Brand Consistency: Tips for Displaying Your Logo

Over the past few years, while helping clients develop their brands, we have noticed a few mistakes that our clients commonly make when they branch out on their own and begin using their new logo and brand. We decided to address the issue and help combat some of these brand atrocities in order to help small businesses who may lack the know-how and support of a fancy full-time brand manager. As you probably know, protecting your brand is incredibly important because it is essentially the reputation of your business. What most small business owners may not know, is the importance of your brand image {logo} usage. Controlling how your brand image is displayed is an essential part to building a consistent brand identity.

Below are some basic tips to follow to keep your logo usage brand consistent.

Brand Consistency: Tips for Displaying Your Logo

Backgrounds:

This is probably one of the most common mistakes that we see, especially on social media, where visual images play a huge role in promotion and advertising. This issue has to do with what you’re placing your brand image on.

I want to hit on three major points:

  1. Conflicting colors. This means using background colors that do not complement or enhance the brand image. You want to display your brand image on a background that is complementary to the colors used within the brand image or logo. Color theory is a well studied subject- you can find more information on that here. The basic idea is that there are colors that complement one another and colors that contradict each other. If in doubt, choose a black or white version of your brand image to place on the background.
  2. Similar colors. The reason I want to address this is because if you display your logo on top of a color that is too similar, you may run into an issue. For example, when printed on paper, similar colors may cause the logo to become lost in the background color. Another example would be viewing your image on different computer monitors. Not every computer monitor displays the same color spectrum in the same way so what may look nice on your HD monitor, may look much different on another monitor.
  3. Busy backgrounds. By busy backgrounds, I’m referring to photographic backgrounds and patterns. Displaying a full-color logo on a full-color photograph will cause the brand to lose its impact and can become lost within the picture. Patterns can have the same effect.

 

Example:

Scaling:

This has to do with being willy nilly with the proportion of your brand image. Never rescale your brand image outside of the designated proportions. This happens most often when uploading an image to social media sites where they have preset dimensions established. When uploading an image that has not been adjusted for the preset dimensions, the logo will be stretched or squeezed distorting the image. To avoid this, use image editing software to readjust the image to fit the preset dimensions.

Example:

Color usage:

Every professional brand should have multiple variations of the brand image. When hiring a designer, make sure they deliver your logo with multiple color formats and file types. You should receive a black version, white version and a full-color version. As previously mentioned, the black and white versions work best to divide the brand image from the busy conflicting backdrop. Using black and white on complementary colors is a much better option than using your full-color logo.

Example:

Vector vs Raster:

Vector and rasters are two different types of graphic images. When it comes to your brand image you need to keep a close eye when considering the correct file type to use.  A vector image is one that is scalable. Scalable is when an image has the ability to be scaled from as small as a stamp to as large as a billboard. A raster has preset dimensions and if you increase and decrease the size of the image you will experience what is referred to as ‘pixelation’ or a fuzziness around the image. If you use raster images for large printing projects you may end up wasting large sums of money on printing. When having your brand image created by a professional designer, you should receive the final files and both vector and raster format. You can learn more about vectors and rasters here.

Example:

Logo permissions:

We are strong believers that every brand should have a standard logo permissions document. A logo permissions document, or a brand guide, is a document for reference when using your brand image to create graphics. If you hire a third-party to make a design using your brand image, you would pass this document to them to let them know the rules of your brand. This is a common practice done by larger corporations and is a very useful tool for small business owners to help protect your brand identity. Here is a great collection of brand guides.

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