Your logo serves many purposes. The most important tasks are:
• identify the brand
• display the brand’s personality
• project the brand’s integrity
This is accomplished through through shape and color, and the quality of design.
But what if your logo does not look right, or even fit, within the requirements and physical boundaries of a given space? This could be limitations of proportion, shape, size or color.
Let’s use my own logo for an example. After all, it’s one of my favorite logos, because it is the perfect example of my formula for achieving the most clever, unique, remarkable design:
luck + talent = damn good design
There’s a whole article about that here. For now, just take my word for it: it’s an effective, professional logo but faces the same problems that most logos are up against from time to time. That’s what we’ll solve ahead…
Most of the time a brand’s logo will drop perfectly into place for whatever task it needs to serve: the label on a product, the header on a website, the emblem on a uniform. Whenever possible, do not change the logo; any deviation weakens the brand enforcement and retention in the consumers’ minds.
The logo shouldn’t really just be “dropped into place” on a business card or package design or anywhere else. Experiment with its position and size, along with all other elements such as text and graphics, until the logo is coordinated aesthetically and effectively within the overall layout. This is taking design to the uppermost echelon for a brand’s image.
But what happens when you have to fit a square logo into a round hole, or mount a wide logo onto a narrow column? Or print it in just one color?
That’s where the logo is broken down by the designer, and re-assembled to fit the media—retaining its most valuable recognition factors.
Here’s the Desimone Design logo in its “official” form:
Each lowercase letter has a specific hue; the caps are slightly toned to look silverish; and there is an exact size relationship of the lettering to the background container (the size of the border is a mathematical figure proportionate to the size of the lettering, each of four sides adjusted for visual balance).
This logo, once the typestyles were chosen for utmost significance and aesthetics, required a tremendous amount of design modification, altering and customizing the original fonts to make everything fit into place. Each element was shifted microscopically into place in relationship to all the other elements. The colors were chosen for milestone significance of my early design career. This is just one of many original napkin drawings. I will devote an entire article to the conception, meaning, evolution, and refinement of this logo. Make sure you’re subscribed to chazsez to receive the published study.
Several variations of the logo were designed. Some are a standard in any identity package, such as a black-and-white version and a favicon (the little marks shown on your browser tabs to identify the website). Other variations were created by necessity as the problem came up. (The Desimone Design logo was created long before the Internet, so who knew there would be specific social profile container shapes? I’m proud to say my logo design has served one of its most important functions: timelessness.)
You can see in the composite illustration for this article, shown again below, that the logo was modified in several ways to fit wherever it needed to fit. I’ve seen too many instances where a logo is uploaded and auto-cropped, looking not only weird but not focusing on its unique element. Once I even saw a totally “blank” social profile, simply because everything was cropped off except the background space between two words!
The dD mark is a solid representation of the d and D in the formal logo, fitting snugly into a square with the brand’s colors represented with dots. That works exceedingly well in this website’s favicon.
The highly-customized circular treatment is for circular profile shapes, of course, but also great for ephemera such as drink coasters. Like the square version above, it solidly projects and identifies the Desimone Design brand.
And of course the black-and-white logotype, with or without the container, looks great on forms and such, or where color would be an intrusion on surrounding content.
The takeaway is present your logo in its entirety whenever, wherever possible. When it just doesn’t fit, have it professionally modified, or create a new mark to represent the brand, for specific purposes.
Take your logo in the opposite direction and add some effects to get the brand’s essence across as profoundly as possible, such as what you see here. To represent that Desimone Design creates for more than just print and pixel—dimensional glass or plastic, or cut out panels so that brilliant metal shows from behind—demonstrating both forward and backward dimension—this version of the logo was created for special presentations. This was then created as actual signage, multi-dimensional and illuminated both directly and indirectly. The black panel was carbon fiber, adding the stunning finishing touch.