and 10 ways to find your perfect man… nah, just the  ones.

So I’ve just completed a project that involved an extended logo and having not seen much literature on this specific topic online I thought I’d share some of the methods that I explored.

The task involved creating a set of 4 logos: 1 for the umbrella company and 3 for their range of products. The brief stated that there must be a guiding principal to the final designs for each and they should be consistent in style and concept… eh, sure. ok.

During the design process an exhaustive list of design tropes were explored and upon closer analyse it was apparent that each set of designs were, in one way or another, actually following a set of concepts each time. This article condenses these concepts down to that anyone can employ when faced with this task.

These 5 principles are:

  1. Colour
  2. Shape
  3. Transformation
  4. Common Element
  5. Container

Images have been produced to illustrate each principle in the simplest way possible but for additional inspiration and examples of more complex designs check out the Pinterest board link at the bottom of this article.

Let’s go already. here’s an overview:

Logo Families: An overview of 5 basic principles

01. Colour

The most basic of all the principles as it does not involve designing variations on the master logo. Once said master logo has been established a carefully collected palette of colours can be used to diversify the extended family.

Logo Families: The colour principle

02. Shape

Alternatively, maintaining a strict set of brand colours while modifying the logo’s form can yield interesting results.

Logo Families: The shape principle

03. Transformation

Transformation can be applied in many forms such as rotation, skew, distortion, etc. In the example laid out here the logo’s rotation has been altered to create the variation in appearance.

Logo Families: The transformation principle — In this case, rotation.

04. Common element

In this example we treat the master logo as a single unit of form or “atom” that can be multiplied and rearranged to create the array of logos. More complex forms can be created from this single atom yielding an affective method of broadening the logo family while maintaining the brand’s overall visual style.

Logo Families: The common element principle

05. Container

The “container” could be the entire master logo or a prominent part of it. Either way it can become a type of anchor to which you can attach additional signifiers, lettering or shapes to diversify the range of logos. This method is also useful when you want to keep the size and general shape of the logos consistent. However, you may decide to add a variation that breaks the walls of the container shape, in essence though the principal remains the same.

Logo Families: The container principle

There are of course myriad other methods of interpreting the methods above beyond what I’ve demonstrated and I encourage you to play around with them, including mixing and matching of course, but these 5 basic principles really helped focus my own project’s design goals and set adequate parameters within which iterations could be made.

Additionally, another reason for trying to break down these concepts into the 5 simple principles above was that I found that the simplicity with which these concepts can be described also helped clients better understand the process of designing the logo family, as well as the thinking behind each round of proposals… which was nice 🙂

As promised, for more inspiration on this topic you can check out a Pinterest board of logo families/systems here

Logo Families on pinterest

A preview of which is here… enjoy! and goodbye.

Logo Families on pinterest
Logo Families on pinterest



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