What are logo variations and why do you need them?

Branding is a very important part of business. If your business is the body, then your brand is the soul. It allows you to connect with your customers, form relationships, trust and it is often the deciding factor in why someone would be your customer and not somebody else’s. 

The first step in the branding process is often the logo. This is your mark, it gives someone an idea about the essence of your brand. It is the picture in peoples’ minds when they think of you and the cornerstone of your branding moving forward. But what is a logo? How and where do you use it? 

A logo, the long and short of it

By definition, a logo is a symbol made up of text and images that identifies a business. A good logo is said to show what a company does and what the brand values are.

Logo design is all about creating the perfect visual brand mark for a company. The question is, is a logo one single, stagnant mark or is something more versatile. We argue that a logo needs variables to be as useful as possible. 

What are logo variations

The thing that distinguishes a well-rounded brand from the competition is that you have a set of options that complement each other while being useful in a variety of different scenarios. 

When designing your logo you need to look beyond aesthetic appeal. Your logo should be more than beautiful. It should be a solution to a problem. The problem? You have a business that you want to share, and you need to attract the right audience. The solution? A logo and well-rounded brand identity that catches the attention of your dream audience — something that they are drawn to, can fall in love with and that fits their values and style.

You’ve created your branding but now you have a new problem, versatility. Your website home banner is one size, your business cards are another, your letterhead needs a watermark rather, what about your social thumbnails where text will be smaller and won’t be legible,  and then comes the question of branded corporate clothing and stationery. A one-size-fits-all logo isn’t going to be an effective solution. A more adequate solution? Having a few different options. 

This is where your logo variations come in.

Five logo variations for cohesive, intentional branding

Depending on your needs and individual branding, these may vary but here are our five logo variation suggestions. 

1. Primary Logo

This is the most complex version of your logo. If you have tag lines, location info, or an illustration in your branding this is the logo where you would include that. 

This logo is best used for and most prominent in, website headers and large printed collateral (ie. a postcard, welcome pack or your main signage).

2. Stacked Logo Variations

This is a version of your logo that’s, yes you guessed it, stacked. It’s a bit more compact. Most often, a stacked version of a very horizontal logo. 

Stacked logos are great for the smaller, more medium-sized places like an email signature or mobile header on your website.

3. Submarks

This mark is a simplified version of your logo that still includes your business name. The small shape makes it ideal for places where a full written logo wouldn’t fit very well. This can also include marks with additional information (like a tagline or ideal client description) that works together with your primary logo.

These are best used for small, reduced spaces and spaces that require something simple and eye-catching (ie. stickers) as well as stamps.

4. Icons

Similar to a sub mark, this is a small design mark that can stand in when your logo wouldn’t fit. Often an icon only includes an abbreviation of your business name OR a small illustration/mark like an icon. 

Our logo contains an icon above our brand name and this mark has become synonymous with the name. These work best for favicons, social media thumbnails, stickers and social media.

If your logo doesn’t initially have an icon in it, this is a nice way to get creative and make one for these tight spaces. 

5. Miscellaneous Logo Variations

Number 5 really depends on your business. Some brands will need another logo variation. Maybe you have divisions or ranges that require your logo with some extra pizazz or definition. Some may require additional sub marks or tagline designs. Consider the places where you will most often be using branding and decide what would be most beneficial from there! 

As you move forward with your branding you will find the problems for which you need a logo solution. Start with the basics, the top three or four and develop the rest as possible problems arise. 

When it comes to logo variations, just as with your branding, the most important thing is consistency. Your logo variations are the start of a strong foundation for consistent branding.

 Need some help getting started? We would love to brainstorm your branding with you. 

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