugged me (‘scuze the pun) because it looks more like a wasp, and the detail is lost at small scale. The font is also quite outdated and too generic.
The new logo is very different with a brand new custom-drawn bee that feels lighter, happier and is much clearer produced at small scale. In keeping with the embroidery theme, I’ve added some little cross-stitch stars and a stitched flight-trail. The logo works well with or without the cloud background. I’ve kept the red as the focus colour but darkened it a little to be easier on the eye. I’ve also kept the yellow, but added some blue to give a more airy feel. This will work well in a single colour too and I’m sure it’ll also embroider very nicely.
There’s an interesting twist to this logo story. Dulcie shared it on her business Facebook page and her personal profile and almost all her clients and friends who commented preferred the original logo. Now, that’s brand loyalty for you! Nevertheless, Dulcie is keen to use her new logo in the new year.
Here’s what she had to say about it: “I think I will use your logo once our business cards are finished. Your logo is lovely and more in keeping with our business … new year, new beginnings”.
Winner No. 4 | Beauty Beyond
I’ve seen Claudette’s logo around on social, and even had the pleasure of having her do my hair and make-up for an event earlier this year. Every time I see her previous logo, I think of how it could change the face of her biz to have an updated image that would properly reflect the amazing standard of her work.
The previous Beauty Beyond logo with the double Bs and brushes wasn’t easy to make out at first glance and especially at small scale. The script font is also difficult to read at a glance and the colours I felt were a bit too hard for a beauty niche.
In the new logo, I’ve kept the double mirrored Bs and the make-up concepts. I’ve just simplified them. A lot. The double B is now more abstract, but still recognisable, and doubles up to look like a make-up palette. Instead of the dark red, I’ve used hot pink and adjacent shades. The font has been changed to a much simpler one that is easy to read in a second. And I’ve swapped Claudette’s name with her tagline for easier reading. To complete the circular shape of the bottom half of the logo, I’ve added in a lipstick stroke, which could also be used as a secondary stand-alone element in the brand. Again, this logo and logo mark produce beautifully in a single colour or in white to use for watermarking images or for item branding.
Here’s Claudette’s feedback: “I love it! Love the simplicity but at the same time getting my brand across … I will definitely use it and update it on my website as well”.
Winner No. 5 | ZuluCom
Zulucom stands for Zululand Communications. This logo was submitted by Justin Whittaker on behalf of his client. I chose to redo it mainly because the SA flag is not permitted to be used in a logo, but also because the Zulu warrior icon looks like generic clip art and is difficult to make out straight away. There is also no way this logo could be properly converted to a square format for social media.
The new logo adheres to the Zulu concept but instead of using a warrior and a shield, I’ve custom-drawn a shield-shaped mask with a wifi icon incorporated at the top to communicate what they do graphically. I’ve kept the red colour because it’s a strong colour in Zulu culture, and then supplemented it with charcoal.
This winner did not like their new logo as they felt it looked ‘too African’, understandably – because it does, but I had to stick to the original logo theme as per the compo specs. They did like the bold, simpler colours and the font. They’ve decided to take their makeover to the next level and have ordered a brand new logo with a different concept. If you follow me on Facebook and Insta, you’ll get to see their new logo when I share it.
If you like the way I work …
If you like my design style and the way I work, and would like to work with me on creating or reinventing your brand, feel welcome to drop me an email and tell me about your business, your goals, dreams and ideas and I’ll help you make them happen.