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The Essential Logo Variations You Need For Your Business

Ever wondered why your logo doesn't look quite right when you upload it to certain media? Does it look too small? Or too busy for its surroundings? If you only have one logo variation for your brand then you can often be limited to its flexibility. A logo is just one part of your brand, but as it’s one of the first things your customers see - it needs to look professional and be readable across a variety of different media. This is why it’s best to have a range of logo variations for your brand, so you always have a suitable version for the intended space.

Primary Logo

Your primary logo is the logo you will generally use the most. You’ve most likely worked with a graphic designer or design agency to create a logo which perfectly sums up your business. Your primary logo should include your business name and perhaps a relevant icon or illustration.

Alternate Logo

An alternate logo is a variation of your primary logo. It’s often designed so that it’s the opposite layout of your primary logo. E.g. If your primary logo is quite long and horizontal, then it’s good to have a more condensed or stacked version for spaces which suit a more square format. Alternatively, if your primary logo is more square or circle shaped, then it's good to have an alternative which is more slim or horizontal shaped.


A submark is a simplified version of your logo - It can be the initials of your company or an icon with initials or a shortened name. I always like to present my clients’ submarks as if they were stamped onto paper. If it can fit on a postage stamp and be legible then it’s probably a good submark.


A favicon is a little icon you will see on your website’s tab bar. It’s an even simpler version of your logo. Examples of favicons are: Your business initials, a simple icon that's relevant to your brand or a brand element. Sometimes your submark is simple enough for it to also be used as your favicon.

Top Tip

Although the variations of your logo will be different from each other, they should all keep the same visual language of your brand. The best way to do this is to use the same fonts, icons or colours. The more consistent you keep your brand across various media types, the more recognisable your brand will be to your customers.

Other Variations

As well as these four variations, you also need to have different formats and file versions of each logo. The essential (and minimum) logo files you should receive from your logo designer are: a full colour version .jpg, a black version .jpg and a white version .png with a transparent background.

Want me to help you with your logo and branding?

My signature logo + brand package includes all versions I've discussed in this article. I personally feel that these are the minimum logo formats you need for a professional and flexible brand.

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