Ok so I'm a newb at graphic design for sure. I can hardly hack my way through GIMP/Inkscape/PS, but I want to solve this problem:

Lets say you are working on a logo, you've got a few different types. Ideally you have just the symbolic logo that is meant to be shown on a light background, that same logo re-colored for a dark background, and then both of those variants with the name of the company on it.

For example:

enter image description here

enter image description here

You get the idea. Now the problem is that if I want to change the logo, I have to redesign every file. This cannot possibly be the production workflow, and if it is I want to fix that.

Coming from the software engineering world, it seems like there ought to be a way to make a change to a single component (text, logo, etc), and have the change applied to all dependent files. Any way to do this already?

2 Answers 2


Convert your original logo Design / Logo Set into a smart object.

For Photoshop Right click on layer and choose "convert to smart object" from options. You can create non destructive effects with adjustment layers added to the smart object.

In illustrator you can create a Symbols. (You can drag artwork directly to the symbols menu)

Smart objects and symbols can be placed into other Adobe programs such as After Effects and be animated / altered non destructively. You can always edit the smart objects/symbols and then update the placed files, which in turn will update all instances.

  • This appears to be the right answer Nov 30, 2017 at 22:14

Logos aren't supposed to change so often the file updating becomes a problem.

The intent of a logotype is a common, consistent, unaltered, symbol/image which identifies the company. It should never change to meet a layout or a particular design. It should be created with a few variations, such as - full color, minimal color, single color, greyscale, and reversed - then remain that same set of files for many, many years.

If you find none of your logo variations are working a particular design, then it's the design which should change, not the logo.

Most logos may change once a decade or once ever other decade - in which case, taking a few hours to update files is expected and anticipated, because the design is new.

In the case of a symbol and a full logo, you create 2 sets of files - one set with just the symbol in all the approved color variations and one set with the full logo in all the color variations. And they should be good for use for years, in every use case.

  • Yeah, I mean thats the issue is that while I'm perfecting the logo I'd like to be able to iterate on it many times and view it in each of its different styles (light, dark, with text, without text). Of course I wouldn't want to change the logo too much after it is in production Nov 30, 2017 at 22:14

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