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When to Use Different Types of Logos in Your Brand Visuals

by | Oct 30, 2020 | Visual Brand

Before we jump in, snag the Creating Consistent Brand Visuals in the Brand Resource Library by clicking here!

Whether you’re DIY’ing your visual brand or hiring out help, my number one tip is to make sure you have a few different types of logos to choose from.


Because there are going to be different use-cases within your business where you’ll need a specific type of logo. Yes, you could get away with the primary logo for every application, but more often than not, you’ll sacrifice quality and legibility. Instead, by swapping in a different logo type or variation, you’ll be able to maintain the integrity of your visual brand.

For instance, as your business grows, your logo will start to be used in more than one place. Maybe right now you just need something for your website and the primary logo serves that purpose well. But what about a few months or years from now? What if you branch out into social media or want to buy some swag or create presentations for speaking opportunities? I’m willing to bet your primary logo will not be the best option for all three of those applications – which is why we’re going to dive into three different types of logos and how to best use them in your business!

Type of logo: Primary

The primary logo is the main identifier of your brand. It’s what people generally think about when they think of the term ‘brand’. It’s the main visual representation of your brand and business.

In most cases, the primary logo is what will be used on your website and in brand collateral items.

When would you not want to use the primary logo? Depending on the orientation of your primary logo and the layout of your navigation menu, a secondary or stacked logo might work better.

As you can see below, Achim’s primary logo is stacked in orientation. His secondary logo is more in-line. Both could work for the navigation menu, so the question becomes, “What feeling and overall aesthetic do you want your website to have?”


Type of logo: Secondary

As I mentioned above, the secondary logo is arranged differently than the primary, making it useful when you need a different orientation. Also, it’s generally a simplified version of the primary which means it’s perfect when you need a scaled-down logo, for things like presentations or print material.

In the example below, you can see that Illustrada’s primary logo has flourishes that end up looking like big dots, rather that curly-cues. And, the established text on either side of the logo mark is not legible in such a small scale. By swapping in the secondary logo with no flourishes or small text, everything is legible and scales well for the presentation.


Type of logo: Submark

The submark is the most compact version of your logo and is often used as a watermark, favicon (the icon in your website browser’s tab) or as a social media profile picture.

In this example, it’s pretty clear how not-legible the primary logo becomes when it’s scaled down to the size of a profile picture on social media. While the submark in this instance doesn’t have any words, it does have the same logomark, ensuring that brand awareness is still being created.

Remember, the goal of using different types of logos is to ensure your visual brand is putting its best foot forward – that you’re not sacrificing legibility or quality in a specific application.

Another key thing to note? Your brand and business are going to grow. By having at three three types of different logo options to choose from, you’re setting your business up for success, allowing it to look professional across a variety of use-cases.

And, as always, if you need some help, I’d love to help you create a full visual brand that you’re excited to share. Click here to learn more about the branding process.

Happy branding!

All my best,


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