Even if you created a well-described and explained logo, it’s not enough on its own. You need to present clients with options. Design is highly subjective, and the first version will hardly be the ultimate one. You need an alternative logo.
The different alternatives to logo will be utilized for the different applications and usage of the logo. There are endless places and formats on which the logo will need to be on. Our job is to think as wide as possible and to give our solution for all anticipated formats – with the help of an alternative logo.
Similarly, our alternative logos should be prepared for different contexts – be it in social media, website, printed materials, wide format printing for large scale graphics or signage, etc.
Overall, providing multiple options shows dedication to the brand and elevates the designer’s reputation.
How to style and structure the alternative logo?
Dedicate a separate section to an alternative to logos in your guidelines. Designers and the company’s teams can decide how many variations they need, but in our experience, you should include at least five essential types of alternative logos.
This is the logo that represents the essence of the branding message. It comprises the main font and visual elements. Also, you can refer to it as the full version of the logo.
How to create a primary logo?
The approach to making the main logo differs depending on your brand’s reputation and audience awareness. Popular brands can afford to create simple logos with no brand names or an indication of their scope. It’s enough to transmit a general idea.
Generally, a common strategy is to make a more detailed alternative for logo at first, typically featuring a brand name. Here’s what we did at Gingersauce.
Our logo shows the name of the service and the purpose of the service itself. It’s enough to just look at the logo to understand what Gingersauce is all about.
When a brand scales and becomes more popular, companies can switch to a shortened version of their main and alternative logos – like what Instagram did.
Stacked alternative logo
A smaller version of the logo that will fit in smaller promotional materials, fields. Instagram regiments the way in which primary logos and alternatives to logos are used on their online brand guidelines.
At Gingersauce, we also have such a version of an alternative logo. On our banners and social media, we can’t always fit in a logo with that much text. So, we have a shortened version on a standby.
Here’s how we use this logo on promotional materials – just to give you an idea:
It’s a graphically simplified alternative of logo emphasis that places the emphasis on the brand name instead. It features the alternative for a logo in a reduced size, sometimes quality.
See the example of the alternative Instagram logo.
Icons as an alternative logo
Your clients will use these the alternatives of logo in all the situations where a regular logo doesn’t fit. It can be an icon for a web tab, promotional content, branding element, merch decoration. Icons can be performed in different colors, normally within the main palette. They are minimalistic and small.
Instagram is a great example of an awesome logo style, and it was an inspiration for us, too. Actually, we examined brand identities and alternatives in logos of many companies before deciding on our style – but we finally came up with the set of icons that we can use on a regular basis.
Here’s an inside look to graphic assets and alternative logos that our design, marketing, and communication teams use on a regular basis.
These are alternatives for logos that feature additional elements and are used on special occasions. Some businesses don’t have them altogether, but it’s better to create one for your client. It might be useful for special promotional activities, business presentations, or creative communication campaigns.
The goal of a professional designer is to create visuals that follow a specific theme but are still flexible. When you create alternative logos, you adapt them to different mediums and occasions. When you are doing that, a priority should also be on keeping the same style across all elements.
By sticking to a unified style throughout all the materials, including alternative logos, designers show respect to their brand and end customers.
It’s a sign of professionalism: you demonstrate your ability to create a long-lasting impression with the same tools.
Here’s how to keep your work on brand identity consistent:
- Define the main fonts and color palette and stick to them in your work. Even if a client doesn’t ask you about a palette or font profile, it goes without saying that a professional designer delivers those anyway. The alternative of logo without a consistent text and color style isn’t worth much.
- Make sure the chosen style is coherent with the brand style. Do your research, ask clients about their advantages, target audience, competitor before creating alternative logos.
- Create a client persona. The successful brand designer should think far beyond responding to the requirements of a direct client (business owner). The end aim of alternative logos is always brands’ clients. Make sure to have a good understanding of them before proceeding.
- Explain to your clients what consistency means. The work of a designer doesn’t stop delivering visual assets. As professionals, we also care about making a long-term impact on our work. Supply clients with all the details of your branding materials and be open to asking questions.
Most importantly, pick references that will guide your creative process. Having brand identities that inspire you and set the standards for your work is a stepping stone to branding success.
Instead of offering customers a bunch of versatile images and icons, boil your visuals down to a single motif, and create variations to it, just like in music. You can organize the results in a brand book – it’s the most intuitive and easy-to-use presentation method.
A logo is a powerful image of your brand vision and values. It’s difficult to express everything in just one variation. If you have all five alternatives for logo in your brand assets, it’s easy to adapt these visuals to different mediums, occasions, and target audience.
With a brand book, you can keep a consistent style across your variations and define use cases for each of them. You can build a professional brand book right away with Gingersauce – a professional brand book maker for designers.