Batman, like Bond, has come in many shapes, sizes, and flavours over the years. From Adam West’s underpants-over-tights caped vigilante, to Christian Bale’s grunting brooding ninja hard man. Batman has certainly been subjected to, for better or worse, a plethora of reincarnations.

But it’s not just the actors who have changed, it’s the logo too. In fact, there have been no fewer than 30 iterations of the iconic bat symbol since its first appearance back in 1940. But at its heart, it’s still the same logo. That’s what makes it so enduring. There have been alterations, some slight some drastic, but the bat symbol has always remained recognisable as just that — the bat symbol.

The Batman legacy, then, provides a masterclass in how to evolve a logo without changing the logo.

Here’s how to do it.

You don’t need to go full rebrand

The Evolution of Batman

The key word here is minor. Change doesn’t always have to mean full-scale overhaul. Just look at how Google‘s logo has changed over the years. Sometimes the simplest of things (changing colours, font etc) can make a big impact. Ask yourself what the evolution of your logo represents. Are you changing the products or services that you offer? Are you downsizing, upsizing? If it’s a big change, then it’s fine to make big changes to your logo. Equally, small change to the business = small change to the logo.

It’s all about scale. But don’t underestimate how much of a difference minor alterations can make. Even if you think that your business is in need of a shiny new logo, it probably isn’t. Not unless it’s undergoing the equivalent of an Adam West to Christian Bale transformation. In which case, by all means, do a complete rebrand.

Adam West (left), Christian Bale (right)

In truth, if your logo is already half-decent, then you might not need to change it at all. Just consider the relevance of the change. Ask the question: will this new logo represent a change in the business?

Evolution vs Revolution

Bear in mind the key difference between evolution and revolution: the former is slow, the latter is fast. To put it another way. Evolution is imperceptible, whereas revolution is very noticeable. This is an important distinction to remember when it comes to changing logos. If your business has been around for a long time, and many people know and trust the brand, then it could be unwise to completely change the aesthetic overnight. In these cases (see: Google, Batman) it’s usually best to stick with the evolution route, and make slow, steady changes that are easily digestible.

If, on the other hand, you’re a relatively new or small business, then you might be able to afford to be more of a creative risk taker. In which case, revolutionising your logo could give your brand a big kick in the right direction.

Relevance

Above all else, be relevant. Always make sure that your logo matches your business. As an illustration, take a look at the first iteration of the Batman logo, then take a look at Christian Bale’s Dark Knight. It’s hard to imagine a movie poster featuring the two together, isn’t it?

In short: if your business is Batman, make sure he’s got the proper bat symbol representing him.

Need help with your new bat symbol? Get in touch for a free consultation today!