A brand refresh will help you to take your branding to the next level and invigorate it, reconnecting with your audience and market.

Where a new branding project starts with nothing and creates a shiny new brand that’s got to earn equity, a brand refresh project takes what you currently have and evolves it.

Brand equity is something we talk about a lot when it comes to refreshing an existing brand. Existing brand equity must be retained and built upon, not simply thrown out of the window.

How does a brand refresh service work?

Brands can age over time, primarily if the design principles used to create the logos and visual identity were trend-driven.

It’s important to note here that a brand refresh is not a rebrand; they are two different things.

An evolution.

This is precisely what a brand refresh is. 

Typically this involves taking an existing logo and visual identity a little past its best and evolving it into something new with solid connections (visually) with the old version.

This approach to refreshing branding aims to retain all the equity you have in your old logo and marketing collateral and to move it forward.

This can be driven by the need to modernise the design or to replace something that was trend-based and now looks old-fashioned (making sure the new design is as timeless as possible).

A revolution.

If you want to change direction, distance yourself from negative equity or take your product or service in a new direction, it’s a rebrand rather than a refresh. These projects are typically more involved as they throw out the old and replace it with something completely new.

Brand refresh example

An example of what we see as a brand refresh.

We helped Broadbean to modernise their logo, making it more accessible.

The older logo had been designed well, but there were several improvements in the new version whilst retaining the look, feel and equity.

Get your brand refreshed

What’s involved in a brand refresh?

Refreshing your branding is about keeping one eye on the equity and the other on the creative future-proofing.

If your brand is a bit past its sell-by date, this doesn’t mean there isn’t equity.

Your current customers will identify with your branding; it may have solid visual recall and will carry positive signals for your happy clients, no matter how outdated.

It’s crucial to carry this equity into the new brand and retain, where possible, the creative elements that make your brand what it has become.

Sensitivity.

No matter what it looks like, your branding has helped you get where you are; an overzealous brand refresh can alienate existing customers.

This is where the real art and craft of a successful brand refresh comes into play.

A sensitive and respectful approach to refreshing brands pays the highest dividends.

Research.

Some branding refresh projects reflect upon your history to move your brand forward.

If you have a long-established brand that has lost its way, some research into the creative history of your branding and company can often be an exciting place to start.

This can refresh a brand simply by making it what it once was, so we always look into it for our clients.

Creative.

The last thing you want with a brand refresh is to rehash the design into some temporary design trend.

Longevity is required here, and that’s where the real skill and craft of branding come into play.

A trend-based design will see you refreshing your brand again in two years’ time, and if you have a lot of marketing and other collateral, that can get expensive.

A successful brand refresh should future-proof your branding, so you have something that will serve you for years to come, and the way to achieve this is via classic design principles, not creative fads that come and go.

Subtlety.

This is an evolution, not a revolution, so some brand refresh projects can be subtle and retain many parts of the branding that work.

This could be as simple as redrawing an existing logo with some fine adjustments or swapping out an existing font for a new one.

These projects don’t have to take months and cost thousands of pounds.

It’s all about where we start and where we want to get.

Queen Victoria Seaman’s Rest.

This was a more significant brand refresh project, with a modern and updated logo.

The charity has been established for over 176 years and was keen to really revamp the logo but to retain the important visual history of the brand.

Get your brand refreshed

Our brand refresh process.

We don’t employ a one-size-fits-all approach as everyone is different, but broadly, our projects follow this process

The brief and scope.

A brief is not a meeting or a phone call; it’s a document that sets out (in as much detail as needed) the scope of the project:

  • Why are we doing this, and what is the driver for change?
  • What do we want to achieve?
  • What are the expectations for the project?
  • What are we delivering?
  • How will this be rolled out?
  • What’s the budget?
  • How will we measure success?

The more established the current branding, the more thinking needs to go into the brief.

For younger brands, where the original branding was often done quickly, and on a shoestring budget, there may be less of a requirement.

Either way, a conversation followed by a written brief is a must.

The research.

The more information we have, the better informed the refresh of your brand will be.

  • How and why is your branding where it currently is?
  • What was the thought process behind this?
  • What should be retained, removed or reworked?
  • Are there previous iterations of your logo that were more suited to you?
  • What do your current marketing and brand collateral look like?
  • Have you had negative/positive feedback from customers?
  • Is a brand refresh the real answer to the problem you are trying to solve?

Good design is commercially-aware and business savvy, not just eye candy, so research is a crucial aspect of any brand refresh project.

The ideas.

We’re an old-school creative agency. We think first, draw second and explain our creative thinking.

What you can expect from us is the following:

  • Hand-drawn concepts that focus on the big idea rather than the minute details
  • Fewer rather than many ideas; you came to us for the right solution, not a ‘pick the one you hate the least’ approach
  • Meaningful and considered creative that’s on-brief and on-point with your objectives

The initial concepts will all be serious contenders if the brief is well written: clever creativity paired with solid thinking.

Development.

This stage involves jumping into Adobe Illustrator to work the selected initial drawings and sketches into more polished designs.

These will be presented for comments and feedback, and we will go through as many rounds of design development as needed to arrive at the right design.

Artwork.

Art working is one of the most underrated branding and logo design skills.

Up to this point, we’ll have been working-up designs to a visual stage and have chosen the right design that answers the brief.

Artworking isn’t about sending you some PNG files; it’s about the actual craft of balancing and fine-tuning the final design until it’s pixel-perfect.

This involves a lot of odd things that professional designers do, like flipping the logo backwards to correct the optical kerning and tracking, subtlety personalising the font, so it’s unique to your logo, and a range of other odd stuff to make the logo 100% perfect.

Many people don’t know that software such as PowerPoint, Word, Illustrator and Figma use math to space letters, align items and layout the composition of items on the screen.

Math can only do an okay job, but when the final design is reached, these things need to be done visually, both on-screen and by printing things out and checking everything.

You may not notice an error in a logo or logotype if this is not done correctly. Still, as soon as you do, you will never be able to unsee it, which is why we are serious about artwork, peer-checking, re-working the artwork and making sure everything is perfect.

We will send you the final artwork files in all the formats you need once this has been done.

Visual identity.

An optional element to all brand refresh projects, but one we strongly recommend.

A set of visual guidelines for your refreshed brand will ensure everything is done and used correctly.

These don’t need to be overly complex, but without them, staff, suppliers and anyone that uses your new branding can be left to make their own decisions about how things should look.

A set of visual identity guidelines ensure that all the hard work that goes into refreshing your brand does not go to waste.

On-Call-Africa-Cover On Call Africa Style guide design 11

We do everything.

When having your brand refreshed, it’s important to make sure everything is done correctly.

The best and easiest way to do this is to get everything done in one place.

At Toast, we can help you with the following:

  • Logo/Brand refresh projects
  • Visual identity creation
  • Application and roll-out across printed collateral
  • Website updates, rebuild and rebrands
  • Social media graphics

Our team can deliver your brand refresh and ensure it is correctly applied to all your marketing and sales collateral.

Get started today

Looking to refresh your branding?

Whether you need an evolution or a revolution, Toast's team can spark new lives into your branding and identity. Call us on 01295 266644.

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