4 Logo Variations Every Business & Brand Must Need

A successful logo design is easily recognized, memorable, and has a strong identity.
Here are four main logo variations that your business must have!
Created by Reza Moradi | https://dribbble.com/shots/18144731-Linkkify-Brand-Book-Design

When you see logos from well-known brands, have you ever noticed that their logo display is not always the same in every branding or marketing of their products? We take the example of the Adidas brand, which is very famous, and we have often seen the logo everywhere. The three-striped icon is the hallmark of their logo, but the shape is not always consistent. Sometimes it is depicted only in the form of a line; sometimes, it is depicted with variations in the shape of a triangle; sometimes, it is also depicted with a shape like a leaf, and many others. But even though it's depicted in a different shape, you will still be able to recognize that it's their logo, right?

This is what you need to incorporate into your branding, particularly in the segment on visual identity. You'll have more flexibility to use the logo if it comes in a variety of forms. For instance, you can use a simpler variation if the branding medium where you want to display your logo is small, and vice versa. You can select a more intricate logo display if you plan to use a large branding media size.

In this discussion, we'll go over four different types of logo design variations that you should have as a visual asset, in addition to the reasons why you should create different logo variations.

Created by Mahjabin Afrin | https://dribbble.com/shots/17605090-style-guide-brand-guidelines


The Introduction of Logo Variation

Some of you might still be unsure of what is meant by "logo variation" and be scratching your heads. Presenting more variety-designed logos in your branding does not mean you have to have a different logo display for each branding. Or, have a logo display that is constantly changing to represent your brand. 

The brand logo must always appear consistent and easy to recognize, especially if your brand is still newly released and is still trying to establish brand awareness with your target customers.

A logo variation is a type of display that, as the name suggests, is an alternative interpretation of your primary logo design. This alternate logo design keeps the general idea of your primary logo, but it uses a different display version to make it simpler for you to effectively use your brand logo across a variety of media.

Created by SlabPixel | https://dribbble.com/shots/18345455-SlabPixel-Brand-Guideline

There are times when a brand's primary logo is inappropriate for a particular medium. Sometimes, when displayed through specific branding media, a lot of logos are too complex, too crowded, too detailed, or perhaps too simple, and they need a little adjusting to look perfect.

In fact, numerous well-known brands, not just Adidas, which we briefly discussed above, frequently use examples of this logo design variation. Many logo variation assets are also used by well-known and other small brands to ensure that the appearance of the logo in their branding is ideal and appropriate for the needs and the purpose of displaying the logo in specific branding media.

Created by Fahim | https://dribbble.com/shots/18279838-Quarkit-Brand-identity

Let's jump right to the specific example. Most of you will be instructed to upload a logo with a circular frame so that it appears to fit your display if you want to use it as your social media profile photo. Or you must use a clear and simple logo that is still readable despite the logo's small display size when you want to display it on your favicon website. Depending on the scale and purpose, each requirement for media branding calls for different specifications as well as the appearance of a variety of logos.

Due to this, having different logos is absolutely necessary, especially for businesses that are working hard to establish a distinctive brand identity.


Why It Is Necessary to Have Logo Variations for Your Brand

In actuality, there is only one primary reason why you should have numerous variations of your logo: to maximize the use and visibility of your logo design across all media in which it will be used. Some people may think this is unimportant and that a logo by itself is sufficient. However, as a company or brand, the way your logo appears will serve as a representation of your identity and positioning.

You must guarantee that your logo will always be flawless and carefully designed if you want your brand to be perceived as a professional brand. Not just in terms of the design's appearance but also in terms of how you convey the logo design.

Created by Abdullah Mubin | https://dribbble.com/shots/17017283-ural-Logo-Guidelines

Have you ever witnessed a bad design where a complex logo is displayed in a size that is too small, making it impossible to see the display clearly or even identify the brand logo? Or have you ever noticed a logo design that is so totally inconsistent with the media design background that it makes the logo look generally awful and unprofessional? 

These tiny details have the power to influence how the general public views your design. Of course, as a company or brand, we want to appear flawless at all times, and the same goes for your logo. Because of this, it's crucial for you to be able to create logos that always look perfect and are appropriate for the context and the media requirements.

Created by Mahjabin Afrin | https://dribbble.com/shots/17555905-brand-book-style-guide


4 Important Logo Variations That You Need

To make using and creating logos easier, we typically categorize logo variations into four main groups in the world of graphic design and visual branding. Actually, if you want, you can simply use more than four different types of logo designs for your company, giving it a more flexible appearance and giving you access to more logo displays. However, as many professional designers do, we advise you to limit your use to these four groups.

When deciding which logo variation to use for visual branding, having too many variations of logo display types will leave you confused and disorientated. Additionally, these four groups of logo variations have been divided based on their uses, which makes it simpler for you to select the best logo to use. They actually cover all of your needs for visual branding.

Customers will become confused if you use an excessive number of logo displays, particularly if they are unfamiliar with your brand. And, of course, this will be made worse if your variation logo has a very different appearance from your primary logo and doesn't resemble it.

Created by Fahim Khan | https://dribbble.com/shots/18463073-Clueby-Brand-Style-Guide

But once more, every brand has unique specializations, traits, and branding requirements. Use this consideration to personalize your logo variant. Or some of you might only require three logo variations rather than four. In any case, the four main logo variations that you should create because they will be crucial for your branding needs are discussed below:

1. Primary Logo

The primary logo was previously mentioned, but it wasn't really covered in detail. The primary logo is the main logo display that you use most frequently and is significant for your brand. The design of your logo that is most frequently recognized by the general public is also the one that is used to brand products and actual products that bear your brand the most frequently.

Because it serves as the primary model for the appearance of all other variations, the primary logo's appearance is typically the most intricate, complete, and complex. The brand will typically show different visual elements that specifically represent its brand in this primary logo. For instance, the use of intricate color details that coordinate with the brand's primary color, the addition of ornaments or other decorative elements, and numerous other visual characteristics that are distinctive to the main logo.

Created by rebrandoo | https://dribbble.com/shots/18468533-Uvaben-Brand-Guidelines

Furthermore, we can observe that the primary logo has a fairly comprehensive logo anatomy, beginning with the icon mark and typeface of the brand name, and is frequently accompanied by a tagline or business description of the brand. The most sophisticated and significant type of logo design is, in essence, the primary logo.

The primary logo's appearance is typically the most comprehensive and intricate, but you must also maintain a balance between completeness and clutter. Continue to use necessary whitespace and negative space to keep the appearance clear so that anyone who sees your brand logo can quickly recall its appearance and characteristics. Furthermore, overly intricate and detailed logos are frequently ignored, making it difficult for viewers to fully comprehend the significance of each design element. At the same time, a simpler logo that only features necessary elements will be much easier for the general public to recall and comprehend.

Remember that this primary logo will serve as both the foundation for and the inspiration for other variations of the logo, so the way it looks will largely determine how people perceive your company.

Created by Budka | https://dribbble.com/shots/19225387-Logo-sketch


2. Secondary Logo

When your primary logo design is unsuitable for use in particular branding media, a secondary logo is a logo display variation that can provide an alternative. If your primary logo, for instance, has a vertical orientation, you might need a secondary logo with a horizontal orientation for banner needs or other media with side spaces.

The display orientation of the primary logo is not the only way that the secondary logo can be different. However, it can also be in any aspect that is required for your branding requirements. For instance, if your primary logo is better suited to media requirements with a light background, you can offer a secondary logo that is better suited to dark media. When designing your secondary logo, you should be aware of and consider things like this.

You don't need to combine all of the design elements and appearance options into a single logo design option because there are so many that you might require. Certainly, it will be more effective if you can combine them into a single design view, but occasionally, there are numerous distinct branding requirements. Therefore, many designers offer a variety of display designs—possibly as many as three—for their secondary logos.

Created by Fahim Khan | https://dribbble.com/shots/16458623-Pharma-Brand-Guidelines-Logo

This logo must be recognizable and contain the same components as your primary logo, even though it has undergone some changes to the way it looks. You might be able to alter the hues, the ratios, or even some minor elements like the tagline, but you must still make sure that the final product doesn't look too dissimilar from the primary logo you created for your brand.

You cannot simply change the typeface you use, the icon's appearance in a significant way, or even the overall appearance of the logo to make it look significantly different from your primary logo. Your secondary logo should serve as an alternative rather than a completely new visual representation of your company.

When you want to display your logo design on media with limited space when you have a color scheme that clashes with your initial logo, or when you need a different appearance for your logo on media, this secondary logo will typically be absolutely necessary. You are still advised to use your primary logo whenever possible if using an alternative display is not necessary.

Created by Ofspace LLC | https://dribbble.com/shots/16238144-FOXY-Brand-Guideline-Branding-Style-Guide


3. Submark

It will be very simple for you to later present an alternative submark logo that is simple to recognize if you have identified a consistent appearance and characteristic of your brand logo. This sub-mark is an alternative logo you can use if your primary logo is improper for some branding objectives, just like a secondary logo. However, this submark differs from other logos in that it has a distinctly more simplified appearance. You can think of this sub-mark as the essence of your main logo. So, if you remove all the less important components from your primary logo, you will end up with a sub-mark.

Obviously, the purpose of this simplified display is to meet branding requirements for very small media, whether in terms of physical size or space requirements. Alternatively, you can use this sub-mark for your logo in situations where it is not necessary for it to be displayed in a way that makes it obvious and prominent or where it is not one of the main focal points. The need for social media content or other digital needs with a limited amount of space will typically make extensive use of this logo submark.

This sub-mark is actually your net, so don't be afraid to present a more complex or detailed look in your primary or secondary logo. Although it is not good to display a logo design that is too complex, in the right amount, decorative elements or ornaments in a design can be a great addition to make the logo look even more distinctive.

Created by MA Rakib Khan | https://dribbble.com/shots/19405336-Brand-Book-Corporate-Guideline-case-study-for-Keylight

The fact that this submark serves as your net means that you shouldn't be hesitant to give your primary or secondary logo a more intricate or complex appearance. The right amount of ornaments or decorative elements in a design can be a great addition to make the logo look even more distinctive, even though it is not good to display overly complex logo designs.

In logo sub-mark, it's common to see many brands reducing the size of their typeface, streamlining the appearance of their icon mark, or removing specific colors and elements from their secondary or primary logo. Due to the fact that every brand has a unique image and branding identity, there is no set formula for how to create your sub-mark. Furthermore, keep in mind that each brand has a unique set of primary logos upon which to begin, so there is no right or wrong way to choose your sub-mark.

The one thing that is important is to make sure that your sub-mark can display icons or other elements that are different from your brand logo while still fitting into small spaces and appearing clearly.

Created by Sarfraz Jasim | https://dribbble.com/shots/17148126-Naxxoly-Logo-Guideline


4. Favicon

Let's talk about favicons before we wrap up. It's possible that you don't know what a favicon is or have never even heard of one if you are unfamiliar with the world of websites or search engine marketing. In simple terms, a favicon is a tiny icon that represents a website bookmark and typically appears in the tab bar. Therefore, this favicon serves as a symbol for your company's website.

It is unquestionably important to take into account the use of this favicon, particularly if your company uses a website as one of its primary marketing tools or as a platform for product sales. Even if you don't currently use a business website, you should still set it up as a visual asset for the future because website and search engine marketing are growing in popularity recently. If you don't already have one, it is highly advised that you make one for your brand because having one will give you a more professional image.

Created by Sarfraz Jasim | https://dribbble.com/shots/14805497-Aura-Branding

You can naturally infer that it is very small—only a few pixels—given that it is displayed as an icon in the tab bar. Making a favicon variation of your primary logo is difficult primarily due to this issue. Even though some people also use the icon mark on their sub-mark as their favicon, a favicon is unquestionably clearly distinct from a sub-mark.

The alternative logo is much more simplified and identifiable, making it easy to recognize even when it is far smaller. In light of this, if you already created a look that is still quite detailed in your three previous logo variations, you should really get ready for a very simple look for your favicon.

Created by Mohamed Soukarta | https://dribbble.com/shots/14780785-obriva-brand-identity


Final Words

The logo is the most crucial component of your brand because it will determine how the public perceives you. As a result, you must always ensure that the logo is flawless. You can achieve this flawless appearance by using logo variations that are appropriate for each unique media branding.

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