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I've designed a nice logo for a company's charity food-drive campaign that incorporates a tilt and some speed lines to imply forward (rightward) movement. I matched the tilt of the art to the italic font I used for the logo text.

The client wants a vehicle wrap incorporating this logo.

Is it more important to preserve the original form of the logo for consistency/memorability, or should I make a variant where the direction of travel is reversed, so the logo is moving forward in the same direction as the vehicle on both sides?

I would be reflecting the lean-angle of the text too, which hurts my soul a little, but doesn't look too warped.

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    Interestingly, American flag embroidered patches on right shoulders are reversed from the normal presentation precisely for this reason, so the flag doesn't fly backwards. – ErikE Apr 13 '18 at 18:48
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It depends on the logo and how it's done. You should avoid reversing the logo, but it may make sense in rare cases to reverse it. For example, Nike reverses their logo on their high socks when their logo is on the ankle (but PUMA doesn't seem to). As mentioned in the comments, it's pretty common practice for airlines to mirror their logo on their planes as well, especially on their tails.

Ultimately there's no hard rule, do whatever works best in your case. If you do reverse the direction, make sure it is done well and matches the desired branding.

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    :) you sure Nike reversed that logo and those photos aren't merely "flopped" by some online store? – Scott Apr 12 '18 at 16:51
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    @Scott Yep! I have a friend's pair right in front of me that has the logo reversed on the left (when viewed from the front) side – Zach Saucier Apr 12 '18 at 16:53
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    A good example of a case where I think the logo reversal is almost unavoidable is Lufthansa. – Emil Apr 12 '18 at 17:16
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    @Emil airline sin general... see American Airlines – WELZ Apr 12 '18 at 20:34
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    Interestingly, Puma does reverse their logo on many of their soccer/football footwear models, as does Nike. – Josh Doebbert Apr 13 '18 at 13:02
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Logo consistency is more important. Don't alter the logo for the vehicle wrap.

Having two logo variants, regarding something such as movement, on one item will dilute the branding, even if there's sense in why there may be a variant.

My general stance on logo variation is (sometimes limited) color , size, etc, is okay. However, don't alter the inherent objects of the logotype. I.E. don't redraw things, don't flip things, don't alter relative scaling, etc.

If other elements in the design have a direction, then possibly flip those, leaving the logo as it is. Ultimately it all comes down to specific usage and design in general. I do my level best to keep branding and logos as consistent as possible in all use cases.

Edited to add: Flipping an entire icon or symbol is often acceptable in comparison to an overall logo variant where only some internal design elements are flipped. And of course, field of vision plays a large role.

Of course, this is my opinion, nothing more.

  • Just to be clear, when you say "don't redraw things, don't flip things, don't alter relative scaling, etc.", you're talking about altering an existing logo for a specific use, rather than actually creating a logo, right? – Cai Apr 12 '18 at 17:55
  • @Cai right. I'm speaking in terms of variations for specific use cases, not exploration of the overall design. And really I'm referring to internal, integrated elements as opposed to stand alone symbology. – Scott Apr 12 '18 at 17:58
  • OK, we're on the same page then. I do, as a rule, completely agree with you... I think OP's is maybe a case where I would entertain the idea of altering the logo though (however contradictory that sounds) – Cai Apr 12 '18 at 18:10
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    The flag is also one of those elements that is often seen from both angles/sides. So a flop wasn't a horrendous decision. – Scott Apr 12 '18 at 18:31
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    @MontyHarder simpler than that... It's that people don't normally walk backwards. Flags are serious business. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Apr 12 '18 at 22:08
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In my opinion, this depends on which version is more brand consistent and less visually disconcerting in the context of a vehicle wrap. What's worse, the logo pointing the wrong way, or people noticing something slightly "off" ? Context is important; something that might look out of place on a business card might look very natural on the side of a van.

Here's an example that clearly demonstrates why flipping the logo is sometimes the best solution: Barrie Transit logo pointing left

Barrie Transit logo pointing right

In this context, the chevrons are clearly pointing forward, and it would look out of place if one side of the bus pointed the wrong way.

On the other hand, a tilted graphic could potentially demonstrate speed in either direction (leaning into or with the wind), as long as the speed lines were flipped to the other side. In the end, this is highly specific to each application.

  • This is a good example where not flipping the logo would look strange. The chevrons point forwards, not to the left/right. – MSalters Apr 16 '18 at 11:52
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We can't possibly guess without seeing your logo. Sometimes you have to reverse it.

And when you do, you have to "do it right" -- that is, remain loyal to the design -- even if it's complicated.


Here's an example of a logo of a "Fortune 500" company (in its day). This logo must be reversed, because it's a flag. The graphic shows the conventional display of the logo. Note the reversing on the vehicle.

enter image description here

The nose shows the conventional display. That doesn't work on the right side; it would be comically wrong for the hoist side to trail. The fix is not only a simple "flop" of the logo, but a complete recrafting of the lettering, since not only the skew but the waving must be accounted for.

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There are certainly pros and cons of each. Take the American Flag, for example, an easily recognizable brand symbol for the USA. The flag is often flipped so that the blue side is facing towards the front of a vehicle or towards the front of a military uniform. I understand the reasoning, but to me it looks very odd. I would prefer brand recognition that makes you know who it is, but not become distracting for the sake of correctness.

Space Shuttle

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    That is called the hoist side. It will make more sense if you look at an actual flag in its native habitat. What looks absolutely awful is a flag being magically pushed through the air, hoist side trailing. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Apr 12 '18 at 21:52
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    "The pointy part must be aiming up, or you will not be going to space today." -- XKCD – Harper - Reinstate Monica Apr 13 '18 at 3:04
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I approve with both Scott & Zach Saucier answers. It's a tricky thing to do.

An alternative would be to try and use the logo only on the top, back and front side of the car. Not the left or right sides.

This way you don't have to flip it.

Best of luck!

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Most large companies have specific rules about how to treat the logo (for example, how close things can get to it, how to do it in black and white, etc.). I don't recall ever seeing one that mentions reversing (pro or con) but it does seem like a good thing to have a rule about. I think the default answer should be "don't do it" and then the ones that allow it should say exactly how. Some of the examples given in the answers here are more than simple reversals; they keep text correctly reading. The one on the bus is re-composed. Ideally, if a logo can be reversed, the designer should supply the reversed version so the reversal is consistent.

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