Whether you’re planning to create your brand logo yourself or hire a professional logo designer (eg. Fiverr), you need to understand the concept of logo variations.
You shouldn’t only have one brand logo. Instead, you should have a main logo and a few variations of this main logo.
Check out the various types of logos, including challenges and tips. Your main logo and logo variations are likely to fall under one of these logo types.
Today, however, I will discuss the reasons you need logo variations and the types of logo variations you’ll need.
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Why Do You Need Logo Variations?
Armed with a family of logos, you’ll achieve versatility for brand recognition. Simply put, a logo variation is an alternate version of your main logo. Hence, if your main logo is not suitable for certain placements (eg. print, social media profiles, specific audience), you can always use logo variations.
Here are some examples of when logo variations will come in handy.
Your main logo which has an intricate design might not print well on business cards or might not be legible on small screens like social media profiles on mobile devices. A logo variation that has a simplified design will solve this problem.
In my case, I had 2 audiences: readers of my books and readers of my blog posts. This obvious fiction and non-fiction divide made me decide to include my tagline in my main logo and exclude my tagline in my logo variation. The main logo with tagline is included in the back matter of my books and the email header for my fiction readers. The logo variation without tagline is used for the email header for my blog readers and my social media graphics, specifically Pinterest graphics where I leverage the channel to drive traffic to my blog. I also wanted another logo variation, as simple as possible, to be used for social media profiles and WordPress Favicon.
Now, let’s jump into the 3 types of logo variations~
1. Primary Logo
This is the main logo that represents your brand. It should also be your most used logo where you use it across as many collaterals as possible. For example, your website header, brand collateral and marketing materials.
All other logo variations should stem from this primary logo design. You can picture this as the trunk of a tree while all other logos as the branches.
This logo is usually the most comprehensive where you’ll include details like your brand tagline and the date of establishment. This logo should also feature your full business name.
Due to its intricacies, ensure that you use this logo in large spaces. There should be room for your logo to breathe. For instance, if your primary logo is horizontal and your business name is super long, it might not be legible on social media profiles which are usually small icons.
2. Secondary Logo
This alternate logo uses elements of the primary logo but is rearranged in a different composition. It could be a stripped-down simplified version of the primary logo or another version in a square composition.
Secondary logo provides more flexibility, allowing you to use them for other marketing materials.
Let’s say your primary logo is horizontal, you could create a stacked version for the secondary logo. Having such a secondary logo will be helpful because you can use it in places that your primary horizontal logo does not fit (or is illegible if you shrink it down). Common placements for alternate logos are mobile website header, social media profiles, social media graphics, print or any place where you need a compact logo.
You can choose to remove taglines (which I did for mine) and just focus on the brand name.
3. Submark Logo
A submark logo is the most simplified and compact version of your main logo. It’s usually an icon featuring the initials of your brand name or the main brand creative element. Even though it’s small, it’s still an identifiable brand design.
This logo is extremely versatile. Due to its design, submarks work well for small screens and they can fit in condensed spaces where large or complex logos don’t work. You’ll usually use this logo for social media profiles, website favicon, watermark, small print collateral and more.
Case Study: See It In Action
Here’s my own author logo. You can read more about my experience in the logo design process.
As mentioned, I have 2 audiences: readers of my books and readers of my blog posts. Hence, my primary logo (meant for my book readers) features my brand tagline while my secondary logo (meant for my blog readers) does not feature my brand tagline. My submark logo, on the other hand, is compact and I use it for my social media profiles.
Now It’s Your Turn
How many logo variations do you have and how do you use them?
If you just started your business or own a small business, I recommend that you download logo templates from Creative Market. You can then customize it for your brand using Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop.
Another alternative would be hiring a logo designer from Fiverr or Fiverr Pro (this is what I did for my logo above). Or you can create a professional logo in a few clicks with Fiverr Logo Maker. The prices are affordable so you can save some money and use it on other important things like developing or enhancing your products or services. You can always hire a better logo designer in the future when you generate more profits~