responsive logo shown on different sizes of digital devices

At some point in marketing history, someone made the rule that brand logos should always be the same and the design should never be altered. And at the time, this totally made sense. We lived in a predominantly print-only world, where marketers handed over their company logo to someone else, like a newspaper or magazine, to produce an ad. This process created the need for design standards that would help ensure logos were displayed and printed correctly. Thus, the rule of never altering a logo.

But times have changed. And our logos need to change as well.

Companies no longer live and die by print advertising. There’s been an explosion of digital platforms. Brands now create digital ads in various sizes to accommodate all the screens on our mobile and desktop devices, and don’t forget new advancements in the 3-D world of virtual reality (VR). All of this has greatly impacted the way brands design and display their logo.

These advancements in technology provide opportunities for brands to challenge the age-old logo rules and try something new, like responsive logos.

What is a responsive logo?

A responsive logo is a shape-shifting logo that changes in size and complexity to conform to the space where it’s placed. Think of a responsive logo as a library of logos – it’s a collection of logos you’ve created for many different possibilities and variables.

Check out the experiment done with responsive logos by designer Joe Harrison: resize your browser window to see how these brand logos change in size while remaining recognizable. These are great examples of responsive logo design.

Do we need a responsive logo?

If you ask a designer, they will probably tell you that most companies would benefit from and should consider a responsive logo. The name can be misleading. In the marketing world, the word “responsive” is commonly used to describe a type of website design that morphs into different shapes depending on the browser size. Adopting a responsive logo design refers to creating a family of logos, ranging from complex to simple.

Even though it was once seen as a faux pas to alter a logo to fit into a smaller space, more and more companies are breaking this rule. A complex logo can look messy or even be unreadable when scaled to fit a mobile web design or social media site. If your customer can’t read your logo, it doesn’t do much for your brand recognition. The alteration of a logo to be more readable at a smaller size has become almost necessary in today’s online marketing environment.

Are there rules for responsive logos?

The idea behind never altering a brand’s logo had good intentions. You DO need consistency for your brand. In the example above from designer Joe Harrison, no matter which version of a logo you see, you immediately recognize the brand.

Consistent, recognizable branding can still be achieved with a responsive logo design by keeping the common threads of the logo, such as font and color, in every version. You can modify images and words to become simpler or more complex depending on the size.

Taking your logo design one step further

Once you have a good responsive logo in place, your brand could consider even more opportunities for evolution. As virtual reality and augmented reality become more common, these technologies are creating the chance for brands to consider new design elements for their logo. Is your logo animated? Can your logo be three dimensional? Does it have a sound? Could it be tactile? These technological advancements create exciting and new opportunities to design a logo that your customers can experience in new ways.

A changing mindset

Today’s marketing environment is forcing companies to change their mindset about what a logo is and how it functions within their brand standards and guidelines. A responsive logo is a powerful tool that helps companies adapt to the changing marketing channels.

At Two Rivers Marketing, we’re embracing the changes in the marketing landscape and helping our clients stay ahead of the curve. For more information on how your company can develop a responsive logo, contact Jolene.