Logo Variants and when to use them

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Logo Variants and when to use them

We see logos almost everywhere that we look, they are used digitally, in print, and can even be seen in the foam at the top of a cup of coffee we drink in the morning.

They are the symbols used to help us instantly identify a brand or product, you know that logos come in many different shapes and sizes. But you might not necessarily know that each of these logos has many different variations.

In this article we are going to explain the different logo variants that can be found and when best to use them.

If you want to read more about why logos are so important, check out our article that explains the topic in detail.

Normal Logo

PP Standard design studio ipswich branding norfolk colchester east-anglia bespoke mono-logo negative-logo standard-logo logo-types vector brand-guidelines branding logo variants
A Standard design of our Painting Pixels logo

Every brand will have a normal design of their logo variants set, this will serve almost as their “Master Version” and is the version that all other logo variants are based off, Coca-Cola has its red scriptwriting and MTV has its large bold M with the smaller tv letters overlapping. These are just two examples of many different successful logos and like all good logos are self-contained, this means that they have no background or block colour behind them, all of the colour and design is confined to just the logo itself.

This is important as it allows these logos to be placed anywhere, on billboards, websites, magazines, but these standard versions of logos do have their limitations, if they have to be scaled down to a very small size for example they may not be legible or if they are being placed on top of clashing colours, if we take Coca-Cola for example and put it on a red page of a magazine the logo would be lost on the page! This leads us on to our next variant.

We discuss what makes up a logo in detail on our article “How a logo is constructed“, check it out to learn more.

Negative Logo

HD Black PP Logo Black BG design studio ipswich branding norfolk colchester east anglia bespoke mono logo negative logo standard logo logo types vector brand guidelines branding
An unused negative variant of the Painting Pixels logo

Negative versions of logo variants are essentially the normal logo, with the colour scheme reversed. For example, the text on the normal logo may be white with a blue background, so the negative logo will have blue text with a white background, with other secondary colours remaining the same on both.

The negative logo is very useful for certain circumstances when it fits better on the material it is used on and works with the colour scheme better, such as a light or dark background, depending on the original colours of the normal logo, while still maintaining more than two colours if used on the normal logo design.  

Mono Logo

Mono logo variants are a version of your logo that is one solid colour usually white but can also be black with all other colours around it and is a great test of your logo’s strength. If we go back to our previous example and put the red around the Coca-Cola logo and make the logo itself white then this would be a lot more visible and work very well, these types of logos will also cover you if you need to apply your logo to one-colour printing.

The mono logo differs from the negative logo in the way that it may closely resemble the normal logo, but only use the single most used colour for the entire logo, with either a black and white background making out the other shapes. The mono logo is used for when a good quality reproduction cannot be guaranteed, such as small prints.

A black and white logo may be used in place of a mono logo, as it retains the same purposes, however, they can be used in addition to the mono logo as separate designs if desired by the brand. This may be used to be a bolder image than the normal logo, as it has higher contrast than normal colours. However, you could also have a black and white logo as your normal logo, in which case a mono logo is not needed.

3D Logo

PP Logo 3D design studio ipswich branding norfolk colchester east anglia bespoke mono logo negative logo standard logo logo types vector brand guidelines branding
An unused 3D variant of our Painting Pixels logo

3D logo variants are often quite intricate or detailed usually involving gradients and drop shadows and various other things to make the logo look 3D, whilst this variant of a logo can be very appealing to look at it is limited to where it can or should be used.

The best place for this form of logo is digital as the 3D effect can sometimes be lost on print, modern monitors with high-resolution displays have allowed for these logos to be scaled down considerably in recent years but as a rule, try not to make a 3D logo too small as once again you might lose the 3D effect may be lost on the viewer.


PP Logo Avatar design studio ipswich branding norfolk colchester east anglia bespoke mono logo negative logo standard logo logo types vector brand guidelines branding
An icon of our Painting Pixels logo

Icons are logo variants that have been turned into symbols that are best used as app icons or maybe even profile pictures for various social media. The point of these icons is that they can be used in very small scale i.e as an app icon example of these can be seen all over the Apple App Store and Google’s Play Store these type of logos also come in hand if you don’t want to slap your full logo all over everything.


PP Banner 1 design studio ipswich branding norfolk colchester east anglia bespoke mono logo negative logo standard logo logo types vector brand guidelines branding
A banner variant of our Painting Pixels logo

Banners are elongated logo variants that are a version of the standard logo that is usually positioned horizontally an example of this would be if you took the I Love New York logo and moved the NY letters up and next to the I and the Heart symbol, making this logo into a horizontal variant will work much better as a banner that the original logo.

Banners Logos are often seen digitally usually on social media pages like Facebook and Twitter and also sites like YouTube, but these Logos can also be used as letterheads and in various other forms of print.

Line Art

Another type of the logo variants is Line Art, while not used by some companies, line art logos are a stylistic way to showcase your logo in a simplistic manner. Usually consisting of only black/white or another solid colour, these logos are intentionally styled to appear more as an outline of the logo, with none of the colours being filled in. Some companies like Apple might use line art logos on some of their products if it compliments their design.

A line art logo is a completely optional piece of branding material for businesses and does not have to be included in the branding guidelines, although depending on the scale of some business’ branding guidelines, might be included as an optional logo for certain circumstances.

How do businesses keep their branding material and logo variants consistent?

There is one key way that businesses keep all of their branding material, including their logo variants, consistent and that is through the use of brand guidelines, these are the fundamental guidelines of how the branding material should appear and be used, as well as the colour palette it allows and the logo variants explained previously. If you want to explore what brand guidelines are in more detail check out our article about them here.

If you would like your own bespoke Logo Designed to your specifications and that professionally matches your brand identity, as well as other branding material to enhance your company, then be sure to get in touch with us so we can start something together!

And be sure to check out our YouTube Channel for more interesting and entertaining content.

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  • Multimedia Animation

    We are extremely happy with the excellent animation that the team at Painting Pixels have created for EPBA – European Portable Battery Association. They worked with us every step of the way from providing guidance to the script writing to the final production. We will be using Painting Pixels for future projects and highly recommend them.”


    2D Animated Compliance Explainer

    ‘Working with the team at Painting Pixels was a very pleasant experience. They are very talented in their trade and helped guide us through the full animated production process. We worked with them from start to finish from the very first draft script, all the way through full animated production and to the final output. They were very flexible with our changes and patient for feedback. They delivered the project to the promised time and budget. We would happily use Painting Pixels again and would also highly recommend them to anyone wishing to showcase any product, service or idea”


    2D Explainer Animations for Kellen

    We worked with Painting Pixels on a couple of animated videos for one of our clients and were more than happy with the final result! Ali and his team were very easy to deal with, they responded very promptly and always came back with good suggestions and solutions to our issues. I wouldn’t hesitate to use their services again.


    Fun 2D Animation for J and L Recruitment

    I am really delighted to have discovered Painting Pixels. I did ponder as to what service I could expect having noted that your company seemed to be the only one offering such services within the Ipswich area. I cannot advise enough on how pleased and impressed I was with the service and end-product of which you provided. You have created a stunning, fun and engaging animation for us to throw out on the internet to help promote our services, and allowing us to engage better with our desired market and proving our understanding into the industry we work. Your creative thinking inside and outside the box has taken a subject matter that isn’t really associated with Jun and colour, to something that is interesting and exciting to watch and learn about. Based on how this animation has turned out, we will be creating more additional detailed animations based on particular segments and will definitely be using Painting Pixels again. I’m really happy with the result and would recommend using Painting Pixels for everything creative!


    Website Design

    Working with Painting Pixels was a fantastic and stress-free process. I had a very tight budget but they still managed to create an amazing looking website for me. It has all the features that I want and is easy to manage and update. They were very clear with everything they were doing and gave great advice on making the website function as intended going forward. I still contact them if I get stuck when updating my website and they are always friendly and helpful.


    Website and Video Production

    It’s wonderful working with Painting Pixels and watching my projects come to life. They have worked side by side with us over many years and produced many design assets including, high-quality information leaflets, responsive website and many video productions, which our patients find very helpful. They are good listeners and have a very professional service. We will continue to use them for all future projects.


    Bespoke 3D Logo Design

    I needed a logo created for my new company. I didn’t want just any old bog standard 2D logo from your everyday graphic designers. I needed a premium 3D logo, which had great detail and depth. I contacted Painting Pixels as I could tell they are experts in 3D. It was coming to the Christmas break and wanted to get the logo complete. They managed to fit my logo in to their schedule and even came back into the studio on Christmas eve to make some final adjustments. They created a fantastic looking 3D logo, which I can now use everywhere and it has the potential to be animated in the future. They went above and beyond and I’m extremely happy with the service and final product.


    3D Animation for Video Production

    We’ve been working with Painting Pixels for many years now and they are our go to place for all things design and animation. We use them all the time for their expertise in 3D animation and motion graphics. If you need any kind of high quality design and animation give Painting Pixels a call; we did and never looked back.


    3D Stereoscopic Animation

    Wow what a find Panting Pixels where! They helped us put on the World’s Biggest Panto; with eye popping 3D Stereoscopic graphics. They were an exciting and creative bunch to work with and went above and beyond to deliver us additional content at the highest quality. The show was a success and we will be using them for all future shows.


    Full Branding Package and Responsive Website

    Painting Pixels developed our full branding package, which consisted of a new bespoke logo, responsive website and everything else in between including, letterheads, compliment slips, business cards and advertising leaflets. The designs where fresh and modern and gave us the appeal that we were going for. They listened to our requirements and delivered a high quality end product. We would recommend every time.


    3D Explainer Animation for Trade Show

    Fantastic service and communication! We wanted to exhibit our SEO services at a large internet convention. However due to our line of work, we didn’t have many images or graphics, which would help attract attention from the passerby. We wanted a way to demonstrate our services which mainly deals with statistics, web rankings and PPC and wanted a way to show off these services in a more visual manner. We heard about the quality work that Painting Pixels does so gave them a call. They came to our studio and brainstormed some great ideas with us. They created a fantastic 3d mascot and a whole new world and a completely new way of presenting a data driven service. We are delighted with the end result and we are also very much impressed with the level of communication that we received throughout the entire process. This is a completely different style of marketing for us; but because of the high level of communication and service; we felt very well looked after. We would highly recommend.


    3D Animations for my clients

    I have referred a number of clients to Painting Pixels and they have always delivered great work, on time and within budget. It is refreshing to have such a good team on hand to help those clients who need 3D animations as part of their marketing or promotional campaigns.


    Bespoke Website Splash Design

    Brilliant work under a tight deadline! I am very happy with the work done by Painting Pixels. I needed to have a web presence immediately as I would have an article which was to be published and released the following day. It was late in the evening and I really needed to have a website so that people could find my contact details online. I called Painting Pixels and they promised to put up a splash page which would contain all the necessary contact details. After a quick meeting they created a splash page which was ready for me in a matter of hours. The Splash page looked great and was online straight away. I am very happy with how they helped out in this very tight deadline and delivered what I needed with great speed, efficiency and service.


    Logo Design for FBS

    Would Recommend Every time! I wanted a fantastic looking set logos which would both be corporate and not too corporate at the same time. Also I needed the logos to help bring all the different business services together but still make them look like they are full professional separate services but under the same company for better service and convenience. Painting pixels created a unique set of logos which looked professional and separated the business service cleverly by using different colours and a graphic feature. I am very happy with the result and out of the box thinking and would recommend them every time.


    Interactive Real-time Car App

    Fantastic Technology and Vision! We are a company which uses that latest in modern technology and design to create our extraordinary super cars. We needed a way to demonstrate particular features and to demonstrate also how specific features like the unique door system would open. Originally we were going to go for a standard 3D animation as we did not know about the 4d technology. We searched around for many different 3d design companies and Painting Pixels quality of work caught our eye. After a detailed meeting we were delighted to learn that they can offer exactly what we actually wanted which was indeed 4D animation. They created an Application for us which allowed us to rotate our new super car with the mouse which meant that we could precisely see how the car looks from every angle. Also the 4D allows us to zoom in and see how the more intricate design features worked. We are delight to have met with Painting Pixels as they had the vision to see beyond what we asked for and offered us a better solution to our problem and so gave us exactly what we wanted. This was a fantastic use of technology and Painting Pixels did a fantastic job.


    Online Advert Design

    Fantastic turnaround times! We needed a handful of online advertising banners at various pixel resolutions and needed them to be done quick. After a quick phone call; Painting Pixels created many different and original designs for us. The whole process was very fast; to my delight. So very happy with the all the designs, speed and service.

    UK Toys and Games

    Bespoke, Interactive Website

    Thanks for your continued Support! We have been working with Painting Pixels for many years now. We first came in contact with them when we needed to update our website. They created a hand crafted bespoke website for us and the unique look and design appealed well to our services and worked well with the head office guidelines. We did not have a large budget however Painting Pixels offered us this full and bespoke site at discounted rate as a charitable gesture. We are delighted with the website and appreciate the great value. Painting Pixels continues to support us and maintains the domain and also hosts the website free of charge. Good honest company, we would definitely recommend them.


    Monitor My Baby Website Re-design

    Great Design work! We needed to have our e-commerce website redesigned. We didn’t want to use a common web development company as they tend to have a specific design style. So after a quick search we found Painting Pixels. Their work and range of skills looked very impressive. They created a very attractive design template that wrapped to the design structure of our site. The design appealed well to our customer base and looks bright, clean and colourful. It is both attractive and easy to navigate and so our website continues to function fantastically but also looks good. The re- design was created very quick and the whole integration and service as a whole was very efficient and so I am very pleased with how the project turned out. We will be using them again.

    Monitor My Baby

    Logo Re-creation – Intra natura

    Quality and great value for money! We wanted to have our logo recreated in hi-resolution, having looked at painting pixels website they looked like they had the right skills to deliver the logo with great quality and speed. We were not left disappointed. They done a great job in matching accurately to the original fonts and recreated the logo perfectly. If any new projects come up we will use them again.


    Illustration of Concept Data in a Beautiful Way

    Brilliant! I needed to demonstrate a concept that I had to add to my book. I created a rough black and white hand drawn sketch but needed it to be created in to a professional illustration. Painting Pixels understood the concept clearly and produced a fine illustration, which perfectly demonstrates my concept. It’s a complicated concept and so I am delighted that they understood it so well and recreated it with fantastic quality, brilliant.


    Bespoke Website Design

    Complete Dedication! We needed a new website for our Ipswich market and so approached Painting Pixels. We had seen their previous work and were very impressed. We did not have the biggest of budgets and so were unsure of the quality of website that we would get. Painting Pixels were very friendly and assured us that they would give us nothing less than a quality site and they were right. The website that we got is way better than we thought. The way it both looks and functions is perfect. We were constantly updated with the progress and knew that they were completely dedicated to producing a site that we would love. I would recommend them every time.


    More Industrial Explainer Animation

    Superb Demonstration Animation! Industrial cleaning is never going to be the most exciting subject but with a minimal number of drawings and technical information Painting Pixels have helped us to explain our cleaning technologies via animation to clients from across the world including companies like Shell, BP and ExxonMobil. Painting Pixels were able to ‘get inside our heads’ , take our ideas and produce very high quality animations. Their customer service and communication were also great. Would highly recommend and happy to provide references.

    3D Furnace animation

    Quality 3D Design service! The animation is great we love the detail in all the 3d assets. It really clearly helps us to demonstrate our industrial cleaning process. The quality of the animation is really good and complimented by a brilliant service. It’s obvious that you have given 110% It’s amazing how effectively you can work with minimal  drawings and technical information. Again a great quality piece of work and great service, we will be using you again.

    AIF Poster Design

    Thanks for helping us out! We really appreciate your help in taking on the design work for this campaign. We love the design and have had great compliments from everyone who has seen it. It’s really eye catching and people are taking notice of the campaign. Thanks again for helping us out.


    Logo Design – Your First Motor

    First Class Job! We needed a cool new logo but didn’t really know what we wanted. We looked around at many different design companies and their portfolio and range of work was very uninspired. We came across Painting Pixels and loved their work and range of design disciplines. We did not give them a design brief but instead just explained what the company does, the whole process was very quick and hassle free. They came up with this eye catching and memorable logo which we love. We are very happy with the speed and quality and would highly recommend.


    3D Dredging animation

    Way better than we had imagined! We needed a 3D animation which would clearly demonstrate a unique dredging process and wanted to showcase this at an exhibition. We called Painting Pixels to help make our animation. We did not at first realise that their offices were based three hours drive away, however we had no problems with dealing with a company that was not local to us. They were very flexible in meeting our requirements and clear in their approach. They constantly updated us on every stage of the process and the end product was way better than we had imagined. We had many comments at the exhibition regarding the quality of the animation and so we are very happy to have worked with Painting Pixels and will most definitely be using them again.


    3D Industrial Animation

    With a very tight budget Painting Pixels were able to produce a top quality 3D animation in a short timeframe. Very pleased with the outcome and the interaction with Painting Pixels personnel. Will return to them without hesitation for our next project.

    3D Paediatric Animation

    They gave more than expected! I have to say, I am very pleased with the outcome of this project. I’m no expert in the field of 3D animation but I knew that the budget that I had for this project was not very big. However Painting Pixels were very kind to take on the project and I am so impressed and absolutely blown away by the quality and effort that they have put in. I will be using them again and recommend them to everyone.