blog graphic about where to use your logo. illustrations of business card, envelope, phone, and hang tags

Going beyond the business card and getting the most out of your logo

August 24, 2021

There are just so many articles already out there describing all the reasons logos are important and why you need an awesome one to make your brand stand out—so I’m going to skip all that. You don’t need me reiterating what a bunch of other people are already telling you. Instead, what I want to talk about is how you can get the most out of it. If you’re only putting it on things like your business cards and website, you are missing a other valuable opportunities to share your brand and we really need to fix that.  

the basics

So, your logo represents your brand, right? It’s a key player in your visual identity. With it you want to build brand equity and brand awareness, so you need people to recognize and remember it. But that doesn’t happen if you only use it in a few places.

Before we dive into the fun stuff, there are a few standard places your graphic really needs to be. You probably already know most of these, but sometimes it’s easy to get carried away jumping into the creative things and we forget about the basics, so I’m just going to list them out real quick so you can reference them if needed:

  • Website
  • Business cards
  • Social media
  • Mailers
  • Emails/newsletters
  • Packaging
  • Swag (hats, coffee mugs, etc.)
  • Thank you inserts
  • Letterheads and stationery
  • Documents like invoices, receipts, and business docs.
  • On the actual products themselves

Designer Tip: In the spaces I have listed above your logo should be really easy to find and intuitively placed. If someone has to hunt for it, your brand isn’t being properly presented and you’re missing out on some of the most important opportunities to share your visual identity and establish a consistent brand.

Okay, now the fun stuff! The following are a few things to consider when it comes to using your logo outside of the standard places.

interior design

This is especially important if you have an office or a space where you meet with clients and such. Things like a vinyl logo decal on an accent wall, screen savers, and signage make a space look professional and cohesive. Consider ways that you can integrate your brand and logo into your space.

Small, understated spaces

Having your logo in the small spaces where people may not even notice it initially is sometimes just as important as the places where it’s front and center like your website. For example, I sometimes put my icon in the small corner of the hand-lettered illustrations I share on Instagram so that if the image is shared without credit or somehow ends up detached from me, my brand is still connected by way of the logo.

You always want to give people a link back to your brand so that they can easily identify and associate you with your product/content—and your logo is a great way to visually do this.

Unique to your brand

We want to incorporate our logo into our marketing strategies and band development in as many ways as we can, but we still need to be smart about it. If you own a brewery for example, putting your brand on a bunch of keychains is okay, but using koozies or coasters makes a lot more sense and will be more effective in building brand awareness. Think about the things that are unique to your brand and find ways to incorporate your logo that are specific to you. Like if you own a coffee shop, using a logo stencil that lets you add your graphic to the froth on lattes is a great way to build a solid brand experience for your customers and helps them remember you later.

When you are able to surprise and delight your audience and/or customer by integrating your brand in cool and unexpected ways they are way more likely to remember it!

Designer Tip: Keep it consistent! Make sure you use your logo in the same way in all the different shapes and forms it is being applied so that you are staying true to your brand system. This is where your branding kit comes in really handy.

logo alternatives

Last but not least, let’s talk about logo alternatives. Having simplified versions of your logo makes it so much easier to incorporate it in a variety of ways while staying consistent and on brand. For example, in my branding system I have the logo that has the goldfish icon with the name of my business and then I have a simplified version that is just the icon. I use this simplified version in places where it needs to be really small or remail uncomplicated. Going back to the coffee example above, if I had a coffee shop I would just use the icon version to make the froth stencil because that would be easier for the customer to identify than if I used the whole logo. I highly recommend that you too have a simplified logo alternative because it will make your life so much easier.

If your interested in learning more about brand development or design for DIYers I have serval other articles written to help small business owners and content creators like yourself.