In an era when images are increasingly important to consumers, marketers should be thinking about what they are communicating with their logos.  A press release from logoNashville, TV-based Horton Group encourages marketers to review their logos. The company’s analysts identify 3 specific circumstances that should prompt marketers to update their logos.

Out-of-Date: If a logo reflects shapes, colors and textures that are no longer popular, consumers may start to think a company is out of touch with the marketplace. Examples include heavy beveled edges or drop shadows. These special effects were popular when digitized graphics became available. Logos that reflect those trends make a marketer look like ‘it’s stuck in the past.’

Confusing: A marketer’s logo should reflect the business the company is in. Cute graphics can distract from the message a logo should be conveying. Horton Group analysts list the example of funeral home marketing. In this case, the use of the Comic Sans font would be inappropriate for the logo text.

Poorly Executed: A good logo should possess a design in which the individual parts add up to an integrated whole and deliver a simple but effective message. In some cases, designers  incorporate clashing colors into a logo in order to capture consumer attention but the outcome may be disastrous. Icons should not so sloppily crafted that a consumer mistakes them for clip art. Keep in mind that spacing between the letters is key to readability.

In 2014, graphic design industry experts say that about 56% of top brands use a mix of text and graphics for their logos. While some top brands use a symbol only, think Apple, others, like Visa, use text only. Top trends for graphic design in general this year include simplicity and flat formats.

Are you thinking of updating your logo this year?  If not, what would prompt you to make a change?