AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerDon’t Modernize the Brand Out of Your Logo

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MGM Logo Comparison

Don’t Modernize the Brand Out of Your Logo

There is a spate of logo remodels going on across the country. And rightfully so: Many logos just don’t work in an internet environment like mobile or on an app. One company has decided not to design out its history and its brand from its new look.

Metro Goldwyn Mayer has unveiled a new updated logo. If you expected a flat design with yellow greens and aqua blues, you will be surprised. The logo is the traditional golden color. In fact, the sepia tones have been removed. The new logo is CGI. So a new lion was not introduced, but the designers cleaned up and sharpened the design — and did not destroy 60 years of history, identity and branding.

MGM Logo Comparison

It is modernized, but in a subtle way that will build on all the past brand equity. The new logo was intended to premiere in the new James Bond film “No Time to Die,” but that release is still up in the air due to COVID-19. So no MGM-like fanfare, just a simple rollout to new and old audiences. The Latin tagline — Ars Gratia Artis (Art for Art’s Sake) — was not thrown aside either but has now become part of the marketing for the organization — a modernizing of the spirit that has driven this Hollywood staple.

New logos do need to represent the future, but if you fail to bring along the past, you will shake off all the brand equity you’ve built over time — equity you can never get back.

Mark Mathis III is chief creative & strategy officer, partner and cofounder of AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising.

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Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.