Using Your Logo Correctly And Enforcing Its Application

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  • 3/12/2019
    By now we hope you’ve read the first two posts of this series on successful logo design. If not, now’s the time! 
     
    Part 1 discussed the basics of logo design, which included what a logo IS and what a logo IS NOT. Also, we covered the various types of logos and what makes them effective.
     
    Part 2 covered the various factors and considerations that go into creating a successful logo design.
     
    So, moving on from the above, let’s say you’ve received the perfect logo and you’re absolutely in love with it. All said and done, close the door on this one. Right? 
     
    Not so fast there. 
     
    There’s still some heavy lifting to do. Now you need to ensure that fancy new logo doesn’t get screwed up by Russ in accounts receivable when he places it into a word document. We’ve all seen that distorted, pixely, crooked logo that looks a little too pink before. 
     
    Why is this such a big deal? Besides it being distracting and just ugly, consider that you’ve invested a significant amount of time and effort on your visual strategy. In order to deliver your brand image and build credibility, enforcing your brand standards is critical. The solution is strict and defined documentation, which will ensure Russ, and every other employee not well versed in branding or graphic design, knows how to properly use it in all applications. 
     
    The Brand Bible
    To help maintain your brand consistency and help prevent any issues, upon logo completion, we provide our clients with a logo usage guide. This document outlines key areas of the logo and it’s application that stretch across, everything visually in your brand identity. This includes but isn’t necessarily limited to:

    Typography
    Fonts or typefaces play a major role in your visual identity and we strongly encourage you to keep brand consistency whenever possible with their usage. Today, as of the date of this blog post, the wide abundance and flexibility of typefaces allows you to use your fonts in both print and digital applications. See this blog post about fonts. However, if needed, we often include alternate typefaces that can be used in specific applications such as Microsoft Word and Email when the main font isn’t always available.

    Color
    Imagine if Home Depot was using the wrong orange in their visual branding. That wouldn’t go over too well would it? Your brand should be no different. For the best results for our clients and anyone else using visual assets of the brand, we provide color builds in Pantone, CMYK, RGB and hexadecimal. This maintains consistency in both print and digital applications. We also provide examples of the logo in back/white and single color treatments as those are occasionally needed.

    Logo Size Restrictions
    Have you ever seen a logo that was way too small or certain areas were illegible? Because of this, we always aim to provide suggestions on the minimum size of a logo, or sometimes how small a logo can get before a tagline is removed.
     
    Logo Dos and Don’ts
    Another important area we cover is how to NOT use your new logo. The last thing we’d want to happen is your new, beautiful logo be misused. This could be stretching it, changing the color, using a different font or adding an effect or filter.
     
    The items described above are the basics and what we include for every logo hand off to our clients, however we often times expand upon this even further. Some of these aspects include:
     
    • Patterns
    • Photography usage/treatment
    • Iconography
    • Interactive features
    • Paper stock for print materials
     
     Make it accessible
    Once this document is complete, make sure you give this document to everyone in your company as well as any vendors who might be working with your logo and brand elements.

    Vector? Raster? What Does This Mean?
    When someone internally or externally requests your logo, you want to make sure they’re getting the right file format. You certainly don’t want to provide a low-resolution logo to a print project and have it show up pixelated. That really sounds like something Russ would do. Don’t be like Russ.
     
    There are two main types of image files: raster and vector. Raster images are created with pixel-based programs or captured with a camera or scanner. They are commonly used in file types such as JPG or PNG, and are widely used on the web. Because they are pixel generated, they often have a specific size and when it becomes larger than its original size, it can begin to distort. Vector graphics, however are created with vector software that converts the visual design into a mathematical formula. These types of images can scale infinitely and the common file types are AI or EPS. Because of the simple scalability, they work very well for print applications and in some browsers as well.
     
    Vector (print usages) AI or EPS
    Raster (digital usage) JPG or PNG
     
    Closing
    As mentioned in our earlier posts, logo design and visual identity is one of the most crucial elements of your brand. At thunder::tech, we invest considerable time, effort and pride into developing an effective and impactful logo. All of these considerations in the end create a quality logo are what makes your business look more professional. But the care for it is also in your hands and the tools we provide to outline this, can help ensure this happens. 
    Need help with your logo design or update? Reach out to us now.
     
    About the author::Joe Cola, who sadly has no connection to the world famous brand, Coca-Cola, is a graphic designer at thunder::tech. When he isn't designing, Joe loves going to the zoo or the metroparks. He also considers himself a "dinosaur expert."
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