Tip #2: Design a logo that plays well with others. It’s important for your brand to be unique. However, there will be occasions where your brand will have to be placed alongside other brands and complex design elements– like when sponsoring an event, partnering on a business venture or creating a complicated brochure or advertisement. While you may be designing a unique brand, there are ways you can make this brand flexible and adaptable over time so that it may work with other brands and designs.
A logo design can be a wordmark/logotype, iconic or a combination of the two. It is important to choose a style that fits your business needs, identifies with your brand and is appropriate for your target audience. Since I’m a hockey buff, let’s examine different types of logos using the 2010 NHL Winter Classic. It’s a good example, because it demonstrates different logo designs working well together.
This logo for the Winter Classic is obviously a wordmark logo. It is working together with the NHL logo, which is an iconic logo and the Bridgestone logo, which is another wordmark logo.
This logo for the Winter Classic is a combination logo. It uses the wordmark logo and combines with an illustration to create a different design. One thing to notice in both of these examples is how three distinct brands (Winter Classic, NHL and Bridgstone) work together to create a new identity. Your brand has to have the same flexibility to work together with other brands. Also, notice that the Bridgestone logo is different from one version to the other. We’ll talk more about this technique below.
What logos do I need?
So glad you asked. First, there are two things we are talking about here…design formats and file formats. Design formats are styles of the same logo presented in different ways so that it can be used in different layouts. File formats are the different types of files (.jpg, .gif, .png, etc.) that exist for a logo.
Design Formats for Logos
Unless you are developing products which require their own logos, one logo is generally all that is needed by small businesses and organizations. However, that one logo should be designed in several different ways so that it can, truly, play well with others. Here’s what you need:
- Multicolored version – the standard version for your logo
- Single color version- a black, or grayscale version of your logo
- Reverse Option – a white version of your logo for use on dark or conflicting backgrounds
For each of these versions, you should have a horizontal and vertical option so it can be used in varying design layouts. There are other options you could design (two-dimensional, two color, etc.) however, in narrowing down the basics of what’s needed, this list covers it.
To illustrate these different design formats, here is a chart that shows the TechBelt logo, a logo I worked on with Jared Roberts, in its different design formats.
File Formats for Logos
|The EPS version will allow your logo to be blown up and shrunk down to any size, while maintaining its details (it’s called a vector file). The EPS version is the version that should be used for all marketing materials (banners, business cards, stationary).|
|The JPG will be useful when sharing with others, or when building a Powerpoint presentation. It’s the simple and flexible version of your logo.|
|The PNG/GIF allows for you to have a logo with a transparent background while being compatible in electronic and web-based applications.|
Your logo should be designed as an EPS, or vector, file first, and then converted to the other file types. These three file types for your logo designs will provide a great start to meeting your daily logo needs.
All logos are the property of their respective owners.
Small businesses rarely have the marketing and creative resources to provide appropriate brand building or brand management to ensure their brand maintains consistency and strength as business grows. While it’s always good to have a trained marketing eye to guide you along the way, this list of 10 quick tips will help provide added support for your brand building and management — just a few small items entrepreneurs and small businesses can do to get a jump above other small brands with big ideas.
Originally, I intended to post all of these tips together in a single post, however each tip is a different topic in itself, so I’ve opted to separate them out. As each new item is released, I’ll include links to previously posted tips to make things easy. Enjoy.
Previous tips from this series: