Preparing to celebrate a significant anniversary for your organization? One important decision you’ll need to make is how to incorporate an anniversary logo into your branding. There are two main approaches: the “hijack” and the “co-brand.” Each has its own benefits and considerations. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between these two types of anniversary logos and help you determine which approach is best suited for your organization. Let’s dive in.
Above: For the centennial of the Art Director’s Club (ADC), C&G Partners designed a new logo that put the existing mark at the center (the middle zero is actually the letter “c” from the existing logo). The immediately recognizable heritage brand, embraced within a modern, temporary anniversary logo, made this “hijack” approach highly flexible.
The Hijack: Taking Over the Space
The hijack approach involves replacing your existing logo with the anniversary logo during the commemorative period. This means that a lot of your branding materials, both online and offline, will prominently feature the anniversary logo instead of your regular logo. (You only replace the existing logo where it’s easy to do so, for example on a website, versus on a building.) The hijack approach can create a strong visual impact and serve as a clear indicator that your organization is celebrating a milestone. However, it also comes with some challenges.
You’ll need to ensure that the new logo is visually cohesive with your existing brand identity while still capturing the essence of the anniversary. That’s because it will be seen alongside the existing logo at times. Additionally, the hijack approach is done because you intend to rebrand many of your materials temporarily. If you want the easiest approach, with the least effort, the hijack is not for you. But if you want the highest impact, without that much work, this is the right path.
One Proven Hijack Type: Existing Logo Plus Year
One of the most common hijack variants is to add the anniversary number or a special tagline to something very similar to your existing logo, rather than replacing it entirely. This allows you to maintain the visual familiarity of your logo while incorporating elements that highlight the anniversary. It’s also faster to get approved, in many cases. By integrating the anniversary number or tagline into the logo design, you create a cohesive and powerful representation of your organization’s milestone. This approach works well when you want to emphasize the significance of the anniversary without completely deviating from your established brand identity. Remember to ensure that the added elements complement your existing logo and maintain its visual integrity.
The Co-Brand: Existing Logo and Anniversary Logo Side by Side
The co-brand approach, on the other hand, involves incorporating the anniversary logo alongside your existing logo. This approach allows you to maintain continuity in your branding while still highlighting the significance of the anniversary. The co-brand approach offers a more subtle way of acknowledging the milestone without overwhelming your existing brand identity. By using both logos, you create a visual connection between your organization’s history and its ongoing mission.
This approach works well when you want to maintain brand recognition while still celebrating the anniversary. However, it requires careful design and placement considerations to ensure that both logos are balanced and effectively communicate the desired message. For example, the existing logo remains at the top of your home page, but the anniversary logo appears in the “hero” area right below the top bar, or further down the page in the graphic of an article.
Considerations for the Hijack Approach
If you decide to go with the hijack approach, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind. Firstly, ensure that the new anniversary logo aligns with your organization’s values and resonates with your audience. It should capture the essence of the milestone while still being visually appealing and recognizable. Secondly, plan ahead and allocate sufficient time and resources for rebranding. From updating your website and social media profiles to printed materials and signage, there may be a lot of work involved in implementing the hijack approach effectively. Lastly, communicate the significance of the logo change to your audience. Make sure they understand that it is a temporary alteration to celebrate the anniversary, and emphasize the continuity of your organization’s mission.
Advantages of the Co-Brand Approach
The co-brand approach offers several advantages that make it a popular choice for many organizations. By incorporating the anniversary logo alongside your existing logo, you maintain brand consistency and recognition. This approach is sometimes appealing for long-standing organizations with a strong brand identity that they want to preserve, or where change is hard to do. The co-brand approach allows you to highlight the milestone while still conveying the enduring nature of your organization’s mission. It also offers flexibility, as you can gradually introduce the anniversary logo into your existing materials, minimizing the impact on your branding resources and recognition.
Finding the Right Balance
Choosing between the hijack and co-brand approaches ultimately depends on your organization’s goals, values, and brand identity. Consider the significance of the anniversary, your desired visual impact, and the resources available for rebranding. Evaluate how each approach aligns with your organization’s values and the perception you want to convey to your audience. If you’re unsure, seek feedback from stakeholders or consult with a professional designer to find the right balance between highlighting the milestone and preserving your existing brand identity.
As you plan your anniversary celebration, carefully consider the two main approaches for incorporating an anniversary logo: the hijack and the co-brand. Each approach offers unique advantages and considerations. The hijack approach provides a bold visual impact but requires comprehensive rebranding efforts, while the co-brand approach allows for continuity while celebrating the milestone. By understanding the differences between these approaches and evaluating your organization’s goals, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your brand identity and creates a memorable anniversary experience for your stakeholders.