The logo variations that every brand needs to have

Wherever you go, you base your looks on the surrounding environment. Isn't that right? You don't wear party shoes when you are going to the office, and vice versa. So, for every occasion you change your outfit. 

You may wear a colourful dress for a birthday party, and maybe just something black and white for a job interview. Simply, because subconsciously you want to match and fit in with the place.

Fittingly, the main topic today is LOGO DESIGN. You may think we didn't start talking about logo design right at the beginning but actually we’re talking about VARIATIONS.

When you design a professional logo for your brand (and for a professional design you need a professional designer as well), the logo can and should take on many forms. This is where logo variation comes in.

First thing first though, what is logo variation and why does your business need it?

A logo variation is an alternate version of your primary logo design. The logo variation gives your business the ability to be consistent, recognisable, cohesive yet fit in many different places.

A Facebook ad design, a website and a business card may require different logos in different colours or shapes. It does not mean you need to have many logos. 

Depending on the situation, maybe you just need to change the primary logo colour or use the horizontal version instead of the vertical one. Rather than relying on a single logo to do all the legwork, your brand can have flexibility by developing several logo variations.

I’ll go over four important types of logo variations that are primary, stacked or secondary, submark and favicon, to help you find out which ones you need for your brand.

Primary logo

The first logo you need to design is the primary logo. This is the main, complete and complex logo. You will use this primary logo most often. 

Primary logos can include a company name, tagline, and the date of establishment. Your logo is the front-and-centre representation of who you are as a brand, whether it’s placed on signage or on employee T-shirts.

A primary logo is commonly horizontal, but depending on the design and theme, this can vary. Remember to have a black-and-white version of your primary logo as well if the original contains colour.

Make sure that your primary logo is not overshadowed by other design elements, so that it can stand out. It is important for the primary logo to be gripping, memorable, and adaptable.

For consistency, most brands settle on one primary logo. Occasionally, however, we'll see an exception, such as Adidas. The brand uses three primary logos, which vary depending on the collection. With the same font and three stripes throughout each logo, they maintain cohesion. 

Most brands will not benefit from this strategy, especially if their business is still growing. Nevertheless, Adidas is the second-largest athletic apparel manufacturer in the world.

In contrast to Adidas, most brands use a primary logo that has multiple variations, such as secondary, submarks, or favicons.

As soon as you've established your primary logo, it's time to design a secondary logo as well. The main goal of a secondary logo is to have a different arrangement from the primary. 

For instance, if your primary logo is horizontal with an image and words nearby, the secondary logo can be designed with an image above or underneath the words.

Think of your secondary logo as the main logo's reflection. To keep your brand persona consistent, it should use the same fonts, same weight, and overall design. When there isn't much space available or your primary logo won't fit, a secondary logo will come in useful.

For example, a horizontal logo can be better fit for the letterhead template or business card because different places have varied space needs for logos. 

Perhaps a vertical, stacked logo might work much better as a social media profile image. Your secondary logo works as a backup in situations where your primary logo doesn't fit or look its best.


It's crucial to design your submark when your primary and secondary logos are finalised. This is the most condensed and streamlined type of the logo, and it will be useful when you need to fit a logo into a small area, both in print and digital formats. 

Keep in mind that not all primary and secondary logos were designed to be reduced in size. A submark will be useful in that situation.

Submarks with only symbols, or circles with text and/or symbols, are the two most popular varieties. You might or might not require a submark depending on the size and arrangement of your primary and secondary logos, but having one is always a good idea.

Submarks make excellent stickers and are frequently used in print as footers or watermarks. When you need to use your logo in a digital setting but prefer it to look more polished, a submark is ideal as a social media avatar.


Last but not least, designing a favicon is an important step in establishing logo variations. An internet browser's top bar contains a small icon called a favicon. Depending on the style and arrangement, it's frequently merely a symbol but can also fit a few letters.

A favicon's main function is to serve as a visual reminder of a brand's identity. A favicon can also make it simpler for users to find your website if they have several tabs open. Visitors can find your website easily while you increase brand awareness and identification by using a favicon.

A favicon may not always be required for your brand, but it can be useful because it can also serve as an app icon. Consider the many apps you have on your phone and how certain icons are more noticeable than others.

Play around with logo variations

The element of your brand that people are most likely to recognise is your logo. It should not only be lovely and unforgettable, but also flexible enough to take on several forms. 

When using different logo versions, your brand will be equipped to make a strong impression anywhere and at any moment. The complete visual brand experience is created by a primary logo, secondary logo, submark, and favicon. Additionally, professional designers are never too far away if you feel overwhelmed by how to proceed.

Yay! The party is about to start. Do you need any help to choose the best outfit for your brand? Give us a free buzz 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts
Ways to Know If You Have The Right Logo Design

Do you know what makes a brand succeed and others fail?  As you know, the quality of the products and services are very important factors in any brand's success. Imagine your products and services are equal, so then what is it that sets your business apart from the competition? A creative and effective logo and […]

Read More
From Drab to Fab - Our Three Best Video Editing Tips

You find yourself stumbling nervously through the dark stormy night as thunder rolls across the sky and the heavy rain lashes at your back, searching for a reprieve from the weather, and more importantly - answers.  You continue trudging across the windswept landscape and you feel as if you’re losing hope when suddenly a light […]

Read More
Search engine what? Demystifying the big SEO monster

Every time I think about the SEO monster, I can’t help but think about my dad saying “Don’t make a salad of shit!” (Pardon my French).  SEO, as we know, stands for Search Engine Optimisation. This means: “How can we make Google love us?” or “What can we do, so Google and other search engines […]

Read More
How to use colours in marketing and advertising

Have you ever wondered why you feel slightly alarmed when staring at a red stop sign and why the world has chosen red, green and yellow for traffic lights?  Those are just two of the many effects colour has on the human psyche. It’s all part of a study referred to as the psychology of […]

Read More


linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram