In today’s digital world, it is imperative that your law firm logo is adaptable and responsive, not only because websites are responsive, but because today’s social media sites require an assortment of formats and image sizes, too. If a law firm only has one logo option, its logo will most likely not look good on a responsive website or across all the various digital channels.
For example, a long horizontal logo will not size down on your website nor will it appear properly on a site like LinkedIn, which has designated a square space for the company logo. By inserting that long horizontal logo, you are not filling the space effectively, making the logo difficult, if not impossible, to read. That means that critical aspect of your visual brand is lost to your audience.
Your law firm logo design has to follow the same principles of a responsive website, by changing and adapting to the size and space of all types of devices and uses. This also applies to having options for use on other digital channels, such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.
How Is a Logo Responsive on Your Website?
The responsive logo process works by allowing the back-end technology of the website to choose from multiple images, each sized for the specific device of the end user. These files, created by the design agency, simplify parts of the logo as it gets smaller, based on certain screen sizes, and then selects the logo to fit the space allocated for it. For example, full-screen devices like a desktop or laptop computer will get the full logo, while smaller devices, such as your smartphone, will get the most simplified version. These additional options can and should be used for other digital/social media channels, too.
Some examples of how big companies, including Disney, Coke and Kodak, have adapted their brand identifiers to work responsively can be seen here. These logos have been carefully designed and have taken into consideration how to react to changing screen sizes. Simply drag the corner of your browser window to reduce the width and watch how the images adapt. In short, they respond. These simplified elements are also used in the social media world and become an extension of the overall visual brand.
Ditch Your One-line Logo
Problems arise when a logo is not thought out right from the start. For example, a single long, horizontal, multiname logo with no stacked option just does not work in all instances, even in the world of print. Add to that the need for a responsive design. If you take no approach, then your law firm’s logo becomes unusable in the digital world by either taking up too much real estate space to be readable or being too small and fuzzy to be understood.
If this is the case with your law firm logo, it is time to consider a branding effort or, at the minimum, how to make adjustments to your current logo that allow it to fit into today’s digital media.
Fine-tune Your Logo
Over the past few years, we have seen many brands tweak their logos to enhance and modernize their brands and mobile presences. Re-evaluating your current logo, even if it’s a solid one, is not unheard of. Consider adjusting or altering the font to one that is similar but slightly more simplified and more readable in smaller sizes. (Facebook tweaked its font for readability on mobile.) Streamline any icon or graphic element so it does not fill in or get fuzzy when shown on a small screen or mobile device (Starbucks and Twitter simplified their icons). You may need to eliminate unnecessary words or text in your graphic to simplify the art.
Designing a Responsive Logo
With so much burden placed on the logo in today’s world, it’s no wonder it’s a struggle to make it flexible and responsive. Here are some tips to keep in mind when designing law firm logos in the responsive age.
- Your logo is not your brand.
- A brand is not your logo.
- Your logo is the same as other elements of your identity system; this includes color, taglines, emblems or signature marks.
- Your logo should be a simple and clear memory hook. Nothing more, nothing less.
Consider a Rebranding Effort
If your firm has not gone through any branding exercise in the past 10-plus years, consider hiring an experienced branding agency to guide you through a branding exercise. By doing this, you can get a third-party perspective to help make sure your overall firmwide brand is still on track with who you are. This exercise also can help you identify how your firm is perceived and can point you on your way to reducing the firm name down to one or, at the most, two names, since a shorter name allows for a more streamlined brand identity and logo.
Color and font play an important role in your overall brand package, too. Google has done a terrific job with a simple font and use of four specific brand colors. Remember that your logo is not the brand, but does play an integral role in your brand identity.