Why you must always have more than one logo.

Having just one single logo or having a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach can be incredibly inflexible and in fact could be detrimental to the way in which your business is viewed.

When you consider all the possible locations that your logo may appear, having just one logo to suit all these different needs is a definite no-no.

Whether it is a website header, an app icon, t-shirt or even a billboard, having a range of logos ready to be matched to your requirements will ensure both brand versatility and maximum exposure.

When we create visual identities for our clients, we always provide logos in a variety of layouts, sizes and orientations. The reason for this is to ensure that whatever the requirement, there is a logo to suit. We call this a brand system.

A brand system is a collection of carefully created logo designs, wordmarks, icons and supporting visual elements that come together to represent and support the same brand. Each of these individual logos and marks are consistently created from – and relate directly to – the same core identity. They are always recognisable and match the elements within the main, primary logo.

By creating a brand system with multiple versions of your main logo, you can display your brand prominently in every potential location without missing out on the chance to ensure your brand is recognised.

A versatile brand is one that has many logos in different sizes and orientations

Why You Need at Least Three Versions of Your Logo

It is important to have at least three versions of your logo so that wherever you need to display your logo, you can do so safe in the knowledge that it will always look its best. The three logo versions are:

1.  The primary logo
2.  A secondary logo / wordmark
3.  An icon or brandmark

Primary Logo

This is the main logo for the brand. It can be used with or without a tagline (if you use one with your logo) – and depending on the size, shape, format and content, the primary logo should contain all the elements that make up the logo.

It may be structured in a landscape or portrait format but always with the name, icon and tagline (where applicable).

Having the primary logo in a range of colours that are taken from the brand colour palette offers maximum versatility and also ensures the logo can be used in a range of locations, on a variety of coloured backgrounds etc.

Popular uses include:

1.  Website headers
2.  Emails
3.  Business stationery
4.  Signage
5.  Documentation
6.  Advertising
7.  Merchandise

Here is an example of a primary logo shown with both landscape and stacked executions in each colour of the brand palette:


Secondary Logo / Wordmark

The secondary logo is a slightly scaled back version of the main logo. It usually doesn’t include a tagline and often without icons or other graphic elements.

We find the most flexible versions of the secondary logos are simply the wordmark which may be stacked if the brand name is made up of more than one word to ensure greater legibility.

Again, have the secondary logo in a range of brand colours offers maximum versatility.

Popular uses include:

1.  Social media profiles
2.  Packaging
3.  Promotional materials
4.  Brand patterns

Here is an example of a secondary wordmark logo shown with both landscape and stacked executions in each colour of the brand palette:


Icon / Brandmark?

Taking the just icon or a graphic element from the main logo and introducing this to certain applications offers a simple, memorable way to develop and enhance brand recognition.

The key benefit of the use of small icons is that they can deliver strong brand reinforcement through use in confined spaces. By doing so, it is possible to
gain beneficial impact even in minimally-sized environment.

Popular uses include:

1.  App icons
2.  Website favicons
3.  Social media tags
4.  Stickers
5.  Badges
6.  Clothing

Here is an example of a bran icon / brandmark with both solid and transparent executions in each colour of the brand palette:


The versatility that comes from have a range of logo options in your brand arsenal cannot be underestimated.

Without a range of logo types and orientations you risk limiting the ability to showcase your logo prominently. Having supporting icons, logos, and brandmarks gives you invaluable versatility for every possible requirement.

Having a logo family or brand system that contains these individual items that are distinct, but are obviously from the same family, can be of great benefit.

Using the logo that is best suited to its intended brand application helps maintain brand consistency and recognition.

Each logo will have its own purpose and own ideal placement and format. The correct usage of the most ideally-suited logo will ensure continued exposure, increased brand awareness and a stronger visual appearance across a range of media.

If you’re ready to take the first step toward building your brand so that you are ready for the challenges ahead, then we’d love to discuss your objectives with you.

Carter Branding Founder Daniel James
Daniel James is the founder and creative lead at Carter Branding.
With over twenty years’ experience, he is equally at home working on branding and design projects for major international PLC’s as he is supporting ambitious businesses and innovative start ups.
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As an award-winning boutique branding  agency, we create brand identities for ambitious organisations.