by Ilene Strizver
When it comes to logos, one size doesn’t necessarily fit all – usages, that is. A frequently neglected aspect of designing a typographic logo is the potential need for slightly different versions for use at different sizes and in various media. A logo’s primary usage may well be at a relatively fixed size, such as for restaurant signage, packaging, magazines or newspaper logos, web sites and ads, However, a logo frequently also needs to work at a range of sizes, including from very small for business cards, to very large, such as on trade show booths, vehicles and even billboards.
To accommodate diverse applications, a logo may need to be tweaked for a range of sizes so that it remains readable and visually in proportion for each usage. Scaling a typographic logo can optically change its appearance in subtle yet significant ways. Refinements may involve the spaces within and around the characters, as well as the actual letterforms themselves
You may want to:
- adjust the letter spacing and/or word spacing (making it more open as the logo gets smaller, or vice versa)
- adjust the line spacing (if the logo is multi-line)
- open the counters (enclosed negative spaces within a character) of very bold characters that tend to fill in at smaller sizes
- increase or decrease the weight of thin strokes, or of entire letterforms (making them heavier as the logo gets smaller, or vice versa).
- even modify the width of the actual characters as the logo gets smaller, especially if they are narrow or condensed.
One or more of the above adjustments may be effective, depending on the specific logo and the point size range and application. Keep in mind that the objective is to make any changes gradual, giving the logo the appearance of being the same for all sizes and usages.
In light of this, when designing (or quoting on) a logo project, it makes good sense to inquire about the size range for all potential applications and uses, in addition to its primary one. Your deliverables may include several subtly-altered versions to help maintain readability and recognition of the logo as well as to preserve the integrity of the brand.
- Editor’s Note:Ilene Strizver, founder of The Type Studio, is a typographic consultant, designer and writer specializing in all aspects of typographic communication. She conducts Gourmet Typography workshops internationally. Read more about typography in her latest literary effort, Type Rules! The designer's guide to professional typography, 3rd edition, published by Wiley & Sons, Inc. This article was commissioned and approved by Monotype Imaging Inc.