Your quick guide to creating a logo usage policy [template included]

Your quick guide to creating a logo usage policy [template included]

Tiia Tirkkonen

Happeo

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6 mins read

Mon, Jan 2, '23  


What is a logo usage policy?

Your logo is one of your most valuable corporate assets. It symbolizes your corporate identity, and distinguishes you from your competitors and other companies. 

Your logo can also serve as the tangible symbol of your brand, representing your expertise, your values, and even your products or services. Studies found that 75% of people say that they recognize a brand solely by its logo

That’s why it’s essential to make sure that every use of your logo—whether that’s online or in print—is exactly how you intended it to be. 

Why is a logo usage policy important?

Besides damaging your brand’s reputation, logo misuse can also negatively impact your bottom line; while organizations that maintain brand consistency reap the rewards. In fact, consistent brand presentation across all platforms increases revenue by 33%.

There’s no doubt that your logo will be used on a number of different occasions—whether that’s by an employee uploading a vacancy to a career site, or by another company listing your organization on their partners page. 

Creating a logo usage policy ensures that everyone stays on-brand when communicating your brand online. 

Template: what to include in a logo usage policy

Logo usage guidelines are often an integral part of your organization’s brand style guide. Wherever you host our logo usage policy, the important thing is to make sure that they are concise, easy-to-read, and easily accessible. 

The most effective logo usage guidelines can be easily shared and understood by anyone involved in communicating your brand. Here are some things you should include in your logo usage policy:

 

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The meaning

One way to make sure that people respect and understand the importance of your logo is by explaining the story behind it. It’s a good idea to provide a short description detailing the meaning of the logo and the design process. You could even share previous versions of the logo to share its history, and visualize how it arrived at its current form. 

Space surrounding the logo

There is nothing worse than seeing your logo presented in a cramped space with no spacing around it. Providing clear space around the logo enforces the visual clarity and keeps it looking professional. 

That’s why almost all logo guidelines include minimum spacing requirements to show how much space should surround a logo on a page. Make sure to include the minimum spacing requirements in inches, centimeters, or by using a visual element such as a character from your logo. 

Color palette

In this part, you should present the different color versions of your logo that can be used, including the HEX or RGB color codes. If your logo is frequently used for printing materials, you might want to include the CMYK color code as well. 

In order to ensure that your logo is always visible regardless of the background, you should inform people which color variation should be used on a white background, a color background, and on an image. You will also want to provide backup color options in case your main logo colors cannot be used, such as black or white. 

Maximum/minimum permitted size

If your logo is in PNG format, it’s a good idea to list the maximum and minimum permitted size in pixels (for web) and millimeters (for print). Unlike vector files, PNG files cannot be scaled indefinitely, so you want to make sure that the resolution is not affected. For vector files (such as .svg or .ai), it’s still wise to include the smallest size (width) permitted. 

Permitted logo variations

Happeo's brand guideline for logo variations

Most logos come in three variations: horizontal, vertical, and symbol. In this section, include a list of permitted variations, including a link to where they can be downloaded. Also mention if you have a preferred variation for general communications. 

Some brands may use temporary or seasonal logo changes to reflect their values and company culture, such as on specific holidays or for social causes. If your brand guidelines permit temporary logo changes, include all the existing variations and when they can be used. You can also link to a form where special requests can be submitted (including the expected response time). 

Partner variations

If your logo is often presented alongside partner logos (for example on a customer case study or a brand collaboration), it’s important to share guidelines on how the two logos should be placed.

Make sure to share how much clear space should be between the two logos, and if there should be a separating line or an ampersand. In most cases, you will want the height of the two logos to be the same. 

How Happeo's logo is used alongside partners' logo

Incorrect variations

This section is perhaps one of the most important parts of the logo usage policy. The key here is to be as clear as possible and list examples of incorrect logo usage. Think about including some of the following examples, along with visuals: 

  • Do not reverse the logo
  • Do not change the color(s)
  • Do not rotate the logo
  • Do not stretch or alter the proportions 
  • Do not change the arrangement of the logo
  • Do not apply gradients, shadows, or other effects

Frequent logo usage

Include a section that details where the logo is frequently used, such as social media accounts or online company profiles like Capterra. Different platforms have different requirements, so you might want to include different icon variations such as a circular logo and a square one. 

Besides logo icons, online platforms often require you to upload a cover photo showcasing your brand. That’s why you should also include logo placement options for brand assets. The most common placements are top left, bottom left and centered. 

Logo usage quiz

Logo usage policies can be quite information heavy, so the best way to test your employees’ knowledge is by introducing a short quiz at the end of the policy. Use a tool like Typeform to create a simple logo usage quiz. You can ask questions on the different sections such as logo color, placement and even present two logos side by side and ask which one is correct. 

In order to incentivize responses, make it part of the employee onboarding process or offer a prize to the person with the highest score. 

Make sure your logo is used correctly with Happeo

You should store your logo usage policy in an accessible location such as your company intranet or a centralized platform for employees. The easier it is to find, the more likely your employees will make use of it—and the less likely your logo will be used incorrectly. 

If you’re interested in exploring how brand guidelines and a logo usage policy could become an integral part of your company intranet, try out Happeo's logo usage policy template.