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4 Logo variations that every brand needs for their business


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Pascale & Kate

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Can we skip to the good part?

In this blog post, ‘4 Logo variations that every brand needs for their business’. We will be covering:

00. What is a logo variation?

01. Primary – The top Dog

02. Secondary – The sidekick

03. Submarks – The substitute

04. Favicon – The dark horse

05. Other brand elements

Click on any of the above links to direct you to the exact section you’re looking for!

Your logo is a solution to a problem.

The problem?

You have a business that you want to share, and you need to attract the right audience.

The solution?

A logo that catches the attention of your dream audience.

And with such a huge market, you need the solution to be a bit flexible. A one-size-fits-all logo isn’t going to be as effective as having a few different options. So, what’s the answer?

Logo variations!

You might already have a logo, but do you have logo variations? If you don’t, you need to. In this post I’m going over the four most common logo variations. I’ll explain what they are and how to use them.

What is a logo variation?

Logo variations are simply alternate versions of your logo. They tend to be very similar in terms of style. In fact, the more cohesive they look, the better.

So why have different variations?

Logo versatility is important because as your business grows, your logo will be in more places. Each of these places will have their own requirements for how they will accept your logo (like different dimensions and file sizes).

Have a look at Starbucks, their primary logo is in a horizontal format. Without logo variations, their logo wouldn’t reflect well on their signature coffee cups. And yet, I’m sure you can recognise every logo variation of theirs!

To find a one-size-fits-all logo is near enough impossible! If your logo is circular, how will it work as a header? If your logo is rectangular, how will that work across your social media profiles. Rather than squishing or stretching your logo to fit, having various logos makes sure your branding is flexible and still recognisable.

How many variations do you need? That’s up to you – but here’s the essentials.

1. Primary – The top Dog

Your primary logo is the main logo used to represent your brand. This is what will inspire all other logo variations. She’s the top dog!

She will tend to be horizontal and include all there is to know about your brand – well not everything. Your tagline, year of establishment, link to your website. All the essentials! Your primary logo is likely to take up the most space, she’s grand and likes room to breathe!

You might use your primary logo on business cards, letterheads, and the website, where the brand must be front and centre and quickly recognized.

The shape of the logo itself doesn’t need to be rectangular, but the live area is typically horizontal.

2. Secondary – The sidekick

Your secondary logo is the side kick. If there’s not enough space for our sassy primary logo, in comes your secondary.

She’s still pretty fancy but she’s not the full package. A stripped back version of our primary logo!

Your secondary logo gives more focus to the brand name, she’s a bit smaller and more compact. Your secondary logo can also be a wordmark, where the visual is taken out from the primary logo.

3. Submarks – The substitute

A submark logo is a simplistic version of your logo, still including your company name or possibly a company element. It’s perfect for the spaces where your primary and secondary wont fit. Think of all the places that a logo needs to be in a circle…social media profiles, stickers, or buttons.

4. Favicon – The dark horse

Look across the top of your browser window, can you see the tiny icons? They are favicons. The Favicon is the tiny graphic that shows up in the browser tab when a website is open. Although they’re teeny tiny, you’d soon notice if they weren’t there! Favicons are the most minimal variation of any logo but also super important. They provide the final touch to a branded website.

5. Other brand elements

What are brand elements?

Brand elements are your brand logo’s main supporters! They support your brand identity, but they aren’t logo designs. Examples of brand elements include illustrations, patterns, icons, textures, and even brand photography.

Additional elements don’t use your brand name but may take a creative asset from your primary logo and use it to create a supportive design for your brand.

It’s important not to overwhelm your ideal clients with lots of logo variations and brand elements. If you have an illustration in your logo, use it to create one distinct brand element (pattern).

It’s important that all variations must look like they are a family and not competing with each other. Every brand element needs to be a complement to the primary logo.

How many variations does your brand have? Are you missing a few?

When Starbucks, and other brands, created their logos many years ago they didn’t really need to consider variations. But as the uses for logos simply grows with time, variations are now 100% necessary.

Are you looking for a logo with variations for your business? Contact our team to see how we can help you!

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