Visual branding: Why your logo should be smaller

Why your visual branding shouldn’t look like it is trying too hard.

My family celebrates the holidays pretty quietly. But, at the same time, it’s fun to gawk at some of the more extreme ways people mark the season – like holiday sweaters.

I recently came across this high-wattage example:

visual branding

Sweaters vs. suits

Holiday sweaters are a great way to attract attention. But when it comes to branding, turning up the volume on your visual brand, such as your logo, can cause problems.

Your visual branding – what we call “trade dress” —  is not like a holiday sweater. It’s more like a custom suit. A holiday sweater shouts for attention. A well-tailored suit asserts itself without effort.

“Make the logo larger”

If you feel your visual branding has to shout – by making the logo too large, for example — your audience will feel that your brand is trying too hard.

Every brand wants to build trust. If your trade dress is confident and effortless, your audience will trust your brand.

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Are there exceptions to this? Of course. Every sector has different expectations for trade dress. Audiences expect consumer goods brands to be more aggressive than insurers, for example.

Visual branding that fits

  • Understand what your audience expects in your sector. To start with, study your competitors
  • Utilize white space, instead of making things larger. Visual elements have more impact if they have room around them
  • Think of your brand as a person. Think about how your brand looks, sounds and feels



From 1952 to 1963 parents had to supply real potatoes for the body of Mr. Potato Head, until 1964 when Hasboro introduced a hard plastic body.

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LevinsonBlock is a Brooklyn-based healthcare marketing agency that specializes in mid-sized organizations. Our clients include healthcare providers such as FQHCs, disease foundations, and healthcare technology firms.
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