One of the first steps in most branding and design projects is a logo. Whether you’re creating a website, business cards, a flyer, or letterhead, a logo is the centre piece, and holds the design together. When I’m designing websites, I never start without the logo in place at the top, because I draw all my inspiration from it. Colours, look, feel, the logo can tie the entire project together, and could ruin it if I don’t have the logo in time to build from. So, it’s easy to see why the logo is important. You need to get it exactly perfect before doing anything else, because you never should have to make changes to the logo once you start working on something else. But, is one logo enough? Imagine trying to make one piece of art fit into many different settings, it just won’t always work. That’s why I recommend that every brand I work with builds variations of their logo so that they can fit into any format or atmosphere.
When I was designing the brand for The White Corner Creative, I created three different logo variations that I use depending on the setting. All of them are variations on the exact same design – a triangle with The White Corner Creative written beside it. One logo has a white triangle that I use over coloured backgrounds like in all of my feature images, the site header, and my new business cards. The second logo is just black outlines that I use over backgrounds that are coloured, but too light to properly display the white triangle, like in my hover Pin it Button. And the third logo is coloured with each piece of the triangle being one of my brand colours, which I use over simple white backgrounds like my profile pictures and favicon. And lastly, I also take away the words ‘The White Corner Creative’ and sometimes just use the triangle on its own.
If you think about big brands like McDonalds for example, you’ll realize that they have variations of their logo as well, all centered around the yellow arches. Sometimes they are on a white background, sometimes on a red background, and sometimes ‘McDonalds’ is written below them. A big brand like McDonalds realizes that it’s impossible to use one logo well on every piece of branding, so they create variations.
Size and Colour
First of all, you need a logo that will regardless of the size or colour of your project. Some logos are wide and thin, which is fine, but what if you wanted to put that logo on a business card or a t-shirt? It probably wouldn’t look as good as a logo that was a little less wide and taller. You don’t want to have to create a logo variation every time you encounter a project that doesn’t fit your current logo, so think about all the possible situations when you design your logo for the first time. You also need a logo that works with any colour scheme. What if you’re design a print item that you are printing in black and white to save on costs? You don’t want to just have to take your normal logo and make it grayscale, you should have a logo that works in black and white as it is.
Online vs. Print
If you’re not a designer, you probably don’t realize that there are different colour formats for print projects vs online projects. Without getting too far into the details, this is because light (in your computer) is displayed in a different format than the ink that mixes (in a printer). Computer designs are made in RGB and printed designs are made in CMYK. The only problem with this is that if you design a nice logo with bright colours for your website, those colours won’t translate as brightly to print. When you design your logo for the first time, take this into account. Would you rather design in CMYK so that your colours are the same in print and online, or would you rather have the colours you love for online use, and then choose other colours for print use. I chose the colours for my logo in RGB and had to adjust them slightly to get colours that I liked for print projects like my business cards. Big brands would likely use Pantone colours (that’s a whole other story) because they translate very well across all formats, but we won’t get into that.
So, whether you are a designer creating your own logo, or an entrepreneur commissioning a logo from a designer, you can consider asking for different logos. A few great options to consider are:
– a square/vertical version (like my profile pictures)
– a horizontal version (like my full logo)
– an abbreviated/icon version (like my triangle on it’s own)
– a black and white version (like my black lines logo)
If you have a logo that fits into each of these categories, you are sure to have one that is perfect for every project. When I design a logo for a client I provide them with variations that will work for any project or circumstance. If you need a logo designed you can check out The White Corner Creative’s design boutique.