How to Use Your Brand Variations

“Whoa. This is so many files. Holy cow.”

The email came through from a client I had just finished up with, and I couldn’t tell if that was a happy “holy cow” or an overwhelmed one. I realized I hadn’t really prepared the client for what was coming, how many formats of her logo she would get, or how to use them. I walked her through it all and by the end she was exuding confidence and excitement, ready to storm the world with her full brand. It occurred to me that this is probably not the first client who has gotten their exit email and been overwhelmed by the content, she was just the first one who spoke up.

So, to take care of past and future clients, I decided to write out everything you need to know about your brand variations. Why you need them and how to use them, specifically.

Why You Need Logo Variations

PRACTICALITY :: Having one single logo is just not practical for your business. The chances of this logo being able to fit perfect on every medium your business is on is extremely low. When we deliver our logos to our clients, there is usually a main logo, 1-2 alternate logos, and a submark logo. From there, each logo file is delivered in full color, black and white, some with white backgrounds and others with transparent. This ensures that our clients will have every logo type they could possibly need for their business. The logo file you use for your website shouldn’t be the same file you send to your print shop. The logo file you upload to social media won’t be the same file you use on your weekly newsletter. Get what we're getting at?

CONSISTENCY :: For example, you won’t be able to upload your horizontal main logo to fit in the tiny circle image space that Instagram gives us, right? You’ll want to have an alternate version of your logo to be optimized to fit. Having multiple formats of your logo allows for you to use it across all platforms, creating brand recognition and cohesiveness that gives your audience a taste of the professionalism they can expect from your brand. SIMPLICITY :: While your main logo may be funky and full of color, that same logo won't necessarily convert to an all white logo for a watermark. This is why you need multiple layouts, to allow you to simplify and constrain your brand to fit appropriate mediums

How to Use Your Alternates

MAIN LOGO:: Your main logo is the primary logo that will represent your brand. Usually they are in the form a wordmark (all text, see logo as an example), however, lettermarks (text based with use of initials in place of the entire name. example: CNN) and icons/symbols are just as acceptable.

VARIANTS:: The most common way to create variants of your main logo is to play with color, incorporating both the main and secondary palettes, switching it up, & changing background color.

COMMON USES:: Website, business cards, newsletters, letterhead, signage


SECONDARY LOGO:: Secondary logos are a variation of your main logo. These should look and feel very similar to the main logo, but different in terms of layout and color. There will be situations where spacing or color is limited for your logo, so it's great to have an alternative one on hand.

VARIATIONS:: Layout - usually instead of horizontal will be stacked, circular, etc.

COMMON USES: Social media picture, print work, packaging

MONOGRAM:: The final form of variant you should have in your brand is a monogram. A small, very simple representation of your brand, usually a collaboration of your main and secondary logos.

VARIATIONS:: Often a circle with one to three letters to represent your brand.

COMMON USES:: Watermarks, signatures, favicon, labeling, brand pattern

Still have questions? Ready to get rolling with a Magnolia Ink brand?