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Where to Put Your Trademark Symbol on Your Logo Design

woman thinking about her logo design


When you think of Nike, your mind immediately pictures that tick mark sign. McDonald’s? You’ve got that signature M. Logos are perhaps the most important visual for your company’s branding. Being able to forge that subconscious association with your product is perhaps the mark of a good logo.

So of course, you’re going to stress about what goes where.

Now as I’m sure you’ve seen, most logos don’t stand alone. They come with added appendages usually in the form of a TM, R or an SM. So where do you put your trademark symbol?

Don’t fret, we’ve got your back. But before we get into it, let’s explore what these signs signify.

What’s the Difference?

You’ve got to know what these symbols mean before you can actually use them. So let’s start off with the encircled R.

This signifies that your logo has been officially registered with the government. If you’re in the U.S.A, that would be the U.S Patent and Trademark Office. You can be penalized for using this mark, without having the necessary documents to prove that it has been officially registered. This means you can’t use this mark even if you’re in the process of getting it registered.

TM and SM can be used for unregistered marks. While the TM is applicable to products or goods, SM is used in relation to services.

Now that you know the difference, you’re probably wondering..

Do You Need One?

When you’ve registered your mark with the relevant authorities, you have the option of adding the R. Often, bigger brands tend to opt out of this since they have the liberty to assume that everyone knows their brand and logo, and hence they require less protection.

However, if you’re an SME, it might be wise to incorporate this symbol, since you’re building a brand, and you need all the legal protection you can get.

Now TM and SM can be used if you want to communicate that you’ve claimed the rights to your logo. There are no legal repercussions brought about by simply using the symbol, but it does serve as a public announcement that you have claimed the logo as your own.

So now that we’ve sorted that out…

Where Do You Put Your Trademark Symbol?

The most common placement of these symbols is at the bottom right or the top right of the logo. While you want these to be clear enough to serve their purpose, they should also not be too large so as to distract the viewer from your actual logo.

A good designer would know how to fit it in while maintaining the efficiency and visual appeal of the design. Each logo would vary considerably in their design, so while bottom left might work for some, top right might be better for others.

Ultimately You Need to Consider Three Things

Which symbol is the most appropriate for your brand? Do you need to include it?

What is the best placement for it, given the design of your logo? And that’s because you can’t decide one without the other. They are all correlated and require equal consideration when deciding where to put your trademark symbol.

We hope this helped. If you’ve got more questions, get in touch with one of our professional designers, and they’ll be sure to help you out!


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