The Designer’s Guide To Responsive Logos

In a chaotic time of brands revamping their logos, minimalism on the rise, responsiveness being the new sexy, designers lead on by the mantra of “less is more”, we can only wonder; what is the design world coming to?

The Essence of Responsive Logos

To provide a comprehensive user experience across multiple mediums, a true responsive design isn’t limited to context or shrinking content on a page. Subtle design considerations, such as the icons and logos should also be flexible enough to follow similar contextual responsive principles.

A few years ago, this crazed, demented talk of altering a logo would have been dubbed as a design taboo, earning you the wrath of the holier-than-thou branding moguls. But today, with a probability that a company will use its logo on anything from a mammoth billboard to a tiny smart watch, the initial shock at the scandalous “responsive logo” idea is wearing off.

Adapting Logos in a Responsive World

With the proliferation of mobile-friendliness taking the web by storm, logo designers are finding it more and more vital to make their vectors adapt to any and every user’s screen size, so that the company logo isn’t stripped of its inherent meaning or essence when rendered on myriad resolutions. Since logos are the cornerstone of branding, it’s only natural to hardwire them to cater to the responsive web space.

For this concept to take root, a brilliant logo is a prerequisite; something that can perfectly embody a brand’s values in a simple image. This challenge of creating something that continues to speak volumes about a brand, regardless of the device used for accessing a website, is a tough nut to crack.

Let’s take a look at how you can design scalable logos without losing the very personality of your brand:

1. Design for Simplicity

The biggest dilemma of non-responsive logos is that they are overcomplicated; downright ridden with detail and intricate subtleties.

In a post by Matthew Fidge on Just Creative, many people abhor to see logos as just a visual hook. They want their logos to be the bearer of organizational tradition and brand values. However, having too many elements only makes it harder to let go of a particular one, and any attempt to fit it into a smaller space ends up in a design nightmare.

The logo of Olive Garden, despite being attractive on its own, offers the perfect design conundrum. Who would have the heart to strip the beautiful and large word mark of its whimsical leaves without wreaking havoc on the design?

On the other hand, there is no way to render the entire logo on a smaller screen, without it ending up in a big, messy, colorful blob of indecipherable hocus-pocus!

Olive Garden

Source: Olive Garden

Lasting graphic design ideals of simplicity and clarity have become the new norm as logo designers hustle to create logos that remain clear at different sizes, load quickly, scale elegantly, and have the maximum impact.

This means that the trends of glows, complex illustrations, color gradients, drop-shadows, and other graphical tropes have been shunned for a cleaner aesthetic, replacing superfluous decoration with more focused forms.

Cutting down the level of detail in a logo leads to greater legibility at small sizes. Outlined elements could be filled in and inverted, gradients can be flattened, illustrations redrawn into tract graphical shapes, thin strokes can be made thicker, and detailed shapes can be smoothed out. Hence why flat design has become so popular.

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