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I now offer a full print merchandise service, and one project this week has given me a bit of a headache because the client’s logo is not very flexible.

When I design company logos, I follow a custom logo checklist. This checklist consists of five key points that my logo design must satisfy before I release it to my client. My checklist ensures that the logo is not only visually appealing but also flexible enough to be used in various contexts.

These five points are as follows. The logo design must be:

  • Appropriate to your business values.
  • Simple
  • Distinctive
  • Timeless
  • Flexible

The flexibility of your logo is often overlooked, especially if you’re buying cheap, off-the-shelf logos or using templates from software such as Canva. These logos are often not designed with versatility in mind, which can lead to issues when you need to use your logo in different sizes or on various materials.

A professional logo designer, unlike generic templates, will consider all the possible uses you could put your logo to. They anticipate your future needs, ensuring your logo remains versatile and adaptable.

The Trouble with Printed Merchandise

As my client did, you might decide one day that you want to attend a trade show and need some printed merchandise. Grab yourself a promotional pen and look at the space the printed logo takes up. Usually, the print area on a pen is around 5 cm wide and 1 cm high. Will your logo fit into that space and be readable?

A lot of merchandise is only printable in one colour, so do you have a single-colour version of your logo available? The printing processes involved in merchandising are often much less detailed than in standard printing or that you see on screen. If your logo includes tiny details, thin lines, or photographic images, these will not print or reproduce very well on a lot of printed merchandise.

Professional Logo Design

These are all issues a professional logo designer will consider when designing your logo. They should provide you with a suite of logos for various uses.

At the very least, you should receive a horizontally and vertically stacked version of your logo. You should also get a single-colour version and a white (reversed) version for use on colour backgrounds. This often means changing the logo design to make sure it works in multiple colour ways. If your logo includes an icon, the icon graphic should be supplied separately as well.

It’s not just printed merchandise that can cause problems. If you want to use your logo on social media, in an avatar, for example, it will need to fit within a square or a circle and be legible at very small sizes.

Flexible Branding

In the corporate world, many companies ensure their logos are versatile and flexible by creating alternate versions for particular media. For instance, Volkswagen uses slightly different versions of its famous logo for application at various sizes. Each of those logos, in turn, is available in separate colours, black and white, and reversed options. Each one is finely tuned to ensure its logo is printed perfectly in every situation.

And the reason for all this complexity? It’s all about recognition. If your customers are unclear about whose materials they’re looking at, or your logo is illegible, it isn’t working as it should – and it is probably harming your brand rather than enhancing it. A flexible logo is crucial for maintaining brand recognition and credibility.

Want to Find Out More?

If you have any queries about my logo design service or printed merchandise, get in touch.

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author avatar
Keith Barker Designer & Marketing Consultant
I'm Keith, the driving force behind Keefomatic Marketing & Design. With a career spanning over 35 years in marketing, design and advertising, I offer a comprehensive, results-driven service tailored to the needs of small business owners.