Why you don't need to make the logo bigger in your design

Want a better, bolder and more engaging brand? Well, you’ve gotta make the logo bigger, obvs. Right?
… Hold that thought, design client, ‘cause bigger isn’t always better. 😉 Here’s why.

Read time: Five mins

Alright, so you’ve invested your hard-earned dosh into creating a killer logo. And. It’s. Amazing. It reflects and represents your biz PERFECTLY and you love it so much that you’re (almost) seriously considering getting it tattooed.

Of course, you wanna show off your logo everywhere! Your website, social media, print marketing, digital marketing, phone background … everywhere. Hell, you’ve even got it printed out and stuck against the back of your bathroom door.

And, so, naturally, when your cute but clueless designer delivers a design that doesn’t have your logo strutting front and centre like a bejewelled Broadway star, your feedback is simple: Make the logo BIGGER, yo!

But here’s why you might want to pause before you give your designer feedback that’ll totally make them panic.

You’re more than your logo

Any designer that’s been in business long enough has absolutely, positively been told at least once by a well-meaning client to make the logo bigger in their design. And 99% of the time it’s absolutely, positively the wrong feedback to give.

Why? As a reminder, your logo is one part of your visual brand. Did you spot the key word there? Yep: “One”. It’s one part of your brand … but it’s not your entire brand.

The purpose of a logo is to create a visual calling card that not only tickles the fancy of your target market by capturing your brand heart, strategy and vision, but it should also serve to make your business easy to recognise and remember.

You probably know that – which is why you invested that hard-earned dosh into creating your awesome logo!

But what you might have forgotten – or were maybe never told – is that your logo is designed to work in harmony with your other brand elements, like your colour palette, imagery, patterns and even copy (aka words).

Your logo isn’t out there singing a solo; it’s part of a well-tuned and designed orchestra. And, yes, it’s a crucial piece of your visual brand and marketing … but it shouldn’t be the sole focus of your design.

Instead, your brand design elements should join forces to make your design appealing and successfully get your message across.

Don't make the logo bigger

How a (too) big logo can break good design

Okay, so imagine you need a poster designed to promote an upcoming event. A good designer knows that branding the poster so that it’s easily recognisable to your target market will mean they spot and scoop up tickets faster than you can say, “Sold out”.

Which means, your logo is likely going to show up in the design.

But your logo ISN’T – and shouldn’t be – the main message your design conveys. You have mere seconds to get your audience’s attention and persuade them – without saying a word – that it’s worth their time and energy to explore the poster further.

Making your logo so big it’s the first thing they see (or virtually all they can see)? Uh-huh, it’s not going to convince them of anything except that, at one point, you paid good money for a great logo.

This is because sometimes, a big logo will actually detract from your overall design and mean that your message is lost (and your event/service/item doesn’t sell!)


Poster design

So, how big is too big?

Great question. And the answer is: It depends. On what? Well, at the most fundamental, your logo size will depend on what’s being designed and what you’re hoping to achieve.

If you’re getting the wall of a skyscraper designed with brand art, I’m guessing your logo will be a tad larger than when it’s on your palm-sized business card.

As a general rule of thumb though, if the design is done well (by a pro designer who knows how to make your brand elements sing in harmony) your logo doesn’t need to be big for your target market to recognise your business/brand.

Instead, your design should be well-balanced and strategically crafted to meaningfully convey your message.

If you’re unsure wtf that means, don’t worry. Your designer’s got your back (especially if she’s me! 😉)

And if your logo is the first thing a person sees and notices – and that’s NOT the goal of your design – it’s probably too big.


How do I know if my logo is big enough?

Alright, if you see your draft design and, even after reading this article, you are STILL tempted to tell your designer to make the logo bigger, here’s how to check your logo is big enough:

  • Is it easy to read your brand/business name and/or tagline?
  • Is the logo clear and easy to see (i.e., not fuzzy and you don’t have to squint to see it)?

If you’ve answered, “yes” to both questions, then your logo is likely big enough.

A final test is to check if your logo size is balanced in comparison to the rest of your design. What percentage of the design does your logo take up? And what percentage of the story or message should it convey?

Remember: Your logo is PART of your story … but not all of it. 😉

Okay, we’ve covered big … but is there a chance you’re playing too small in your biz?

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