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Logo Variations: How Versatile Is Your Brand?

logo design on desktop


You’ve gone through all the work of designing or choosing a fantastic logo. You’ve defined your brand, selected a color scheme, and nailed down icons and fonts that shout your brand to the world. You’re done, right?

Not exactly.

As you start to put your logo to use, you’ll notice the same logo doesn’t work well for every project, web page, or brochure. That doesn’t mean all your work has gone to waste. It just means you need a few more logo variations.

Logo Variations Every Brand Needs

Having a range of logo variations at the ready will make it easier for you to jump on the hottest marketing opportunities that come your way. To be prepared for any project, have these logo variations on hand.

Your Favorite Arrangement

Every brand needs a singular “primary” logo design. If you have already worked through the logo design process, this is that magical design that has everything you want in a logo.

This primary logo will be your go-to. Any time you need to adjust your logo for a new project or variation, you’ll start with this primary logo to stay as close to it as possible.

Shape Variations

If you’re doing marketing right, you’ll be placing your logo in a range of different mediums, from social media profiles to print ads. No matter what you do, there isn’t one logo shape that will look right in all these mediums.

For this reason, you need to have a logo variation in any combination of shapes and sizes.

Have a square-like logo that has roughly the same height and width. In addition, have a horizontal logo that is short but wide and a vertical one that is slim but tall.

While you’re at it, a circular logo is helpful as well. You’ll want a circular logo for your profile picture on certain social media sites like Instagram and Twitter.

Variations for Different Background Colors

Chances are that you put a lot of thought into selecting your brand colors, ensuring that they capture the perfect tone you want for your brand. No matter what colors you end up with in your logo, they won’t look perfect with every background color for every marketing project.

Have logo variations for different colors of backgrounds. At a minimum, you want one logo that looks great on light backgrounds and one for dark backgrounds. It’s also a good idea to have your logo with every brand color arrangement possible.

For instance, let’s say your logo consists of dark orange, light orange, and navy blue. Perhaps the logo itself includes an icon image and your brand name in a specific font.

Have one logo with a dark orange icon and light orange writing. Have another with a navy icon and light orange writing, as well as one with a dark orange icon and navy writing, and so on.

Keep in mind that there will also be times when you’ll need to use your logo in projects that have black and white color schemes. Have a logo available in either black and white or grayscale.

paint pallet with oil paint on it

Having the Right Files

When we talk about logo variations, it isn’t only the logo itself that may vary from project to project. The type of file you need will vary as well.

Different marketing projects and mediums will require different file types and sizes. The largest difference is between print and online projects.

For print mediums, your logo needs to be a high resolution: at least 300 dots per inch, or DPI. When you post your logo online, the resolution can be far lower: down to 72 pixels per inch, or PPI. Keep in mind that DPI and PPI are the same measurements, but it’s stated in “dots” for print media and in “pixels” for digital media.

This doesn’t mean that you cannot use a high-resolution logo for digital media. However, high-resolution files are much larger, and some digital platforms have limits on the size of files you can upload.

Speaking of files, the types of files you use will vary from project to project too. While JPEG files are common, they do not allow your logo to have a transparent background. You might use JPEG files for certain projects, but be sure to have a file with a transparent background too, such as a PNG or EPS.

illustration of different image file types

Maintaining Brand Consistency in Logo Variations

You may be reading about all the different logo variations and saying, “Wait a minute, I thought the whole point of a logo was to create consistent branding, so how do you do that if you have many different logos?”

This can be a tricky balance to strike: you want your logo to look great in every project, but it needs to brand-forward every time. The key is having that singular primary logo to return to.

Any time you need a new variation of your logo, start with the primary logo and make as few changes as possible. If you start with a version of the logo that is already altered, you’ll gradually end up with a slightly different logo each time until it bears no resemblance to your primary logo.

In addition, it helps to have a firm grasp on your brand from the start. Every time you adjust your logo, ask yourself, “Does this capture my brand as well as my primary logo?”

Putting Your Logo to Use with Logo Variations

As important as it is to have a single unifying logo, it’s only a matter of time before you discover that no one logo will work in every situation. The logo variations above will allow you to get strong brand representation in any project or context.

A simple logo program like Logomaker makes it easy for you to get any logo variation you need in a snap. To find out for yourself, start designing your logo today.


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