What are logo usage guidelines?

by | Dec 3, 2021 | Design | 0 comments

It does not matter whether you a small business or an enterprise; you must have logo guidelines for your business.

Setting guidelines ensures that you are using the logo correctly. These guidelines are called logo usage guidelines, and they are an integral part of any brand strategy and form part of your brand style guide if you are a larger business.

Logo guidelines ensure consistency and that logo and colours are not changed or distorted.

So what are logo usage guidelines? 

Often you hear people talking about brand guidelines and logo guidelines; these are two documents that represent the brand. A logo guideline tells people working with your logo how they should use it and your business colours. A brand guideline is a more comprehensive document and includes the logo guidelines. This document will tell you the brand’s story, what it stands for, the tone used when writing documents, and the guidelines showing layouts across multiple platforms.

Both documents are dependent on the budget that you have available. But, if you are a smaller business, I recommend that you start with a logo guideline; if you are planning to scale your business, consider brand guidelines.

So what should be in a logo guideline

Here are some essential logo usage guidelines:

Logo variations and when to use them

With social media on the rise, you will need a full version of your logo and an icon. Both need to reflect each other and stay within your logo’s general style.

What styles are there

There are seven types of logos, but the most common ones are the ones below:

  • Wordmark – font-based logo that is used for catchy and memorable names. These are customarily registered trademarks, and some examples are – Sony, Calvin Klein and Google.

  • Full logo is when your logo has a type and a logo mark (a picture). Some examples are Dropbox, Adidas and Microsoft. Often these logos have two versions, one with the wording and one without.

  • Logo Mark – is an icon or an image that represents the company. It is so recognisable that one does not need words to show people what it is. Some examples are Nike, Apple and McDonalds.

Your logo usage guidelines will include variations with recommendations of where they will appear. For example, if you have a full logo with and logomark, your logo guideline will stipulate how the logo looks and how to use it.

Space around the logo

It is essential that you create a clear space (or white space, as designers call it) around your logo. It ensures that the logo is noticeable and not obstructed or missed when you use it for marketing.

You can do this by taking either a letter or the logomark and using this as a guideline.

Colour palette

Your colour palette may have two sections. One of the most important ones is the brand colours, and the second is the secondary colour palette. Brand colours make sure that the logo is where it is used. The logo colours must have the correct colour values to ensure consistency.

The following colour breakdowns are recommended:

  • Pantone (also known as a spot colour)
  • CMYK (used for conventional print and newspaper or magazine)
  • RGB (used for online or video or TV)
  • Hex codes (which is the value programmers use for your online communication for web and apps)

Typography and font

This guideline dictates which fonts go with your logo and with your brand in general. I usually recommend that you choose fonts that can be used across multiple platforms and are easy to read.

10 of the most popular fonts that are currently used in brand development are:

  1. Helvetica® Now
  2. Proxima Nova
  3. TT Norms Pro
  4. FF DIN®
  5. Avenir® Next
  6. Nexa™
  7. Cera Pro™
  8. Mont™
  9. Intro™
  10. Gilroy™

This does not mean that you should be using the above fonts; you may want something that stands out from the norm.

Logo size

Logo size shows the minimum and maximum size you can display your logo on a design or an object. Basic Logo guidelines usually only display the smallest size the logo can be used. The minimum size is ideally in pixels for digital use and millimetres for print. It is recommended that you use consistent logo sizes across letterheads, various products and digital applications.

Conclusion: guidelines make sure your logo looks right

The most important aspect of setting logo usage guidelines is showing the right of using your logo. Building guidelines is a creative process that works with possibility and variation. Setting these guidelines will preserve the thought and effort you’ve put into creating a logo by making sure it always looks good and correctly represents your brand everywhere your logo is used.


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