4 brand variations that each model must know

Whereas a brand is a singular visible expression of your model, it could—and may—tackle many kinds. That’s the place brand variations are available in. A brand variation is an alternate model of your main brand design. The variation offers your model the flexibility to be cohesive, constant and recognizable in lots of settings. It makes you adaptable.

Consider it this fashion: a social media picture, an internet site and a enterprise card could require completely different logos in numerous shapes and types. Moderately than counting on a sole brand to do all of the legwork, your model can have flexibility by growing a number of brand variations.

Any model can profit from brand variations, however some manufacturers will want extra variations than others. It is dependent upon the type of your brand and your small business style and wishes. We’ll go over 4 key forms of brand variations—main, stacked or secondary, submark and favicon—that can assist you discover out which of them you want.

person sitting at a desk with four logo variations
Illustration by OrangeCrush

Main brand

Constructing your brand variations begins with the event of your main brand. That is your most full and complicated brand. It’s additionally the one you’ll use essentially the most usually. The first brand is the one that can embrace essentially the most particulars, corresponding to a model title, tagline and date of firm. From daring signage to company T-shirts, it’s your go-to brand and the front-and-center illustration of who you’re as a model.

primary logo for alcohol shipping website

primary logo for homewares company

Main logos are regularly horizontal, however this could differ relying on the design and theme. Typically you get a stacked brand in your main like within the backside left instance above by Gorcha. In case your main brand accommodates shade, don’t neglect to even have a black-and-white model readily available.

To emphasise the significance of your main brand, make sure that it at all times has room to breathe and isn’t overpowered by different design parts. The first brand needs to be gripping, memorable and adaptable. Make sure that it’ll look as lovely in an internet site header because it does in giant print. Let it’s the star.

Most manufacturers decide on one main brand for consistency. Nonetheless, we’ll sometimes see a singular exception, like Adidas. The model has three main logos that are used interchangeably relying on the gathering. They preserve cohesion through the use of the identical font and persevering with their signature three stripes all through each brand. That is an uncommon method that received’t work for many manufacturers, particularly in case you are nonetheless rising your small business. However because the second-largest athletic attire producer worldwide, Adidas will get a go.

Three Adidas logos
Three Adidas logos by way of logaster.com

Moderately than the Adidas route, most manufacturers go along with a main brand that has a number of variations, like a secondary, submark or favicon, which we’ll go into beneath.

Secondary brand

When you’ve established your main brand, it’s time to ascertain a secondary brand. The primary purpose of a secondary brand is that it ought to have a unique association from the first model. For instance, in case your major brand is horizontal with an emblem adjoining to phrases, the secondary brand might be stacked with an emblem above or beneath the phrases.

primary logo variation for sqilet
secondary logo variation for sqilet
primary logo variation for pixelinlove
secondary logo variation for pixelinlove

Consider the secondary brand as a mirrored image of the first brand. It ought to have the identical fonts, similar lime weight and similar normal aesthetic with a purpose to uphold your model persona in a constant approach. A secondary brand can be helpful for instances when house is a bit restricted or if the house doesn’t suit your main brand.

Completely different locations have completely different house necessities for a brand, for instance, a horizontal brand could be higher suited to a letterhead template or enterprise card.  Or a social media profile picture could be higher suited to a vertical, stacked brand. On this sense, your secondary brand is there to assist and fill within the gaps the place your main brand can’t match or doesn’t look the most effective.


As soon as your main and secondary logos are set in stone, it’s necessary to create your submark. That is essentially the most simplified and condensed brand variation and it’ll turn out to be useful at instances when it’s worthwhile to put a brand in a small house, each in print and digital kinds. Keep in mind: not all main and secondary logos are supposed to be scaled down. That’s when a submark will turn out to be useful.

primary, secondary and submark logo variations
Main, secondary and submark brand variations by ✦ᎪᏞᎥᏟᎥᎪ✦

The 2 most typical forms of submarks are circles containing textual content and/or symbols, or a submark that’s solely an emblem. Relying on the scale and format of your main and secondary logos, you might or could not want a submark, however when unsure, it’s good to have.

In print, submarks are frequent as footers or watermarks, and so they’ll additionally make an incredible sticker. In digital areas, a submark is ideal as a social media avatar or at different instances when it’s worthwhile to use your brand however need it to look extra refined.


Final however not least, making a favicon is a helpful a part of growing brand variations. A favicon is a tiny icon that sits on the high of an web browser. It’s usually only a image however can even match a number of letters relying on the design and format.

primary, secondary and submark logo variations for thimble and hive

The aim of a favicon is to create a visible reminder of brand name identification. For many who maintain many tabs open without delay, a favicon can even assist your buyer or consumer discover your web site simply. Take a look at it as the most effective of each worlds. With a favicon, guests can rapidly find your web site whilst you increase your model consciousness and identification.

Whereas a favicon could not at all times be crucial in your model, it could actually turn out to be useful as a result of it could additionally pull double-duty as an app icon. Consider the various apps in your cellphone and the way some icons stand out greater than others. A well-designed icon will serve you properly, making a optimistic impression in your model as a complete.

Combine it up with brand variations

Your brand is essentially the most recognizable facet of your model as a complete. Not solely ought to it’s lovely and memorable, but it surely ought to be capable to adapt to completely different kinds. By using brand variations, your model can be ready to make a daring affect at any time and in anywhere. A main brand, secondary brand, submark and favicon create the final word visible model expertise. And in the event you really feel overwhelmed with learn how to go about it, skilled assist isn’t too distant.

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