Logo Design: Respect the whitespace

Logo Design and Logo Abuse

So often we come across advertising that just plain stinks. We're not trying to fault any promotional players here, but honesty is the best policy. When you send out your logo for a designer to make an advertisement (i.e. posters, banners, etc...), you have to know it's like giving them the keys to your car - and not just any car; this is your dream car - the one you built from scratch.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but you don't just give your dream car away to any old stranger and ask them to drive it around town. This is what it's like when you give your brand logo off to some designer and ask them to promote your business. If given to the wrong person, they can take your logo for a joyride and damage it. There's plenty of things that can go wrong here - and we'll cover those in future posts - but for this write up, we'll stick to what is known as the "safe zone" - a place I've dubbed "the whitespace".

As you'll see in the picture above, I've used our logo mockup to show proper guidelines for utilising our brand. It shows not only the proper design and font, but more importantly, this pic is from the section that explains the safe distance that other elements must be in proportion to the logo. The grey and white area around the edges is the safe zone and elements mustn't encroach on the distance marked by 'x'. Technical I know, but we're speaking science and art here!

Logo Design is about brand DNA

Yip, we're going there. Although you may know DNA as the genetic makeup of an organic entity (I'm such a geek), I also like to think of this acronym as 'Do Not Abuse'. Seriously though, your brand identity is of the utmost importance. You want people to know first and foremost what your brand represents. The number one rule of Brand Management is consistency. If your logo is encroached upon by too many distractions, the message you send won't be clear and it won't point back to the brand you've put so much effort into. Brand Management looks to police these standards. We like to call it 'being sticky' with your brand.

You've created your business to serve a purpose. Everyone does. So when you advertise, you must make sure that you're pointing back to that purpose and you must make sure that people think of the correct adjectives or action verbs associated with your business when they see your advertisement. Marketers call this 'top of mind' - a way of determining your "rank" on a particular subject when referring to your market. For instance, when I say "cellphone" immediately you might think of Samsung, Nokia or even iPhone first. Those are top of mind brands in this respect.

Brand Management is key

Now that you've got a bit of an inside scoop on how important it is to be sticky with your brand and stick to parameters, maybe it's time to contact your local brand managers. We are always prepared to offer advice and insight for establishing a concrete Brand Identity and we also love to partner up for Active Brand Management.

Remember, feel free to discuss and share below. Maybe you've got some more insights on the art and science of design and advertising. We'd love to hear about it!


Marcus Rivera, Brand Manager

Switch Marketing PTY LTD