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5 Types Of Logo Variations Your Brand Needs To Succeed

A common myth is that a brand is the same thing as a logo. But your brand is a whooole lot more than that.

A logo is just ONE of the things that make up your brand identity. Plus, you’re actually gonna need to have more than one, aka your logo variations.

And if you’re wondering what the heck those are and where you’d even use them…. keep on reading the blog because we gotchu covered, friend!

What are logo variations?

Logo variations are pretty much what they sound like. They’re variations of the logo you use most often, otherwise known as your primary logo. But these variations should NOT be dramatically different from your primary logo. They should still be cohesive and consistent with the rest of your branding.

Then why does my brand need logo variations?

As your business grows, you’ll want to use your logo in a variety of places. To start, there’s your website, social media channels, email signature, invoices…. there are soooo many places, even if you’re a service-based or entirely online business!

And you want your logo to always look its best, right? Well, that’s where your variations come in. When you have these 5 types of logo variations already designed and ready to go, you’ll never have to worry that your logo doesn’t fit exactly where you want to place it.

What types of logo variations should my brand have?

1. Primary logo

As we mentioned earlier, this is the variation you’ll likely use the most. Your primary logo can include a combination of things like your full business name, date of establishment, tagline, and unique illustrations. It has the most detailed design because all your other logo variations are inspired by it.

2. Secondary logo

Your secondary logo is just your primary logo with some of its parts rearranged or removed. And as the name suggests, this is the logo you’ll use second—when your primary logo doesn’t quite fit. So, if your primary logo is horizontal, then perhaps your secondary logo could be a vertical version. Or if your primary logo has lots of unique illustrations or a lengthy tagline, your secondary logo could be a simplified version and have those elements removed from the design.

PRO TIP: You can have more than one secondary logo. And we highly recommend you have your logo designs saved in different single-color variations. Specifically, grayscale! You might not be using your logo in black and white…. but if it’s on your invoice or anything you sell that’s printable, your customers are probably seeing your logo in those colors.

3. Submark

A submark is a kind of secondary logo and can also be called a brandmark or logomark. But no matter what you call them, a submark will always be a much smaller and simpler version of your primary logo. They should also fit in either a circle or a square.

The submark is an incredibly versatile logo variation. The best part of having a submark is you can place it pretty much anywhere and it’ll still look abso-freaking-lutely AMAZING. You can use it as a watermark, in your social media graphics, on your podcast cover, or wherever your heart desires.

Submarks are also great for larger businesses that do allllll the things. To keep a cohesive and consistent look, you could potentially use a unique submark logo variation for each service you offer.

4. Favicon

Favicons are super similar to submarks. In fact, if your submark is versatile enough, you can use it as your favicon. So, what’s a favicon?

When you’re on your desktop, you should see a tiny image on the left of all the tabs you’ve got open. Those little icons are known as favicons. And if you’re anything like us, you might have like a hundred tabs open and the favicon is the only thing you see. THAT’S why having the favicon as one of your logo variations is so freaking important! It’s how your website visitors will instantly recognize which tab belongs to your business.

5. Elements

A logo element usually won’t act as a logo on its own. Still, logo elements are a super important part of your logo variation arsenal. These elements are custom to your brand and might even include one or more of the elements from your primary logo.

Your elements are the icons, illustrations, patterns, or textures that are unique to your brand identity design. If you’re a product-based business, you could use logo elements on your packaging. Or if you use Instagram, you could use logo elements as the icons for the highlights on your profile.


We love a good recap! So, here are the 5 types of logo variations your brand needs to succeed:

  1. Primary logo

  2. Secondary logo

  3. Submark

  4. Favicon

  5. Elements

But remember, your logo is just the beginning of your brand. There’s your entire brand identity to consider.

And if you’re not looking to go the DIY route and want a professional brand designer to do it for you instead? We gotchu!

Click here to apply to work with us now because you deserve a brand design that feels like you, looks good, and converts.


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