The Ultimate Guide to Logo Submarks: What They Are and How to Use Them

In today’s competitive market, having a strong and memorable brand identity is crucial to stand out from the crowd. One often overlooked aspect of branding is the use of logo submarks – smaller, simplified versions of your main logo that offer versatility and enhanced recognition.

In this ultimate guide to logo submarks, we’ll explore what they are, their importance in your overall branding strategy, and share expert tips on how to create effective submarks for your business.

Key Takeaways

  1. Logo submarks are smaller, simplified versions of primary logos that offer versatility and enhanced recognition in various marketing materials.
  2. Effective logo submarks should complement the primary and secondary logos, incorporate unique geometric shapes or elements relating to products/services offered, use interesting text layouts with negative space and font pairing while maintaining consistency with color palette and typography used in primary logo.
  3. Logo submarks enhance brand recognition by creating visual consistency and memorable elements that distinguish your brand from competitors, provide flexibility in branding across multiple platforms such as social media profiles or watermarks without losing established recognition among target audiences.

Defining Logo Submarks

A logo submark is a smaller version of the primary or secondary logo that captures the essence of the brand and can be used in various marketing materials.

What Is A Logo Submark?

A logo submark is a smaller, simplified version of your primary logo that serves as a versatile addition to your brand identity. Easier to use across various platforms and formats, it often condenses essential elements of the main logo into an easily recognizable miniature design.

For instance, consider Nike’s famous swoosh symbol – while their primary logo features the iconic swoosh alongside their brand name, they often utilize just the swoosh as a standalone submark on products like clothing and footwear.

Difference Between Primary, Secondary, And Submark Logos

Understanding the differences between primary, secondary, and submark logos is crucial for beginner designers as these variations hold unique purposes within a brand’s visual identity.

The primary logo serves as the main face of your brand, representing it across various platforms such as websites, social media profiles, and printed materials.

In contrast, secondary logos are alternate versions of the primary logo to accommodate different layout requirements or design constraints in specific situations while maintaining brand consistency.

Lastly, submark logos act as an extension of the primary logo to provide versatility in branding without losing established recognition among target audiences. Submarks usually feature simplified geometric shapes related to the original design that can be utilized on business cards or watermarks when there isn’t enough space for full-size logos.

By understanding these distinctions and crafting effective designs accordingly, beginners can create powerful visual identities that bolster customer acquisition efforts and reinforce company reputation through cohesive branding strategy execution.

Importance Of Logo Submarks

Logo submarks are essential for enhancing brand recognition, increasing versatility in branding, and complementing the primary and secondary logos.

Enhancing Brand Recognition

Enhancing brand recognition is a crucial aspect of establishing a strong presence in the market, particularly for beginner designers looking to make an impact.

The use of logo submarks can significantly contribute to this goal by creating visual consistency and memorable elements that distinguish your brand from competitors.

One effective strategy for enhancing brand recognition through logo submarks is to design the primary logo and submark simultaneously. This approach ensures that both elements complement each other while reinforcing the overall branding strategy.

Additionally, incorporating creative geometric shapes or representative icons into your submarks can further solidify your brand identity in the minds of consumers as they begin to associate these unique elements with your products or services over time.

Versatility In Branding

Sub-mark logos are an essential part of a brand’s visual identity, providing flexibility and versatility in branding. A sub-mark can be used on its own as a watermark or favicon, or incorporated into various marketing materials such as business cards and social media profile images.

Versatile logo design ensures that the brand remains consistent across different mediums and formats while extending its reach even further. Sub-marks should not only look good when used together with other branding assets but also complement each other in terms of overall aesthetics and messaging to achieve maximum impact and recognition.

Complementing Primary And Secondary Logos

Sub-mark logos are essential for complementing primary and secondary logos. They add visual interest to a brand, making it more memorable while also providing versatility in branding.

With the right combination of elements, sub-mark logos can be used across various platforms and formats without losing their unique identity.

When designing sub-marks, it’s important to ensure they support the overall brand strategy. Submarks should not overpower or compete with the primary logo but rather complement it.

How To Create An Effective Logo Submark

To create an effective logo submark, designers should incorporate geometric shapes, add elements representing the service or product being offered, develop unique shapes not present in the primary logo, and create interesting text layouts that balance icon and text-based logos; read on to learn more about creating a powerful sub-mark logo.

Incorporate Geometric Shapes

Incorporating geometric shapes into a sub-mark can add interest and versatility to a brand. Here are some tips for using them effectively:

  • Use clean lines and simple shapes to create a modern, professional look.
  • Experiment with different shapes to find one that represents the brand’s personality or values.
  • Consider using negative space creatively to create compelling geometric shapes.
  • Use shape repetition or patterns to create visual interest and reinforce brand recognition.
  • Don’t overcomplicate the design; less is often more when it comes to geometric shapes in sub – marks.

By incorporating relevant geometric shapes into the sub-mark, designers can create a brand identity that is both unique and versatile.

Add Elements Representing The Service Or Product

To enhance a sub-mark logo, consider adding elements that represent the service or product being offered. Here are some ways to effectively incorporate them:

  • Use icons or graphics that represent the product or service.
  • Incorporate shapes that relate to the industry or niche.
  • Add text that highlights what the brand is offering.
  • Use colors that are associated with the brand’s industry or product.

By including these elements in the sub-mark logo, it becomes more visually interesting and conveys more information to potential customers. However, be mindful not to clutter the design or make it too busy. Keep it simple and memorable.

Remember, sub-marks should complement and support the primary logo without overpowering it. Use them strategically on marketing materials such as business cards, websites, and social media profiles. Once established, sub-marks can also be used as stand-alone elements on promotional items like stickers and watermarks.

By creating an effective sub-mark logo with relevant elements reflecting your brand’s service or products, you can reinforce brand recognition and increase customer acquisition for your business.

Create Interesting Text Layouts

Creating an interesting text layout is a great way to add visual interest to a sub-mark logo. Here are some tips on how to do it effectively:

  1. Use negative spaceUsing negative space in your text layout can create a balanced and aesthetically pleasing design.
  2. Play with font size: Varying the size of letters in your sub-mark logo can help guide the viewer’s eye and emphasize important words or letters.
  3. Experiment with font pairing: Pairing different fonts together can create contrast and make your logo more visually appealing.
  4. Use colors wisely: Adding color to your sub-mark logo can make it more visually appealing, but make sure that the color choice complements the overall brand aesthetic.
  5. Try different orientations: Experimenting with horizontal, vertical or diagonal text layouts can add a unique touch to your sub-mark logo.

By incorporating these tips into your design process, you can create an interesting and memorable sub-mark logo that complements your primary and secondary logos effectively.

When creating a sub-mark logo, don’t be afraid to develop unique geometric shapes not present in the primary logo. Here are some tips to help you do that effectively:

  1. Brainstorm a list of possible shapes or symbols that relate to your brand and its values.
  2. Experiment with different geometric shapes by playing with the scale, proportion, and orientation.
  3. Look for inspiration in other design fields, such as architecture or product design.
  4. Don’t stray too far from the existing color palette or typography used in the primary logo.
  5. Test out how the new shape looks at different sizes and on various backgrounds to ensure it remains legible and recognizable.

By developing a unique geometric shape for your sub-mark logo, you can extend your brand beyond its primary logo while still maintaining consistency within your overall branding strategy.

Tips For Using Logo Submarks

Break traditional branding rules by experimenting with different layouts and incorporating unique design elements. Balance icon and text-based logos to create a cohesive brand identity that stands out.

Adapt your submark for different platforms and formats to ensure consistency in your branding strategy. Make sure that the sub-mark logo is easy to read when displayed at smaller sizes such as favicons or social media profile images.

Breaking Traditional Branding Rules

Don’t be afraid to break traditional branding rules when it comes to creating a sub-mark logo. While consistency is important, adding creative elements that extend beyond the primary logo can enhance brand recognition and make your brand stand out.

For example, developing unique geometric shapes not present in the primary logo can add interest and versatility to your brand.

It’s important to remember that there are no steadfast rules when it comes to adding a sub-mark to a brand, but they should complement the primary logo and be used strategically.

A good way of breaking traditional branding norms is by adapting sub-marks for different platforms and formats.

Balancing Icon And Text-Based Logos

When designing a sub-mark logo, it’s important to consider the balance between icon-based and text-based logos. Icon-based logos rely on a creative geometric element or representation of a specific thing to create an identifiable brand, while text-based logos rely heavily on the shapes of each individual letter to evoke an emotion.

Combining these elements can create a powerful and memorable sub-mark that enhances the overall branding strategy. For example, incorporating a unique geometric shape into a text-based logo can add visual interest and representational value at the same time.

On the other hand, adding stylized letters as part of an icon-based logo can enhance its readability and make it more versatile across different marketing materials.

Adapting Submark For Different Platforms And Formats

When it comes to using your sub-mark logo, it’s important to keep in mind that it should be adaptable for different platforms and formats. Here are some tips for adapting your sub-mark:

  1. Keep it simple: Your sub-mark logo should be readable even when scaled down. Avoid complicated designs and text elements that may not show up clearly on every platform.
  2. Consider color: Your sub-mark may need to be adapted to grayscale or black and white for certain formats such as print materials. Make sure the design still works without relying on color.
  3. Think about placement: Depending on the platform or format, your sub-mark may need to appear in different places (e.g., top left corner of a website header, bottom right corner of a business card). Make sure the design is versatile enough to work in various placements.
  4. Test it out: Before finalizing your sub-mark logo, test it out in various sizes and formats to ensure that it works well across all platforms.

Remember, consistency is key when it comes to branding. Your primary logo and sub-mark should work together seamlessly to reinforce your brand identity across all touchpoints, from social media profiles to print collateral. By adapting your sub-mark for different platforms and formats, you can ensure that your brand remains recognizable and cohesive no matter where it appears.


In conclusion, incorporating a sub-mark logo into your brand strategy can greatly enhance your brand recognition and versatility. By creating an effective sub-mark that complements your primary and secondary logos, you can make sure that your brand stands out in all formats and platforms.

Remember to balance icon-based and text-based logos while breaking traditional branding rules to create unique geometric shapes and interesting text layouts.

With these tips for using logo submarks, you can take your branding strategy to the next level and ensure a professional appearance across all promotional tools.


1. What is a logo submark?

A logo submark is a simplified version of your brand’s logo that can be used in instances where the full logo may not fit or may be too complex for the intended use. Submarks typically include key elements of the full logo, such as icons or text, and are designed to be recognizable on their own.

2. How can I use a logo submark?

Logo submarks can be used in various marketing materials such as social media profiles, website headers, email signatures and merchandise items such as stickers or promotional products. They provide a smaller but still recognizable representation of your brand identity.

3. Should my business have a separate design for its submark?

A good rule of thumb is to create both your primary branding design as well as any potential secondary designs at once while keeping consistency between them (color schemes/fonts etc.) This will help ensure that all aspects of branding remain cohesive across channels & make it easier to continue developing additional graphics when preparing future product releases/updates.

4. Why are consistent branding elements important in using submarks?

Consistent branding helps reinforce brand recognition & customer relationships by creating an integrated experience throughout all touch-points with customers including interactions on-owned properties like websites and social streams; displays within digital ad placements; or even physical locations through signage placement strategies so using sub-marks alongside other branded content further strengthens this bond by showcasing recognizability in multiple ways across various media types.

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