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Understanding Logo Variations, and why your business needs them!

Hey everyone and Happy New Year!

Just before Christmas I was working with a lovely local business who was looking for a new logo. They were a new business and had approached me looking for logo quotes. After the initial quote they got in touch to see if they could 'reduce the package to reduce the cost'. I get it, when you are starting a new business you need to watch those pennies, but your Logo is such an important part of that new business and how potential customers see you and your brand.

During the chat with the business I discussed the importance of each of the logo variations I include in my package, and decided that in the new year, I would share this with you all too - I feel it is an important topic for all new businesses as they embark on their logo journey!

Your Logo. Your logo is one of the most important elements of your brand - if not the most important visual element! It is the icon that you want people to recognise immediately, and it's important that it stands out from your competitors - yet works harmoniously with your business sector. A single logo though, will unlikely work perfectly across all your business stationery, websites, social media and signage requirements - that's because each of these areas will have different sizes and shapes (ratios) to fit into, as well as different coloured backgrounds to align with - or perhaps have no background at all! In my logo package, my main goal is to get you a Primary Logo, Secondary Logo, Submark and Favicon with a handful of variations of each included, if required. I also include a Social Media friendly version too - a version of your logo that will work perfectly in that circle for your profile picture!

Primary Logos. The primary logo is the biggie - the main logo that will be your go-to for all your business stationery, workwear, signage and anything else you want to get your logo printed onto! This generally is the most detailed version of your logo, including your business/brand name, taglines and anything else important, such as TM's and important dates (eg, Est. 2010). Primary logos are frequently horizontal, but recently there has been a trend for stacked logos in certain business types. You can see the difference between the two in the graphic below. Images from iStock.

A stacked logo for a florist depicting a line drawing of a rose and a horizontal logo alternative for a florist also depicting a line drawing of a rose
Stacked Vs Horizontal Logos

Secondary Logos. Your secondary logo is essentially your Primary Logo in a different format. Lets head back to the image above - if you Primary Logo is Stacked, your Secondary would be horizontal, and vice versa. But why? This is where you have to think of logo application. If your primary logo is horizontal, it will work nicely on your website header, but it won't fit right (or be awfully tiny) on your social media profile, or it might be too long for your business stationery. The beauty of having a Primary and Secondary logo, is that there will always be a format to suit whatever your print requirements are!

Submarks. Here we start to look at other options for your logo suite. Your primary and secondary logos are likely to be heavy with detail, and when you use them in small applications, details are lost, and it could leave your logo looking unprofessional. A submark is a simplified version of your logo. Not all logos will need a submark - for example simple text based logos (or word marks) - which usually work quite well when scaled down. If your logo contains both text and an image/symbol, the most popular option is to use that image. They are great for example on stickers, as watermarks or even on your social media profile! Check out this suite of logos for Charged Coffee below. The Primary logo works well on their website header and the secondary logo is perfect for social media. The submark is simple, clear and recogniseable, even as a Favicon!

A diagram showing the different logo variations a company might need for their branding, including primary logo, secondary logo, favicon and submark, as well as inverted colourways and transparencies
Logo variations for Charged Coffee

Favicons. The final image most businesses will need is the 'Favicon'. The favicon is almost like the submark, in that it will be displayed somewhere small, but unlike the submark, which could be displayed anywhere, the favicon has it's own special location - it's the little image you see on the tab of websites in your browser! You will see that that little icon needs to be really simple and clear and recogniseable for it to work well!

Reverse/Transparent/Inverted/Monochrome Logos. Finally let's talk about what this means! If we have designed a logo for you with no background - or transparent - then I may need to offer other variations/colourways in order for your logo to look right on different printed items or visual formats. For instance, your main logo might be white, with no background - which looks fantastic against the dark images on your website header - but it's not going to look great in print - in fact, you won't see it all! (OK, unless you find a specialist printing white ink on dark paper ;) ) If you take a look at the logos above, you will see two colour versions of the Charged Coffee Primary and secondary logos. This enables them to print on white paper without loosing the supercharger image or the word 'COFFEE' on their primary logo, or the white borders on their roundel/secondary logo. Sometimes we might need to invert the colours used, or even offer a monochrome option. But don't worry, this will ALL be included in your logo package!

Hopefully, you have read the above and are better understanding as to why each of these logos are included in my logo packages, and why I would never reduce the package - a serious business needs to ensure that they are covering all angles! I endeavour to provide my clients with every variation required - some might not be needed (you may not, for example, need a monochrome version, or an inverted logo) however you will always leave me with a full suite of images that will fulful all your branding requirements!

In my next blog I will talk about the image formats you will receive. You may well be familiar with common terms such as PNG or JPG, but I will tell you about some that you probably haven't heard of before, and I will also tell you what each format offers, and why each format is important for your companies branding!

I hope that has been insightful, and if you have any questions please drop them below.

Until the next time, go and dig out some of those remaining Christmas treats and relax, it's Friday evening after all!


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