3 logo variations every brand needs
May 2024

3 logo variations every brand needs

When we talk about brands, our minds often jump straight to logos. But here's the thing: a brand is way more than just a logo. Sure, the logo is like the face of your brand, but it's just one piece of the puzzle.

It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that one logo is all you need. But trust me, that illusion fades fast when you start putting it into practice and realise the need for different versions.

Now, going the DIY route or sticking to just one logo is not the best move. If you really want your business to shine and make a lasting impact, you'll need a solid lineup of logo variations.

In your hunt for a brand designer, you've probably encountered terms like "submark" and "alternate logo" in those branding packages, leaving you scratching your head about what they even mean and why they matter.

Well, today, I'm here to clear up that confusion. I'll break down those designer terms and show you visually why having these four different logo variations is key to rounding out your brand identity.

Firstly what is a logo variation?

A logo variation doesn’t mean having entirely different designs for each logo. Instead, it’s about creating different versions of your primary logo that allow your brand to appear consistently and recognisably across various platforms.

Every brand needs a collection of unique logo designs that are versatile, recognisable, and complement its overall identity. Think about it: if you only have one large horizontal logo, how will it work as a profile photo on your social media business page? Conversely, if you only have a small circular logo, what will you use for your website’s header?

Then there is stationery, signage, website and merchandise—each requiring a different logo format to maintain a cohesive look.

Logo variations typically involve changes in colour, size, and format. However, there are four essential logo variations every brand needs.

Let’s dive into the specific logo variations your brand needs.

Primary Logo

A primary logo is the main logo representing your brand, serving as the foundation for all other logo variations.

Typically, primary logos are the most detailed of all your brand designs and often include elements like taglines, established dates, illustrations, icons, and locations.

Due to their complexity and size, your primary logo needs ample space to be displayed effectively. Use it in areas where it has plenty of room to stand out and isn't constrained by limited space.

Ideal placements for your primary logo include the header of your desktop website and large print materials, such as signs.

Merivale Podiatry - Primary Logo

Secondary Logo

Depending on your industry, a secondary logo can be either vertical or horizontal. These alternate logos are often simplified, stacked versions of your primary logo.

Also known as alternate logos, secondary logos serve as backups when your primary logo can't fit in the desired location.

For secondary logos, I usually remove any creative elements or taglines, focusing solely on the brand name, resulting in a clean wordmark logo.

Vertical secondary logos are ideal for hang tags on clothing, while horizontal versions are perfect for smaller print materials.

Ideal placements for secondary logos include business cards and invoices.

Merivale Podiatry - Secondary Logo

Brand Mark

A brand mark logo, also known as a logo submark, or alternate mark, is a simplified, smaller version of your primary logo.

It's designed to be easily recognisable and versatile, fitting into spaces where the full primary logo or secondary might be too complex or large. Brand Mark logos often include essential elements of the brand, such as initials, symbols, or simple graphics, and they maintain the overall brand identity while being more compact.

Brand marks are typically used in situations where space is limited but brand recognition is still crucial. For example, they are ideal for social media profile images, website footers, and mobile website headers. The simplicity and adaptability of brand mark logos make them an essential part of a comprehensive brand identity, ensuring your brand remains cohesive and recognisable across various platforms and applications.

Merivale Podiatry - Brand Mark