Things to consider about your logo – What’s your logo like? Are you pleased with how it presents your business? Is it good in every circumstance?
Ever given it a health check? If not, now could be as good a time as any to have a good look at your logo and consider if it’s truly fit for purpose.
A good logo not only has to effectively represent your business and brand values, it needs to be flexible to do this in a range of different circumstances.
How many variations do you have of your logo? If the answer’s none, just one that you use for every occasion, it may be that your logo struggles in some situations.
Firstly, let’s quickly consider some logo basics. Logos generally come in two flavors. A logotype and a logomark.
A logotype is simply a typographic logo – a logo that’s predominantly text. A logomark is a visual or graphical device.
Most businesses employ both, usually designed to work together or independently. For example if you google “Toyota logo”, you’ll see they have a text based logotype and a logomark of ellipses forming a stylized “T”.
Pinterest also have both, but generally the “P” pin logomark is only deployed independently of the logotype and vise versa.
A few of our best known businesses successfully represent themselves with a logomark alone. While for many years Apple used both, nowadays you’ll only ever see the apple logomark, which, sans stripes, still looks super fresh despite its almost 40 years. The Apple logotype, however, started looking dated a couple of decades ago.
Few businesses, even long established ones, can thrive with just a mark and small businesses especially should probably have both available. A logotype should be the choice if a business is to use just one.
Whether we’re considering both forms of logo or just one, there is always the need for flexibility.
Shape is the first thing to consider. A logo may need to be placed into vertical, horizontal and square spaces. No one logo version is going to be ideally suited for all three.
If you have to focus on one shape, aim for a square. Think of the Apple logo again. The square offers most flexibility if you only have one version.
Ideally you’ll have versions of your logo for horizontal and vertical uses. It’s likely that one will better suit a square shape than the other.
You should also have versions of your logo that can be used for color and for black and white reproduction. You never know when you may need to present your logo in mono.
Colors that can be quite distinctly different can assume an almost identical shade of gray when simply converted to black and white.
And what about dark backgrounds? Can you produce your logo against backgrounds that aren’t white? This should apply to both color and black and white versions of your logo. Your logo does have a transparent background doesn’t it, so you can use it against non-white backgrounds?
Is your logo still hanging on in there? What about size then? How small can your logo go before it ceases to be recognisable as a logo?
If you’ve spent time browsing Etsy, you may have noticed many a logo that ceased to make any sense when shrunk down during the action of scrolling a shop home page. Once you scroll a little down a shop home page on a desktop computer, the shop logo is shrunk to 37 pixels square. Is your logo still recognizable at small sizes or does it become a meaningless blob with fine detail now invisible?
Does your logo still make sense at 16 pixels square? That’s the size of a favicon, that little icon that appears in the tabs of web browsers. Glance up and you should see a tiny little Facebook logo at the top of this tab.
In fairness, plenty of logos fail at that size, which is where an icon comes into play – an even simpler graphic that has a genetic link to a logo.
This can be used for more than just a favicon, also as home screen icons on mobile devices. When you add an icon to WordPress, its recommended size is 512px, but this is also shrunk down to create a 16px version.
I’ve included a sheet of logo variations to help illustrate how different versions can cover a wide range of possible uses while maintaining consistency. You can see the logotype and mark working together and independently, giving flexibility for different shaped spaces.
Additionally, you can see how dark backgrounds and mono usages are also covered. You can also see that the logomark was considered for use at small sizes, including a cut down icon version. You may notice the icon is actually a little shorter and squatter to make maximum use of the 16px square space.
Did you consider these various aspects when planning or creating your logo. With the benefit of hindsight, does your logo offer your business the flexibility to cover every occasion?
If you want to see some of the things above illustrated with bad examples, you can scroll down this blog post – https://shopowneracademy.com/the-secrets-of-a-successful-w…/. The color to mono conversion, while a little contrived, should be particularly striking.
What’s your favorite example of a logo that works for all situations?