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Note: I understand that this borders more of a legal question, but the advice I found here and here didn't quite seem to fit my question.


I am redesigning my resume and parts of the design will include the logo of previous companies for which I have worked. In order to make the various color schemes of these companies work better with the color scheme of my resume, I would like to change their color scheme.

Let's say, for example, I'd like to represent these companies on my resume:

enter image description here

enter image description here

Let's assume these companies do not have any logo branding guidelines, since the companies which I will include do not.

If I were to use these logos on my resume, I'd consider muting the Google logo to a greyscale color, and changing the USA Today dot to a greenish dot.

Since these changes would be present on my resume, potential employers would likely assume that I modified the logos. In your graphic design experience, is this ever appropriate?

I do not want or need to make any other changes to these logos. Of course, I could just drop the whole idea altogether.

  • 4
    Personal opinion -- grey-scaling or removing color is fine. Actually changing colors would not be. Using green for USA today shows a complete lack of respect for the brand. Removing color simply shows an effort to deemphasize the logo visually. – Scott Mar 20 '15 at 19:41
  • @Scott That's good advice. I certainly wouldn't mind just greyscaling the logos. – Oliver Spryn Mar 20 '15 at 19:48
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Graphic Designers should understand the power of brand consistency and honor the brand guidelines of said companies. Graphic Designers should also understand the power of color in said brands and, therefore, should respect the logos and not change the colors at all.

That said, making them black and white is certainly acceptable and most companies would likely already have monotone logo versions designed for such use.

  • These companies do not offer such a variant. Sounds like I shouldn't be touching them myself. – Oliver Spryn Mar 20 '15 at 20:25
  • You might have to do some digging, but nearly all corporate logos have mono-color versions. For example, the Google logo they use on Google Play play.google.com/store?hl=en&tab=X8 – DA01 Mar 20 '15 at 20:43
  • Sure, but some of these companies are really small, or are completely non-design oriented, or are government agencies which don't really share much of anything. I've done very a thorough search on some of these companies, and found absolutely no information regarding their logo guidelines. – Oliver Spryn Mar 20 '15 at 20:52
  • @OliverSpryn I think you're over-thinking this. It's likely fine if you simply convert them to grayscale. – DA01 Mar 20 '15 at 21:18
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First, think about why you are putting the logos on your resume in the first place.

  1. Is it because the companies are prestigious and recognizable and you want the person reading the resume to quickly ascertain that you worked at a prestigious company?
    Then do not alter the logo in any way, because the person reading the resume will become confused, since you have altered it and gone off brand. If I were a creative director or marketing manager, this would be a huge red flag to me. Could I trust you to adhere to my brand guidelines?
  2. Is it because you've designed the logo and you want what you hand them to be a combo resume/portfolio? If it's something you've designed and is not well known, you can probably get away with it, but consider handling the resume/portfolio combo in a different way.
  3. If it's because you simply want to stand out from the plain old boring resumes, either keep the original logos (or use their grayscale/BW versions), or try something else to catch the eye.
  • Mostly 3 and a little bit of 1. Sounds like it is best just to drop the idea. Thank you. – Oliver Spryn Mar 20 '15 at 20:24

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