More than just a pretty logo

small people painting the small logo


More than just a pretty logo

The logo is your most valuable brand asset: it is a stamp of ownership and responsibility for the materials that it endorses. But it’s not all about looking good; it has to work practically too.

Designing flexibility into your logo from the start will keep your logo looking consistent and professional across all media. Here is our guide to making sure your logo is designed with usability and budget in mind.


Scalability

Your logo will be used in lots of different ways, now and in the future. So when designing your logo, consider whether the size and proportion will be right for all these uses.

For example, it may need to work square as social media icon, or landscape to fit on a pen. It may need to stand out beside partner logos on a report, or make a big impact on a billboard.

To protect your logo’s integrity, your brand guidelines should set the minimum size the logo can be used. To make sure the logo is legible at smaller sizes it helps to avoid very thin lines or complicated graphics: they can disappear when it’s used small.

Many organisations opt for a secondary landscape or portrait version of their logo to use where needed. You could also think about any parts of your logo that can be pulled out as a social media icon, favicon or other occasions when the logo won’t work.

small studios logo used across different media
small studios logo used across different media


Colour correct

Don’t use too many colours in your logo because it can add to the print cost, particularly on things like merchandise.

It’s useful to have a mono (black only) and reversed out (white only) version of your logo to use on black and white documents, merchandise or on busy coloured background where your logo colours might clash.

Steer clear of effects like drop shadows or gradients. Apart from reducing legibility, they can end up reproducing badly, or being prohibitively expensive to reproduce.

There are lots of different types of colour (gamuts), the most common being CMYK or Pantone for print, and RGB or HEX for screen. Not all colours are available in every gamut, which is why your logo may look really vibrant on screen (RGB, HEX) and much duller in print (CMYK, Pantone). Your designer should choose a colour palette that reproduce as consistently as possible across all colour gamuts, and give you colour references for each gamut for your brand guidelines.

small studios colours
small studios colours


Appropriateness

Think about all the occasions when your logo or branding might be used. Will your logo design be appropriate? For example, a playful, funky logo might work wonderfully for events and fun donation drives, but may be inappropriate for a serious report or political campaigns.


Usability

Make sure you have your logo in the right file format for the output. You should have a vector format logo for print (eps or ai), and a raster version for screen (jpeg, png, gif). A vector logo can be made larger or smaller without losing quality, and sits on a transparent background, so it’s ideal for posters and leaflets. Raster files are lower quality but a much smaller file size, so work best for emails or websites. Your designer should give you raster and vector versions of your logo.


Longevity

If you want your logo to last for a few years, avoid anything too on trend. What looks cutting edge and fashionable now will date very quickly. If you’re running an annual event, and want to keep the same branding the same over a few years, make sure the specific date is not integral to the design, and don’t reference current events.


Contact us

Want some advice on your logo? Then why not get in touch? We’d love to hear from you: hello@smallstudios.co.uk.