23 Best Logo Variations That Every Designer Should Know

What is a logo variations? Logo variations are any version of the core visual element of a brand. That sounds fancy, but it's just a way to say that every time you see one company's logo in different colors, shapes, or sizes, that's an example of a logo variation. So why do brands need to make different versions of their logos? As it turns out, there are many reasons why your organization might have more than one logo design at any given time! And depending on the type of business you run and the industries you're in, certain types of logo variations will be more important for you than others.

23 Best Logo Variations That Every Designer Should Know

What is a Logo Variations?

Logo variations are essentially different versions of the same logo. They can be used to create unique images that do not change the underlying brand identity. For example, a logo may be used in different sizes or colors depending on the medium it’s displayed on or how it will be used. You might see one version of your logo used on Instagram while another appears in an ad or marketing material printed on paper.

It’s important to note that while these logos look different from each other, they still maintain their core characteristics: they all incorporate your brand name and use similar fonts, colors, and shapes (like circles). This makes them recognizable as belonging under one umbrella concept—in this case being part of your overall branding strategy for all things related to you as a business owner!

Why do brands need logo variations?

The most common variations are a simple color change or a slight tweak to the font. In the case of the brand logo above (left), you can see that they have a full-color version and an inverted black and white version. This is a great way to make sure your brand looks good in all situations from print to digital spaces like social media platforms.

Another type of logo variation is adding some extra elements like words or symbols that don't necessarily represent your company name but might be representative of what makes your company unique or differentiates it from others offering similar products/services. For example, if you're launching an app, maybe there should be something representing "app" within your logo?

In this article we'll take a look at some examples of these types of variations as well as common ones like color swaps and font changes; let's get started!

Different types of logo variations

  • Horizontal logo variations: When you turn the logo on its side, it will usually make more sense to add some type of visual element that helps read the name or brand. Not all horizontal variations are created equal, though. You have options between using a small icon (like a house), simple geometric shapes like squares, circles, and triangles, or something in between. In this example, we've gone with a circle as our starting point because it represents the shape of the letter "O" in our wordmark.
  • Vertical logo variations: This is when you flip your logo on its head and change up how it reads vertically instead of horizontally (we'll get into wordmark vs submarket later). It's important that you choose one direction over another based on how your company communicates with customers—in other words: What do they expect? Do they view their favorite brands as having an upward-moving trajectory? Or perhaps they're looking for something sinking from above like raindrops falling from clouds onto earth...or maybe even rising like morning dew forming during sunrise hours under bright sunlight.
  • Icon-based or brandmark logos: Here's where things start getting interesting! An icon-based design is usually made up of nothing but one symbol in order to represent everything about the brand at once; here's an example." Brandmarks" tend to use multiple symbols together but each represents only one aspect of what makes up their identity; here's an example." Iconography was originally used on maps," says designer Tom Migliore, "whereas typography was used within texts"—that means he sees them as completely different things despite sharing similar DNA bases due to being born out from early printmaking origins!"

1: Horizontal Logo Variations

Horizontal logos are more space-efficient and easier to read. Horizontal logos are also more flexible, attractive, memorable, and dynamic than vertical logos.

As a result of these benefits, horizontal logos are often used when you're designing for products that need to be seen from far distances (such as billboards) or if you're designing an app icon that has to fit inside of a small square space on your mobile device's home screen. On the other hand, vertical logo designs tend to work better in smaller spaces like business cards or posters since they can be read faster and require less open space around them for people's eyes to scan across before finding what they're looking for—making them much more efficient at catching attention!

2: Vertical Logo Variations

Vertical logos, also known as portrait logos, are ideal for small spaces. This is because they really only take up a small amount of horizontal space but they vertically cover the majority of the design area. Vertical logo variations are usually used for social media and mobile apps because of their compact nature. However, they can also be used on websites and business cards because these mediums have a lot more white space to play with than print media like posters which don’t accommodate vertical variations well at all.

3: Icon-based or Brandmark

Icon-based logo variations are sometimes called brand marks or abstract logos because they’re not necessarily representative of the company’s name. They might use the letters or numbers that make up the name of an icon that represents the brand.

For example, when Apple first launched its new Phone XS in September 2018, it released a press image with a simple design featuring two circles that looked like eyes staring back at you from within a larger circle (the entire design is actually made up of various circles). This would be considered an icon-based logo because there is no letter A in sight! But if you know what an apple looks like and you put two little dots where your pupils would be? Well...you get my point.

Icons can come in handy for companies who want to convey meaning without using words: think about those little icons on an Amazon page next to each product listing; you know exactly what kind of product it is just by looking at them. Or how about food delivery services like UberEats? Each food item has its own unique icon representing your order—so easy!

4: Color Variations

Color variations are an excellent way to add variety and communicate different things, such as emotions, moods, and seasons.

There are many ways you can use color variations in your logo design. Color can be used to show if the company is more relaxed or serious. It can be used to represent the season of the year that you are targeting your audience toward. Or it could even be used to show a specific emotion or mood that your brand wants consumers to feel when they think about your product or service.

5: Outline Logo Variations

  • Outlines can be used to emphasize the logo. By adding an outline, you’re able to draw attention to elements that might otherwise get lost in a busy design.
  • Outlines can be used to emphasize the shape of the logo. By turning lines into shapes, you have more opportunities for creativity and abstraction.
  • Outlines can be used to emphasize the wordmark or sub mark (e.g., if you have multiple wordmarks). The use of different colors or styles within your mark allows for flexibility in how it appears at different sizes and resolutions, which helps ensure legibility at any size.

6: Wordmark Variations (Word Only — No Visual)

wordmark logo

A wordmark is a type of logo that uses only a word or words in its design. This can be a great option, as they tend to be very simple and clean, allowing you to avoid unnecessary visual clutter when it comes to your brand identity.

A wordmark can also be an excellent way to express your brand's personality—it could have whimsical lettering, or it could be slick and modern-looking. For example:

  • The wordmark for BuzzFeed News uses a unique font that feels playful but professional at the same time. The oversized serifs give it an interesting look; plus, the placement of the slanted capital letters makes them stand out from other logos and makes this one memorable!

7: Submark Logo Variations (Smaller Visual)

  • Sub-logo, sub-brand, secondary trademark, secondary logo, secondary brand, secondary brand mark, secondary logo mark, secondary brand identity, secondary brand mark
  • A secondary logo mark is a smaller visual element than a primary logo. For example, A&F uses the script "A" as its main symbol and the large block letters "F" as its submarket. Alternatively, you could have an icon that represents your company such as a heart or diamond with the text above or below it.

8: Shape Variations & Structure Redesigns

In the world of logo design, typography is king. However, many designers overlook the fact that there are several ways to change a logo's shape without changing its typeface or color scheme. The simplest form of this involves adding an additional mark to your existing logo (as in the case of our example above). A more advanced method involves completely redesigning your logo structure altogether, such as by changing from a horizontal layout to a vertical one.

An even more drastic option is creating an entirely new shape for your brand's primary mark—but that's really only necessary when you're moving away from using text at all and towards using symbols exclusively (like FedEx did).

9: Negative Space Lettering

You've probably seen this logo before. It's not one of the most common, but it is by far one of the most effective. This logo design uses negative space in a very unique way to create both the letter and its shape.

Negative space is an interesting concept that can be used in many different ways when designing logos. You can use negative space as part of your branding strategy or even incorporate it into other areas such as social media posts or advertisements.

10: Monogram logo Variations

Monogram logos are a great way to brand your business. They're easy to understand and memorable, making them perfect for creating a strong visual identity.

If you don't already have one, we recommend trying out some of our favorite monogram logo variations:

  • You can include an image inside the monogram
  • Or make it into an acronym or combination of letters that makes sense for your company’s name

11: Escher Effect

If you've ever gone to a concert and been baffled by the band's logo, then you've seen an Escher effect in action. It's a type of visual illusion in which a pattern that is repeated in an infinite loop is perceived as something different from the original pattern. The name is taken from Dutch graphic artist M. C. Escher (1898–1972), who used it to create artworks such as this painting:

The example above shows two identical rough triangles that seem to be connected at points A and B, but they aren't actually connected—they're part of two separate triangles with their own vertices and edges. If you look closely, though...

12: Swoosh Logo Variations

A swoosh is a type of logo that looks like an arrow pointing down and to the right, or vice versa. The word "swoosh" actually comes from the sound made by the arrow as it moves through the air. It's also called an "S."

The most popular example of a logo with this style is Nike's iconic emblem made up of two letters: N and K. This was designed by Carolyn Davidson in 1971 when she was working at the Wieden+Kennedy advertising agency in Portland, Oregon. The agency wanted to create something unique for Nike; they didn't want something generic or boring like an oval with text inside it (like your standard corporate logo). Instead, they came up with this simple swoosh design featuring two large letters "Ns" joined together at their tails—and it's been one of their most enduring logos ever since!

13: Indicator

Indicator logos indicate a direction, such as up or down. They're often used in navigation systems, such as on escalators or elevators.

A good example of this is the Google logo: the arrow points to where you need to go next!

14: Line Extension

Line extensions are a great way to extend a brand into different areas of product and service offerings, but they can be difficult to pull off. To ensure success, you need to ensure that your line extension is:

  • A natural extension of the brand
  • A complimentary extension of the brand
  • A unique extension of the brand

15: Symbolism

Symbolism is when a logo is designed to represent a single concept. A symbolic logo is often used by brands that want to emphasize their values, personalities, or beliefs.


Symbolism can be used to create a visual metaphor for your brand, as well. For example, if you're working with an animal-based brand and want to convey the idea of strength or power using symbolism in your logo design—perhaps by using an animal with large claws or sharp teeth—that could be an effective way of conveying those qualities without having any text on your identity mark at all!

If you are looking for logo designers in Kolkata? Our branding experts are the best logo design company in Kolkata, India. We use simple and creative ideas to achieve the best logo that represents your business.

16: Letterform

Letterform logo variations are a great way to show your brand's personality. Some of these logos have been around for years, while others are more recent creations. The letterforms can be used alone or as part of a wordmark, but no matter what, they're vital to the overall look and feel of the logo.

17: Pictorial Logo Variations

A pictorial logo is a logo that is based on a picture. Pictorial logos are more memorable and recognizable than other types of logos. They have been found to be most effective when used by companies that are family-owned or by companies that are in the entertainment industry.

Pictorial logos can be designed with any number of different symbols, icons, and images, including animals, people, plants, company names, and more. Some examples include:

  • The swoosh logo for Nike is an image of a jumping athlete wearing Nike shoes
  • The FedEx logo features an arrow pointing at the word “FedEx”
  • The Starbucks siren is a profile view of a woman’s face smiling with the two words “Starbucks Coffee” behind her.

18: Pictorial marks Variations

Pictorial marks are a visual representation of a logo. They're used to convey a specific message but they aren't letters, numbers, or words. For example, the Nike swoosh is an iconic pictorial mark that means "strength".

Pictorial marks can be very effective when used well to give your brand a unique identity and personality but if you're working on logos for B2B clients, it's important not to get too creative unless they have asked you specifically for something different from their competitors (and even then).

19: Abstract marks logo Variations

If you're a designer, you probably know that abstract logo marks are a popular choice for brands looking for a more modern look. But did you know that they can be more complicated to design than other types of logos?

This is because abstract logos usually include several elements that need to work together in order to create an overall cohesive design. Because of this, it's important to consider what your brand values are when designing an abstract mark. For example, if your brand is all about being innovative and creative with technology then using color blocks or geometric shapes would be appropriate whereas if your brand represents traditional family values then using natural imagery might be better suited for your company's identity.

It's also important to keep things simple when designing an abstract logo variation since these types of marks are typically very busy in their designs (and sometimes even overwhelming). This means that there should only be one main focal point within any given design and everything else should play second fiddle (or at least a secondary role) so as not to confuse viewers into thinking there might be multiple focal points within the same piece—making them lose focus on what matters most: who owns each space at any given time.

21: Mascots Variations

Logo variations can include mascots, which are often used to represent a brand. A mascot can be used in a variety of ways, such as as a logo or just an illustration on the website. It can also be used with different colors and sizes.

22: The combination mark Variations

The combination mark is a combination of two or more elements, such as an icon and a wordmark, or a symbol and a wordmark. These logos can be extremely effective because they allow you to convey the personality of your brand in multiple ways. If you have a lot of personalities, this might be something to consider.

Combination mark logo variations are common with companies that have multiple divisions under one umbrella brand—as Coca-Cola does—but they can also work well for companies that don't fit into this mold as well (think: Nike). If you're thinking about creating a combination mark for your company and want some inspiration.

23: The emblem Variations

An emblem is a type of logo that is a stylized representation of a company's name or brand. They're often used by companies that have a long history or a company that has a very recognizable name. Emblems can be used to represent a company or brand in a very simple way, which makes them easy and effective for anyone to use on any kind of product from t-shirts to coffee mugs.


We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about logo variations! Our goal was to give you an overview of some of the more common types and variations in logo design. This should help you get started thinking about your own logo, and what kind of message or identity it could communicate. Given the extremely wide range of possibilities, we can’t cover everything here. Instead, we wanted to provide a resource that would give you some inspiration as well as a starting point for further research into other types of logos. We wish you luck on your logo-design journey!

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