Does your logo stand out in a crowd?

Quite often you’ll have occasion to submit your logo to a medium that will group your logo with a myriad others as the images here demonstrate.

It’s a good way to determine just how well your logo stands out in relation to others, including your direct competitors. And two things become painfully evident to those with poorly designed logos.

logo array

First, their logos don’t scale well. By that I mean they become illegible when reduced to a small size. A logo should at least be legible even if it doesn’t stand out when made small. A good logo will carry its own weight in this environment as well as when enlarged to fill a 24-sheet billboard.

Second, their logos are out of proportion. An ideal logo will usually be horizontal, but the proportion between horizontal and vertical should be no more than two (horizontal) to one (vertical). This is important particularly in a grouped array as above. Normally the layout designer will treat all logos the same, usually scaling all of them to a predetermined height. The higher the logo is, the smaller it will appear in such a matrix.

Even if you never find your logo presented in this way, placing a newly designed logo over such an array when evaluating the logo’s effectiveness is instructive. If it works in this environment, it’ll probably be effective in any media.

4 thoughts on “Does your logo stand out in a crowd?

  1. This seems like a good test, but I wonder whether it only works for logos that are loud and well, obnoxious. Can a great logo that suggests refinement and sophistication stand out as well? Anyone know any good ones to test this?

  2. Not entirely convinced about 2/1 horizontal-to-vertical. Nike’s “swoosh” seems outside that ratio and is pretty inarguably great.

  3. Well, yes, the Nike “logo” has a 2.5 to 1 horizontal to vertical ratio, but it’s pretty close to 2-to-1 when compared to vertical logos.

    And I might “nit-pick” a little by claiming the Niki swoosh is not a logo at all. It’s their mark, but to be a logo in the traditional sense it needs to incorporate the name.

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