Primary and secondary logos explained
When designing brands for small businesses I usually get questions about the secondary logo and how it differs from the primary logo.
Today I thought I’d quickly break down the difference between the two in case you were wondering the same.
Whether a client chooses my standard logo package or my full brand package they both come with a primary logo and a secondary logo.
Let’s dive into both and when and how to use them.
As you might have guessed your primary logo is your main logo.
It should include your business name and maybe even imagery such as a simple illustration or icon.
Your primary logo shouldn’t be abstract or confusing, it should be legible and to the point. Your primary logo speaks for your brand and how people will recognize and remember your brand.
Below are a few examples of primary logos I created for past clients.
The secondary logo is your primary logos BFF.
Since your primary logo is the main voice of your brand your secondary logo can be a bit more relaxed and abstract.
The secondary logo doesn’t necessarily need to have your full business name in it, in fact it could be as simple as an icon.
Below are examples of the secondary logos I created for the primary logos above.
For Flute, I simply took the custom letter F and have it standing on its own as well as placed in the green circle.
Catapult’s secondary logo comes with a few variations. The letter C is paired with the catapult design and with the hop design. There is also a word mark option with the catapult illustration removed. This is helpful when space is limited on certain branding items.
For Richmond + Feenstra we took the R | F and placed it in a geometric shape that was used throughout the brand.
As you can see from the above examples, the secondary logo can be as simple as a letter or a bit more detailed.
But it’s also important to mention no matter what your secondary logo looks like it still has to represent your brand. If you take a look at all three examples I share the secondary logos vary but they still have the look and feel of the brand and primary logo.
When to use your secondary logo
While a secondary logo is a fun little mark that represents your brand it’s important you use it correctly.
Unless your have a popular brand that is well known you should only use your secondary mark when your primary mark is also present.
For example, the secondary marks I created for the above three brands are not crazy well known brands. Did you recognize any of them? Likely not. Therefore I wouldn’t suggest only using the secondary mark when it doesn’t include the brand name. This will confuse people and leave them wondering who you are.
A brand that can get away with this is Nike. You can easily recognize who it is when you only see their swoosh.
Here’s an example of how I used Richmond + Feenstra’s secondary logo.
I placed the primary logo on the front so it’s the first thing people see when looking at it.
The secondary mark is placed on the back of the card as an added element that fits nicely and adds interest.
Depending on your brand, your designer may create a few different options for your secondary mark. I like to keep it to 1-3 when designing brands. (See Catapult example above.)
Always remember to keep your secondary logo close to your primary logo but not too close as it might look crowded and confusing.
Your primary logo should always come first when deciding between what to use
When working with a designer they’ll likely tell you when and how to use your logos. It’s important to follow their brand guidelines. And always ask your designer questions if you are confused on how to use them.
Looking to hire a designer? Get in touch and let’s talk! I love creating brands for passionate business owners.
Fill out the form below and I’ll get in touch ASAP!