By Fran Johnson
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What is a responsive logo?

A responsive logo is the term given to a primary logo that exists in several, slightly different and easily scalable variations. The need for flexible/ responsive logo design has grown with the demands of a digital environment. Along with a full brand name that is usually used for print, a logo also requires a simplified, short-form version. Often a minimal responsive logo is the first letter of the brand name or its mark/symbol in isolation. A successful responsive logo must still be recognisable even at the top of your browser - as a tiny 16 x 16 pixel favicon.

Updated 15th February 2022

Unpacking the definition

Easily scalable variations

A responsive logo takes the elements of the main logo and adapts them for different sizes. As much as anything its to ensure the text is always legible. Take the example below, when the main Heineken logo is reduced to the size of a favicon, none of the text is readable.

Why there is a need for responsive logos

A responsive logo however ensures that at each point the logo has been designed for that particular size. Arguably, the designer chooses which information is most important ensuring both readability and brand tone has been communicated.

responsive logos
Responsive logos are ideal for viewing on a phone.

The demands of a digital environment

Scalable logos come into their own on the web. A website has seconds to communicate its main message – 15 seconds in fact – so arguably you want to use that time to communicate what your business does, rather than what your logo looks like. Depending on your industry, you’ll find that more and more of your website’s users will be accessing it on a phone. A logo that takes up less space can then only be a good thing, leaving more space for the main message!

The mark/ symbol within a responsive logo

A mark needs to have the same brand feel as the logo as a whole. If the logo already has a mark of its own (think Airbnb, Nike, Chanel) then working out what the logo looks like scaled down will be fairly easy. If you have a type based logo, then retaining the brand feel whilst reducing the logo size maybe a tricker ask.

Responsive logo suitable for a bottle top.
Responsive logo, a larger scale logo on a sign.

Creating a responsive logo isn’t about creating a number of different logos. It is more around the simplification of the main logo, and ensuring your logo works in the contexts it needs to.

How do you make your logo responsive?

Dependent on your time and budget, there are a number of ways to make your logo responsive. Often the best decision is to ensure your logo can be used in a number of different ways. You could try:

  • Removing the words / lettering (think Twitter)
  • Removing the icon / imagery (think Pizza Express)
  • Creating a stackable version (think Premier League)
  • Striping out the detail (think Jaguar)
  • Merging parts of the logo together (think LA Rams)

We have written a blog post which goes into more detail: How do I make my logo responsive? We hope you find it useful.



Photos from Live action group and Marketing week

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