Many moons ago a very good client asked me what I thought of his proposed new company name and logo. My response I recall was simple, ‘It’s a bit too long, and I’m not sure it’ll work in white.’
Composed of two rather long words on one line, and a six-word strapline on a single line underneath, the logo would have needed a 6-inch long business card for it all to remain legible.
And the liberal use of a drop shadow would have made an all-white version for using on a busy photographic background pretty non-sensical.
‘Run the two words over two lines, a different complementary colour for each word, lose the drop shadowing and use this 3 word strapline instead’, were my suggestions. Sorted.
Turn the clock forward though and I find the conversation’s changed. While the fundamental practicalities of logo design, size and colour certainly still remain, the suitability of a logo for the digital era brings added requirements.
These days I also find myself advising, “And then just make sure that the logo fits too …” And I’m not being flippant either.
What I’m meaning to say is when designing a new logo, make sure it can be ‘deconstructed’ in some way or readily scaled to suit all the digital applications it’ll be applied to – without it having any adverse effect on overall brand identity.
This might simply mean dropping a strapline, using a logo’s icon on its own maybe or just using another distinguishable part of your logo, perhaps the lead capital letter perhaps? (often done).
As a minimum I generally suggest that at least the following few uses are borne in mind at the outset:
That small graphical icon you see in a web browser’s tab or a list of book-marked websites, a favicon really should be a must, and it’s a square picture measuring just 16 x 16 or 32 x 32 pixels. It’s worth getting right.
Alas, the harsh reality is that to meet the specific requirements of all mobile and desktop platforms, literally dozens of differently sized and formatted favicons or ‘touch icons’ need generating.
I say get the basic size working for your new brand right now, enough to be considered ‘web and mobile friendly’ and worry about any specifics another day…
Social media profile pics
The profile picture on a Facebook business page also happens to be square. While you need to upload a 180x 180 pixel file, it displays at 160 x 160 pixels on a computer and at 140 x 140 pixels on a smart phone. Likewise for Twitter, the profile photo is square there as well, 400 x 400 pixels.
And don’t use a ‘size 10’ logo when your email signature needs a ‘size 5’. I get lots of unsolicited spam email where the logo completely dominates and overpowers the message the email was trying to carry above.
Be subtle. And if for reasons of legibility it means omitting the strapline from beneath a smaller logo that’s deliberately sized to harmonise with your contact details directly above, then so be it. Nobody’ll thank you if they struggle to read it 😉
So yes, make sure your logo works consistently on your business card, your letterhead, brochures and website header etc., but do try to think about the other highly visible ways it’ll be seen online. And who knows what they’ll be in the future – it’ll still need to fit them though.
PS And before anyone asks again, the fact that my ‘MW’ logo variant appears to say ‘mE and Ew’ was completely unintentional – honest. That’s not to say that the thought doesn’t work quite nicely with ‘your marketing writing partner’ 😉