Whether you’re a Forbes 500 Company or a small, local non-profit organization, your brand matters. One of the most significant aspects of your brand is your logo. This mark allows your customer base or clients to identify and recognize you. Your logo was not just haphazardly created, but was designed with purpose using specific icons, graphics, colors and fonts to convey your business and set it apart from the competition.
What are Logo Usage Guidelines?
Logo Usage Guidelines direct everyone in your organization on how to correctly use logos to ensure a consistent and clear branding identity in your online and print presence. These guidelines are often put together in a booklet or assembled as a PDF on your company’s website or intranet. You’ll find these key areas defined in your logo guidelines:
This area explains the how and why the logo was designed.
Features the different versions of the logos. This should define the different lockups of your logo (horizontal and stacked) and sometimes will give you best practices on what logo lockup to use where. An example of this would be to only use the Horizontal lockup in letterhead.
Logo Staging Area
This establishes how much clearance space there must be around your logo.
This shows the color options your logo has to be in, and background colors your logo can lay over. Typically, logo colors include full color (your brand colors), a reversed (white), 1-color (black), and any other 1-color approved in the logo usage guidelines. Your logo usage guidelines might also show the approved colors your logo can lay over top of and what color your logo should be in, like this:
Your logo usage guidelines should also outline the best practices on how to use your logo and the dos and don’ts to stay within your brand. Sometimes your designer will provide a one page PDF of file formats that makes it easier to send to a vendor, so they know what kind and why, without having to open and search through your entire brand guide. Best practices should also include:
- Size & Space Requirements: Explains minimums that should be used for print & digital
- Color Breakdowns: List specific color codes used and approved for logo usage
- File Formats: What type of format should be used for print vs digital mediums
Your logo usage guidelines should also outline examples of any incorrect logo use. The same rules apply to almost any logo.
- Use any off brand colors
- Alter the text or the typeface
- Apply patterns, shadows, or effects
- Skew, stretch, warp, rotate or crop
- Rearrange or replace any elements
- Use a scanned or photocopied logo
- Add unapproved subtext
So, why are Logo Usage Guidelines important?
As we stated above, your logo allows your customer base both existing and potential to recognize you. Brand recognition is powerful. If you and your staff aren’t consistent on how you use your logos, you end up limiting your brand’s impact in reaching and remaining notable to your customers.