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Logo Lingo

Logo Variations

A logo variation is a modified version of your logo that you use in specific instances: sometimes due to size, to vary your look so you aren’t having to place the same logo on every single thing you create and you have options that fit any format or atmosphere. Regardless of which logo you use most often (known as your “primary”) It’s useful to have each of these variations:

  • Horizontal

  • Vertical or “Stacked”

  • Icon “Brandmark”

  • Wordmark “Logotype”

  • One-Color and Reversed Out

  • Lockup

These versions enable you to start building out branding that extends beyond your logo.

Horizontal Logo

An ideal shape for a logo is a horizontal rectangle. That doesn’t mean that the actual shape of the logo needs to be a rectangle, but the live area should be like a wide rectangle. A horizontal logo can be used on your website, corporate invoice and stationary or online and in print where the vertical logo doesn’t fit.

Vertical or Stacked Logo

You’ll need a square or stacked logo variation for when the space on print or web do not accommodate the horizontal logo. Favicons and avatars are two common places where you may need to represent your company or brand with a small, square version of your logo. Your avatar most likely will be used on your social media profiles like Facebook and Twitter.

Brandmark & Wordmark

It’s beneficial to also have a custom icon or “mark” that acts almost as an extension of your logo. A mark or icon can be used to literally mark your work/client touch points without slapping your whole logo on everything.

Brands with a distinctive wordmark (the typography) and icon (brandmark) benefit from using these elements together or individually to represent their brand. The arrangement of the components of a logo will help your brand work in different media. A stacked, cantered layout works well on labels and signage, but a horizontal layout may be best in the header of a website, in a banner ad, or on the spine of a printed brief or annual report.

The Single-Color & Reversed-Out Logo


This is the ultimate test of a logo’s strength and versatility. A single-colour option is simple and instantly readable. It prepares you for one-colour printing for business cards, letterhead, and packaging. Even if your logo is colourful, it is a good idea to have a solid black and reversed-out white version.

Logo Lock up

While a wordmarks, brandmarks, and lettermarks can operate separately, they can also appear “locked together” as a lockup. This is the exact arrangement of the individual pieces to create a new whole. Lockups can also be made from a main logo and a department name or a logo and slogan.

Businesses often use a lockup, sometimes called a combination logo, as their primary identifying mark. The trick is to find the best combination of visual appeal and clear communication while meeting the restrictions of any specific application.

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