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We would like to change the colors of our visual identity, brand and logo. However, I don't know if it's a good practice to change colors without changing the logo design itself. I remember several companies that changed the colors and the logo, but someone who only changed the colors doesn't come to my mind. Does anyone have any examples? And would anyone be able to tell me if it is good practice, bad practice or indifferent?

EDIT: I'm not talking about temporary change or change to fit some context, like a commemorative date or tribute. I'm talking about changing the main colors of the brand, like a rebranding.

Thank you.

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  • In what context? Are you think seasonal company logo color changes? Light/dark theme?
    – Majo0od
    Nov 1, 2021 at 19:23
  • Non-seasonal change, that is, permanent, like a re-branding.
    – Felipe
    Nov 1, 2021 at 20:39

1 Answer 1

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Yes

I separate the answer into three aspects: conceptual, functional and technical.


A corporate image has ceased to be a static element years ago due to various factors, including the influence of design styles and adaptability to new media.

Concept

At the end of the 80s, a style emerged that completely disrupted all the visual arts called deconstructivism, whose main characteristic was to question and challenge all the established fundamental precepts of each discipline. In graphic design, the main action was to deconstruct any dogma concept: static corporatism, readability, balance, Gestalt, among others.

Deconstructivism in Wikipedia

A clear example in corporate image is the change applied to the MTV logo in each screen appearance:

enter image description here

Although several years have passed, deconstructivism left its wake and many of its stylistic bases are still maintained as references. Currently there are some references such as flexible branding, liquid branding, which without being clear design styles, point to the same idea: adaptability.

Functionality

In its origins, corporate design was only considered for static applications, mainly printed, and on rare occasions applied to media, film and TV or architecture. With the time these media have multiplied so the design had to adapt its presence to them. The increasingly used moving image, 3D design, the internet, and lately applications on devices made corporate design have to adapt. The clearest case is the responsive logo as explained in this answer: variations in design adapted to different sizes and orientations. As for color, the change is given by the different physical and virtual supports to which the corporate image must adapt.

Technical

How should I make a logo adapted to different color schemes? Obviously much better if the change is defined as a corporate guideline. The Carrefour supermarket chain presented its new corporate design in 2009 with a considerable number of colors and gradients to be used in its different communication needs (extracted from this answer).

Carrefour

If the corporate design guidelines are already defined, color variations can be added as an annex without the need to modify the logo in terms of shape.

Personally at the corporate level, I would consider a basic range of colors, trying to vary only the hue and relegating changes in luminosity and/or saturation to a second or no change at all (the Carrefour page is only an extreme example to illustrate the answer). A simple practice after making the color variations, is creating a document with all the logos and their colors, changing the document to grayscale, and trying to make the black, dark and intermediate grays suffer only slight variations, the jumping between the grays from one logo to another be the smallest possible. Although this is not an absolute dogma either.

enter image description here

Original logo from vecteezy.com

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  • Thank you for the full answer. But I don't know if I knew how to express myself well. In your examples, these color changes are apparently temp. or within a specific context: because of a different background, a commemorative date, or something else. But both in the case of MTV (yellow and black) and Carrefour (blue and red), the main colors remain the same. Suppose Carrefour decides to change the main colors from blue and red to light blue and pink in a "rebranding". Would it be better to change some aspect of the logo design as well? Or just changing the color is OK? That's my question.
    – Felipe
    Nov 1, 2021 at 20:34
  • these color changes are apparently temp – In the case of Carrefour absolutely not, they continue using these logos in ALL those different colors in each of their supermarkets and printings. As written in the answer, if you describe this as a part of the brand guidelines, it's ok to use another color set to different applications.
    – Danielillo
    Nov 1, 2021 at 20:43
  • If you see their website everything is blue and red . The main color is blue and red. Imagine that they decide to do a rebranding and change everything to purple and pink, and this was not foreseen in the guide. I've seen it countless times with bank logos: they changed the colors, but also the design. I couldn't remember any case of changing only the main colors.
    – Felipe
    Nov 1, 2021 at 20:50
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    As written in the answer, they already did it in 2009 (more than ten years ago). This is the Carrefour Corporate Guidelines included in one of the answer's links. Adapting a design and redesigning a corporate image are two different things.
    – Danielillo
    Nov 1, 2021 at 20:52
  • I just said a random color "purple and pink" ahah. wow.
    – Felipe
    Nov 1, 2021 at 21:01

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