I designed a logo for a university institute, which shall consist of the institute’s name on one side and the logo proper on the other. Both possible horizontal orders have their advantages and disadvantages, and thus I am considering to deliver two versions of the logo, one for each order. Whoever applies the logo can then choose whatever orientation fits best into the context. I will probably provide some simple guidelines for this purpose.

For example, the two variants could look like this:

example logo with text on the right example logo with text on the left

Mind that this is only an example.

Am I missing some inherent disadvantage of supplying two alignments of the logo?

So far, I considered (and rejected):

  • Overwhelming the users (see this and this question).

  • Users choosing the variant badly. While this will inevitably happen, the alternative would be that users align the other variant badly to the context or similar – having two variants is the lesser evil.

Brand consistency is important.

By providing multiple alignment variations, you'll often find one version goes unused for the most part and the other is overused (or merely preferred). This makes the unused option appear incorrect when it's seen. Therefore it should be avoided, or merely never supplied.

I, personally, would not provide multiple alignment options.

By example, I can find no major brand which uses multiple alignments (left/right) frequently. You'll find vertical and horizontal options, but rarely, if ever, left/right options. They present too much inconsistency without a viable cause.

  • Dang, I somehow forgot to include this under my considered list (my fault). Given that most external viewers will see this logo very rarely (if more than once at all), brand consistency is not a big concern for this case. Anyway, it’s a valid answer to my general question (+1). – Wrzlprmft May 27 at 19:38
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    Really internal/eternal doesn't matter in my opinion -- you still want overall consistency. – Scott May 27 at 19:41
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    One popular reason for left-right variants is for different sides of a vehicle; this particularly affects slopes or arrows, but could conceivably affect text-alignment and logo placement. – Andrew Leach May 27 at 22:02
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    Specific use cases may require some variations, but I'd never assume such use and initially supply variations from the start. It all kind of depends upon the mark itself. – Scott May 27 at 22:30
  • @AndrewLeach : especially if the logo indicates motion or progress, it wouldn't look nice if it pointed backwards on one side of the vehicle. – vsz May 28 at 4:47

Kind of what Scott is saying. This would leave too many options where there shouldn't be an option. Just because the name is too long to find that perfect balance doesn't mean you should let others decide what works and what doesn't.

The MIT logo appears to be available in a number of alternative designs, possibly for similar reasons, but this is unusual and bigger brands will generally avoid confusion.

I would just keep the one version that makes the most sense. I would also not flow the text around the symbol like you did, since a logo is not an anchored image. Meaning, normally i would pick the one on the left but making the name left-aligned instead of right-aligned and remove this text flow arrangement which may have landed you into this multiple option situation.

enter image description here

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    My university has similar variants, though not quite as many. The primary source of variance seems to be departments, which carries over to different subsets of a company I guess. – Zach Saucier Jun 9 at 19:06

I separate the answer in three parts.

Graphic design

From a professional point of view, I would avoid offering graphic selection options to a client, as long as they are not firmly justified, reasoned and described in a guideline. My practical reasoning is that a client pays to get solutions to a problem.

...choose whatever orientation fits best into the context...

It looks you are transferring to the client the doubt you raise in this question. If I were the client at every moment I had to choose between one option and another I would have the feeling of making part of the work that designer hasn't done.

Formal Perception

I know that this is not part of the question, I show it only as an add. There's a visual decompensation in the gaps. The pictogram bottom is too close to the text. Perceptively anchors the image to the typographic base. I'm not sure centering the pictogram to the text block is the best option in this case. In the image, the pink is as it is now and the cyan triangles are balanced after moving up the image a little.

Anchor

A solution attempt is to balance the resultant gaps of the parallel virtual line that follows the alignment of the text and the right ellipse.

enter image description here

The result set free the image of the typographic block.

enter image description here

My personal choice would be to release it even more. Knowing that there is a deliberate and effective formal contrast, creating a dependency on the image with the text invalidate it.

up

Concept Perception

From the conceptual point of view, when seeing the logo for the first time and before reading the question, at the first instance it is evident the pair of reflected ellipses that lead to interpret a winged insect. Immediately afterwards, two large sharp needles appear.

needles

If the sequence is needles + wings, the association is inevitable.

needles 2

If the sequence is wings + text, the result of the previous image is not so immediate. If this association is not done deliberately, I would try to:

  1. Avoid the sequence "needles + wings"
  2. Moving as far as possible any ellipse of the character that presents a sharp needle to avoid any perceptual conflict: knife + balloon

knife]balloon

  1. Place the visual weight of the image above the needle character tip

visual weight


logo

  • There is no good way of saying this, but you likely spent much more time on dissecting my example than I spent on creating it – which was about five minutes. The point of the example was actually to focus the question and decouple it from some real logo’s issues. If you want to unleash your critiquing energy on the actual logo (that caused me to ask this), the current version can be found here and it has been discussed intensively in the Looking Glass. – Wrzlprmft Oct 14 at 7:54
  • It is not a critique, the proof is that the final result is the same as the one proposed in the question. It's a perception analysis from the formal and conceptual point of view based on what is asked. I do not criticize logos in GD.SE. I'm sorry if you have taken it personally, it's not the intention at all. – Danielillo Oct 14 at 8:27

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