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Logo Design Variations (Why They Make or Break Your Logo)


Logo design variations are necessary to every brand and business. Variations and usage should be kept to a minimum, kept to the core of the branding, and be created strategically. We discuss Maven X’s approach to logo variations, review the logo variations for Maven X and Maven Edu, and discuss the importance of variations. This post will give you an input into how Maven X designed its logo and hopefully inspire you in your logo designs or prompt inspiration to modify your existing designs to be more flexible.


You logo is a versatile and critical asset to your business. While your logo has a preferred look, style, and color there may be some applications where it’s not feasible. Logo variations are necessary to ensure that you have a logo option available for almost every application without sacrificing the original intent and feel. Maven X has several logo variations for both Maven X and Maven Edu. We will dive into the different variations, why we have that specific variation, and how we use each variation. As you design your logo and build your branding definitely consider having different variations and consider how your main logo can exist in the use cases.

This post is a continuation of our Maven X Design series. If you haven’t yet read the previous post The Value In an Engaging Logo Design definitely check it out before continuing on!

Our Methodology.

For any internal design, we always follow the Maven X Values first. Everything we do will ultimately link back to our values. The level of excellence we place into our designs is high, especially when it comes to our own branding! Maven X provides design services, so if our own designs don’t impress then our clients won’t be impressed either.

Our methodology is to keep it simple. The design needs to speak to the branding first. This applies to both internal design and to designs we perform with our clients as well. The design then needs to be intentional and as simple as possible. For logo designs especially we follow the design points we outlined in our previous post The Value In an Engaging Logo Design. When it comes to logo variations we want to keep variations at a minimum and define the usages specifically. It is always desirable to use the main logo design as much as possible. However, there are times where the design doesn’t work with the main logo, this is where you might need variations to avoid color clashing or dark/light backgrounds.

The Maven X Logo Variation Examples.

The Maven X logo has six variations total. If you notice, there isn’t a lot of design changes in the logos except for the colors. It’s important to note that sometimes your variations don’t have to be that different as long as it achieves the necessary application. So let’s dive into each variation!

Variation 1. Logo Light

The Logo Light variation of the Maven X logo is for use on dark backgrounds. The text is changed to the Maven X Snow White color (#FFFAFA) with the silver band still the same color. This allows the logo to be easily visible on darker backgrounds. In our branding guide it’s preferable to keep the dark color in the Rich Black Fogra 39 (#0C090A) as shown here. However if that’s not possible it’s best if the color is darker than lighter. The problem we have with certain colors is with the silver band starting to clash with the background color. Once this begins to happen we may consider to either change the background or utilize another variation instead.

This variation is a must have for any logo. You will need to have a light variation to have the ability to place your logo on any darker background or material.

Maven X Light Logo Variation

Variation 2. Document Footer

The Document Footer variation of the Maven X logo is for use in all document footers of Maven X documents. In the footer we place this logo to show on each page for company branding on internal documents and documents that are sent to clients. What we found was that the size of the normal logo was too big for the footer without sacrificing too much space. The size was too small according to our branding guidelines and the text was too small due to the ‘X’ sticking down below the square. Simply by removing the ‘X’ we were able to reduce the size and contain the text inside the silver box.

This variation is optional for any logo or business. As a part of our branding and design for documents we liked to see the logo in the center of the footer. If you opt to use this logo you may be able to use your default logo only or may choose to not place your logo in either the header or footer at all.

Maven X Document Footer Logo Variation

Variation 3. Logo Dark

The Logo Dark variation of the Maven X logo is for use on lighter backgrounds. Similar to the light variation of the logo, we are switching the colors around. The text is the Rich Black Fogra 39 (#0C090A) and the background is to preferably be Snow White (#FFFAFA) however the variation is slight between Snow White and White (#FFFFFF). The allows the logo to be easily visible on lighter backgrounds. Similar to the lighter variation, there are certain colors where the silver band will begin to clash with different colors and we might consider to change the background or utilize another variation of the logo.

This is a must have for any logo. Most likely your logo was designed by default in either a light or dark variation. You will need a dark variation to have the ability to place your logo on any lighter background or material.

Maven X Dark Logo Variation

Variation 4. Logo Mono Light

The Logo Mono Light variation of the Maven X logo is for use on any application where colors might be limited and the background is darker. While Maven X’s colors are pretty standard in either black or white it’s better to have a pre-rendered version of the logo in all white monochromatic just in case you need it! As mentioned with variations 1 and 3, there are some issues when the silver band begins to clash with different colors. This variation is an option to use if there are limitations in changing the background in which the logo is going to sit on. Another case is when it comes to physical applications such as fabrics. Costs can increase for production of apparel when multiple colors are used. Maven X’s logo is simple but logos with many colors or even color gradients can have more issues when being printed or embroidered (See the Maven Edu Logo below).

This logo variation is optional but recommended to have on hand just in case. This will give you the flexibility to have more options for your logo in situations where backgrounds can be restricting or if physical applications become more complex.

Maven X Mono Light Logo Variation

Variation 5. Document Watermark

The Document Watermark variation of the Maven X logo is for use on documents as a watermark behind text. This is placed behind the document and faded out to 5-10% opacity. This gives us a quick and easy way to identify documents that are internal or externally distributed.

This logo variation is optional. This is a part of Maven X’s style in document design that is unique to us. But if you like the idea go ahead and use it!

Maven X Document Watermark Logo Variation

Variation 6. Logo Mono Dark

The Logo Mono Dark variation of the Maven X logo is for use on any application where the colors might be limited and the background is lighter. Similar to variation 4, the dark version is flipped. It’s a grayscale monochromatic version in all black. Again, it’s best to have a dark mono logo version in case you need to place the logo on lighter backgrounds where colors might begin to clash or on physical applications.

This logo variation is again optional but recommended to have on hand. You can never have enough flexibility. It makes sense to get all variations at the same time while engaging a designer.

Maven X Mono Light Logo Variation

The Maven Edu Logo Variations.

The Maven Edu logo also has six logo variations. The variations are similar to the Maven X logo since the usages are more or less the same. Since Maven X is the parent of Maven Edu a lot of the official documents are branded as Maven X which is why there is no document variation. Instead we have the EDU Square which can be used as needed. The only other main difference is between the mono logos (variations 4-6). The letters “Edu” can be either solid with the light or dark colors or be transparent with whatever is behind the text. This can give a unique look on pictures or videos but is used sparingly.

Variation Importance & Usage.

Your logo needs to be versatile. There is never going to be an all around perfect way to use your logo every time on the same background and same material. The more creative your marketing material there may be lighter or darker backgrounds or color clashes that need to be avoided to make the branding look right. It’s important to keep the core of your logo the same and to change as little as possible while making the end result look how you need.

There is no defined list of variations that you must have or use! It’s unique to you, your brand, and your logo. Decide, based on your logo design, what variations are needed and have your designer create them for you!

Final Thoughts.

Logo variations are a necessity for businesses. All large brands utilize several variations of their logos. The usage and types of variations are based upon your business branding and the actual design of the logo itself. Try to keep the number of variations to the bare minimum as you don’t want to stray too far away from your core logo design. Try to use the main logo as much as possible with the variations as backups in rare situations. In general it’s better to have an option in the event where you’re limited. Reach out to your designer, or during the designing process, and have them develop the proper variations for you.

Maven X provides logo design services through Maven Design! If you like our designs and want to see how we can take your logo to the next level, send us a note through our contact page! We would love to design the face of your business!

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