How Social Media Has Shaped Logo Design
The expansion of social media has changed the way we perform many everyday tasks and functions over the years – from gathering information and communicating with our peers, to shopping and the way we interact with the world around us.
Yes, social media has completely changed the way we connect with and consume content, and inasmuch, it has changed the way we design content for wider consumption. Advertisements now need to compete with a stream of other photos and videos displayed on a newsfeed, working to catch the viewers’ attention within 3 seconds to be successful. The way we design our websites and social pages needs to be in line with the latest trends in design, otherwise they run the risk of falling behind.
More than that, social media has changed the way people identify businesses at the most basic level: it has changed the very format of logo design. Where once graphic designers were focussed on how a logo would translate on paper, we have moved to how it looks amongst a sea of others that are displayed across social media.
Back in the day, most logos were designed to fit a 50mm space. Nowadays, they are made to fit as little as 8mm – a size suited to most smartphone devices.
There’s a stark difference between the two. Due to this, we need to be able to create versatile and adaptable designs that simultaneously portray the business and allow people to identify it across various platforms – both physical and digital. From your company letterhead on a formal document to the dedicated app your business creates, the logo needs to be cohesive and distinguishable as yours.
This may be difficult to achieve, and may even lead to a redesign of your original logo. However, this does not necessarily mean you have to get rid of the concepts behind your original logo altogether, but instead enhance it so that it is adaptable across all platforms.
There are a number of factors that have now been included in the creation of smaller, legible and versatile logos to ensure strong impact, even in the smaller design constraints.
The Changing Logo
It is common for social media platforms to include new features when there is a larger event happening. This can be seen with Facebook’s inclusion of a Pride Flag when it was gay pride month recently. Herein, the social media giant made it easy to adapt its platform as a way to raise awareness of ideas, situations and topics that may be widespread or trending, thereby tapping into its users and effectively engaging them.
This design trend is starting to apply to plenty of logos within the digital age. Logos of this nature are called ‘logo systems’: they are able to be modified whilst keeping the same underlying framework. This was seen throughout the U.S presidential election, where Hillary Clinton’s logo was changed to draw awareness to issues she aligned her campaign with whilst still keeping true to the original skeleton of her logo. This allowed the presidential candidate to not only keep her identifiable image, but to also show her support for various issues without saying a single word. It was created by American graphic designer Michael Bierut and consisted of a ‘H’ with an arrow across the middle, featuring the national red, white and blue as the original form’s colouration. It was designed so well that it could be reimagined by both Bierut and Clinton’s followers.
What to Keep in Mind with Logos on Social Media
Most social platforms have aspect ratios, which may limit the way your logo is displayed. Keep text, icons, imagery and layout in mind for this reason, otherwise it could look cluttered and incomprehensible. Simplicity does not mean less effective, but consistency is key across all platforms to make sure you are identifiable no matter what. Take into consideration the various platforms that your logo may be displayed on, and ensure that you keep them in mind throughout each phase of your logo design. By doing so, you’re more likely to create a solid logo that has a distinctive presence – both online and offline.