Why A Lateral Design Move Is Necessary

When clients come to us for comprehensive rebranding services, they often have an established logo. It may be a little tired, a little overdone, but it’s recognizable and loved. It has brand equity. Brand equity is the commercial value that derives from consumer perception of the brand name of a particular product or service, rather than from the product or service itself.

People would have some serious confusion is Nike abandoned their coveted swoosh, or if McDonald’s no longer had the Golden Arches. But from time to time, design trends change and it’s important to refresh your brand and give it a new life. We call this a lateral move. Much like a lateral career move, a lateral move in design is a new take on an existing logo, that keeps the integrity of the mark, colors, and shapes, while giving it a beautiful facelift.

A lateral move can sometimes seem like a “boring” assignment to a designer, but the importance of brand equity and keeping that established look is important for companies across the world.

Take Bank of America for example:

The company’s patriotic color palette and flag-inspired mark was developed in 1998 after a merger. The sturdiness of the logo represent the trust their nearly 67 million consumer and small business clients place in the bank.

The revised mark simply adds more white space between the “stripes” of the flag and completely modernized the typography. Moving from a traditional type case word mark to a bold, modern all caps option carries this new system while representing the secure, trustworthy nature of Bank of America. This small change is easy to adopt, but much more pleasing to the eye. After more than 20 years, it was time and this mark, like many lateral moves is fresh and easily adapted.