OK, I appreciate that few of us will get to design a new corporate logo, but we might be involved in brand or even product logos, so this may be interesting. It seems that more than ever, businesses are finding that the logo they use isn’t flexible enough for the applications to which it gets put. I’ve noticed this, for example, with Google’s ‘responsive’ AdWords image adverts. With these, the advertiser provides a few elements: a headline, some alternative text, photos in different formats …and two different logo shapes (square and wide-rectangular). Google then uses the elements to ‘build’ adverts on the fly which will make the most of the many different spaces available on websites.
Unfortunately, some companies have one fixed logo design. If it works well in a square format, it’ll just have loads of white space either side in a wide-rectangular space, and vice-versa. If two differently shaped logos can be drawn up, perhaps by moving text from alongside a symbol to below it, we can fill both those spaces offered by Google.
But this is still an elementary example. Some designers are working on ideas for logos which will reshape almost infinitely – and why not?
In addition, there’s the issue of size and resolution. If a logo is being shown at a large size, it can have a lot of detail. But that same logo may look awful if shown at the top of a mobile web page at maybe 30 pixels high. So a really ‘responsive’ logo will change fundamentally in response to the size as well as shape available.
There’s some good stuff on the subject here and here. In the meantime, if your logo is available in different versions for different shapes and sizes, make sure that you always send out all permissible versions to anyone who’ll be using it, so that they can select the right one.