Timing important when changing classic logos

A new logo is a big step for a company, and sometimes, a big gamble. How and when you decide to update a design matters, especially in an age when social media makes getting your name out there easier (and more important) than before. Businesses of all sizes need to ask themselves: should we let the public know a new graphic is on the way? Or wait and surprise them with it later?

The Kansas City Star recently reported on the curious state of Sprint's logo, which may or may not be changing soon. Right now, the company employs the same yellow-and-black design, including the falling image of a wing, that it has for years.

But according to the source, an errant tweet from Marcelo Claure, Sprint's CEO, suggested that there could be change on the horizon "soon." In response to a question about updating the logo, Claure cryptically called it a "good question" and told followers to "stay tuned."

That's certainly a good tactic to get people talking, but since there has yet to be any new information regarding a possible rebranding, Claure may have inadvertently caused more confusion than he meant. There are also some devotees of the current design and color scheme protesting a possible change to the emblem they love.

As a counterpoint, businesses could simply go the other route entirely and create new vinyl signs with a different logo, ready to unveil with few announcements beforehand. While that's not always preferable, it does give confident companies an element of surprise that cuts out possible speculation and naysaying that could spring up.

Whether they show off the new graphics all at once or decide to wait, companies should plan in advance how they will be displaying them and when customers will get their first look.