Let’s talk about why you need logo variations.
If you have spent any time thinking about marketing strategies for your small business, or researching the best practices, you’re probably familiar with the idea of branding.
Branding is a simple enough concept — develop a consistent look and feel for all of your marketing tools (both electronic and print) so that customers recognize your business anywhere they see it.
Your logo, color scheme, font, imagery, and even the voice you use to write copy should be the same across all media.Learn More About Custom Logo Design Services
What can be confusing, however, is the way you utilize your logo. How do you keep your logo consistent in every situation? The answer is simple: You don’t!
Having several approved logo variations to work with is key, having a brand style guide is a great way to stay on track. Read on and we’ll tell you exactly what you need.
Versatility is King
The tricky thing about logo design is that it has to work in so many different situations and circumstances.
There are some obvious places your trademark will need to work when you begin marketing yourself, like these:
- Business cards
But, as your business grows, your logo will be used in even more unexpected ways — and each new situation will present a different challenge.
What will your logo look like when reduced for a social media profile? How about embroidered on a tee shirt? Will it work on promotional items like stationary or coffee mugs?Learn More About Custom Logo Design Services
We recently had a customer who decided to run a promotion utilizing poker chips, so their logo needed to look great in that format. There was no way to anticipate that particular usage when developing the original design, but with clearly defined logo variations to choose from, their promotion was easily accomplished.
A common approach when starting a new business is to find the cheapest option available for a logo design.
I get it — money is tight when you’re starting out, and a logo is a logo, right?
No, not really.
The problem with cheap design is that you typically get one single version of your logo that has to be manipulated to work for everything — not to mention that it will likely utilize clip art in the design.
As your business grows, you’ll end up working with several different designers for different projects. Maybe you run a print ad in your local newspaper, and that designer needs to alter your logo to fit into a square space.
Next, you might have a social media campaign created. The designer decides to pull the icon out of your logo to use as a design element, so you approve that version.
Now you get a free ad on a partner’s website, but your horizontal logo doesn’t fit in the vertical space. So, another designer tweaks your trademark to be more vertical.
Before you know it, your logo design has been altered for each use by different designers, and nothing is consistent.
This situation is more common than you would expect, but can be easily avoided with the proper planning.
What Logo Variations You’ll Need
You don’t need a huge pool of logo variations to pull from. Long-term consistency in your branding is achieved by approving a few versions very early on that have the key conforming properties. A good designer will provide these options for you, but be sure to ask if they are included in the price.
It’s important to understand that you usually get what you pay for. Be weary of the discount offers out there. (Trust me, they are everywhere.)
Here is what you’ll need:
- Primary Design
- Horizontal Design
- Square Design
- Color Options
- Black and White Option
- One-Color Option
At Commotion Art, we offer several packages with varying levels of service, but even the starter package offers basic logo variations for our clients.
Let’s look at an example — a recent logo we designed for Medical Associates of Pilot Point.Learn More About Custom Logo Design Services
Your primary logo design is your preferred layout. When space allows, this is your go-to logo variation, and you’ll use it the most often.
If your primary logo isn’t in a horizontal format, you’ll definitely need this option — the space at the bottom of a print advertisement is typically vertical, so you’ll use this version often as well. Most social media platforms also have a horizontal header space for your logo.
This option doesn’t need to be a perfect square, just consider places that only offer square space for your logo. Social media icons, your website favicon, and some advertising spaces have these dimensions. Some of these spaces will even need an icon-only design to be most effective — that’s next on the list!
With the rise of social media, you need a logo variation that works in increasingly smaller formats. Reducing your entire logo to fit into a profile picture doesn’t work — the text will be unreadable, and the design will become unrecognizable.
A much better approach is to have and icon element in your primary design that will be easily recognizable when used on its own.
Your icon should be highly versatile and simplistic, since it will be used in smaller formats.
The name of your business should also work as a stand-alone design element.
Some situations can’t accommodate your full logo design, but are larger than icon-only spaces. Typically, when you have one half-inch to one full-inch of space to work with, using your name-only design works best.
Including your full design in smaller spaces can make your name unreadable, but dropping the icon will allow the wording to be larger.
There are several color variations you’ll need to make sure your trademark is capable of being reproduced consistently. A good designer will provide these, but it’s a good idea to be familiar with them yourself.
- CMYK color is for printing. The name stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black (K) which are the colors printing presses use for color printing.
- RGB color is for computer monitors and television screens. Red, Green, and Blue are utilized to display color electronically.
- Pantone colors utilize specialty inks that are more consistent and reliable than the CMYK printing process. They are more costly, and you may never have the need for them, but it’s a good idea to have the option.
- If your logo design uses a gradient color, but sure your designer also provides a flat-color option. Some printing processes don’t reproduce gradients well, and a single color design is good to have on hand.
- Your designer should also provide a black and grey option. Most designers can convert your color logo to black and grey using Photoshop, but the results can differ each time it is converted. You’re much better off having this option pre-designed so you can send it to anyone who needs it.
- You’ll find when printing promotional pieces that single color printing is the most cost effective, so having a one-color design will be necessary. Typically, a black-only design will do the trick. Some printing processes can use your black and grey design, utilizing shades of black to give the design some depth. But others, such as embroidered shirts, can only use one color.
When you consider these many different situations, it’s easy to see why a single logo just doesn’t work. You’ll need to think about logo variation from the start.
Logo Variations — Know What You’re Buying
The list of logo variations you’ll need to succeed can seem cumbersome, but a qualified designer will have no problem providing everything on this list.
By knowing the right questions to ask before purchasing logo design services, you’ll save time and money in the long run.
Purchasing a cheap design may seem like the savvy way to go, but at some point down the road you’ll need to have it overhauled, which will could turn out to be a huge expense.
We’re ready to answer any questions you have about logo variation, logo design, and small business marketing — contact Commotion Art today!Contact Commotion Art!