Twenty years ago, businesses designed logos that worked well on letterhead and business cards. Remember that? You typed out a letter in Word, printed it on your fancy paper, and sent it through the US Postal Service? Many long-standing businesses continue to use the logo that they created when they were founded. Even as companies began to develop their first websites fifteen years ago, a custom website design could be used to accommodate the shape of virtually any logo. As a result, businesses could adopt branding that was any orientation or shape without concerns of how easily it could be implemented across various marketing channels. Not so today.
Today, the branding that worked beautifully when it was created may not function as well in the age of social media. A logo that is horizontally-oriented, for example, works great in the header of letterhead or a website; but try cropping that rectangle into something that renders well as a square profile image in your corporate social media profiles.
Designing Logos for Social Media
Businesses can make life much easier by considering these new realities while in the design phase of any new branding. Not every business need adopt a square-shaped logo of course. But we do advise that you consider whether some version of your logo displays well in a square environment. Taking our logo as an example, you see that in its complete version, it is quite linear – it is much longer than it is high. But we created the graphic element as a part of the logo with social media uses in mind. We can implement just the green circle portion as a profile image online, allowing for a strong brand message with artwork that is optimized for online use.
If you have a logo that has been in use for many years, you will be rightly hesitant to abandon it in favor of today’s technology. The brand recognition that you have earned over the years represents real value to your business. In these cases, you can take a hybrid approach. Consider updating your branding to retain the elements that reinforce brand recognition, while re-working the overall look to include some aspect that is social media-friendly.
Whether you are starting from scratch or re-working an existing logo, keep in mind that in today’s social media world, it’s hip to be square.