What are logo variations? Check out all the details of the different types of logos to use in your brand so that you can maintain visual brand consistency and look professional.
A full brand design and strategy package includes a whole suite of logos, also known as logo variations.
Because every business has different needs and applications for their logo. Rather than sacrifice the quality and legibility of their primary logo, business owners can pull up the correct logo variation and make sure they look professional in all circumstances.
So, what is a logo variation? It’s a modified version of your primary logo that gives it the ability to be utilized in a variety of different applications.
Why should you care?
As your business grows, your logo will be used in more than one place. Sure, when you’re just getting started all you need is something up on your website and maybe a business card. But fast forward a few months or years and you start branching out. Now you’re showing up on social media, and want your logo on products and printed marketing collateral and presentations. While your primary logo will probably get you by, adding in logo variations allows you to fill in the blanks where your primary may not be the best fit.
In a nut shell, logo variations allow you to put your best visual foot forward, look professional and maintain brand consistency.
Now, let’s dive into the different types and use-cases.
The primary logo is your main logo – the main identifier of your brand. Best uses include your website, business cards and printed material.
Quick tip: Make sure you also receive a black and white version of this logo to use in different applications.
If your primary logo is more horizontal in composition, the stacked logo does the opposite and is more vertically aligned. Best uses include printed materials and presentations – think applications that don’t offer a lot of space.
Secondary Logo / Alternate Logo
Similar to the stacked logo, the secondary or alternate is arranged in a different composition than the primary. In addition, it’s more often than not a simplified version of your main logo. The best uses are those that need less space and still need to be legible, like presentations and printed material.
As you can see below, the secondary/alternate can be used without the graphic (see White Pine Creative Co.). This is called a ‘wordmark’ and is the simplified version of the primary with just words.
Submark / Brandmark
This is the most compact version of the logo and is often used as a watermark, favicon (the icon in your website browser’s tab) or social media profile picture. It’s generally circular in nature. If it’s a submark, it has your business name and/or tagline. If you’re looking for a brandmark or icon, there aren’t any words – just a graphic element or monogram (your business initials).
One more just for fun that I started doing with some of my design clients – the tagline variation. A tagline is just as important as your business name, so why not give it its own identity?
Where to Start with Logo Variations
It’s hard enough to decide on a primary logo. And now I’m telling you that it’s important to have variations – what, the. heck. The benefit of working with a professional is that you’ll get these options right from the start. However, if you’re DIY’ing your brand, pick one variation and work up from there.
Start simple and ask yourself: Where is the one place you show up on a consistent basis?
If you’re a digital business owner, it’s probably social media.
Great – now make sure your logo is optimized for social. If not, that’s the first variation to add to your list. And, more often than not, you’ll need a submark, brandmark or wordmark.
And then, as your business changes and grows, you’ll start to realize what is needed. What logo is working, what’s not and where you can make some changes.
Remember – your brand will evolve and grow along with your business. By having a variety of logo variations in your arsenal, you’re setting yourself up for success by giving your brand a professional look across different applications.
All my best,
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