What’s a logo grid and should you use one?
What’s a logo grid and why should you use one? We explain it all.
When you look at the most iconic logo designs on the planet – everything from Apple’s memorable bite mark, the Coca-Cola ribbon or the energetic swoosh of the Nike tick – they were meticulously designed.
What can appear to be an effortless flourish with a stroke of a designer’s pen or mouse is often anything but. Often, there’s a craftily engineered alliance between math and creativity that is behind how to design a logo, and it usually traces its origin to the logo grid.
What is a logo grid?
The logo grid, as the name suggests, uses a grid system to offer consistent widths of fonts, icons or other graphical elements across the entire image.
Pre-computers, designers used old-fashioned grid paper to sketch out their concepts, but now most use digital grids that offer an infinite canvas, tools to freely move lines as needed and of course, the ability to easily undo mistakes.
Graphic designers don’t have to use logo grids, but they do offer a range of advantages over creating a logo without one. Here are some of the most compelling arguments in favour of using a design grid.
Why you should use logo grids
Freedom through constraint
Designers often cite the credo that the more rules they must work with, the more creative they can be while trying to work around them. This is one way the logo grid can help. By working with a fixed grid and established mathematical principles, designers can often find new ways to break out of the system and create something they may have never thought of before for their custom logo design.
Professional photographers often – even on a subconscious level – use the rule of thirds grid or the Golden Ratio for their compositions. A design logo grid offers these techniques to the professional graphic designer, too. The spaces between elements on a logo, or arcs that carry through multiple elements of the logo – the arrow in Amazon’s logo, for example – can easily be measured to make sure they fit in naturally with their surroundings.
Grids ensure that fonts are designed with maximum clarity, as standard heights and thicknesses are carried across all the font’s glyphs. A logo needs to stand out from the crowd, but it also needs to be easily readable, too. Circles that are placed on top of the grid can, if they are proportional to the grid spaces, create pleasing curves that look in place next to straight lines.
Business logo designs are made in more ways than most people can imagine. Some are printed on sides of buildings, while others need to be readable on a minuscule phone screen app icon. By sticking to the logo grid, designers can make logos that scale effortlessly across multiple mediums and sizes.