What the devil is a logo lockup?

Recently, I have seen the phrase ‘logo lockup,’ a lot. After some research, I realised that the phrase is more complicated than I had previously thought…

What is a logo lockup?

A “logo lockup” is simply the phrase given to the complete logo with all design elements included.

A logo, as we know, is an identity mark. It is important to recognise that the logo is not the brand but simply an important part of the brand identity.

However, there will be variations of the logo depending on it’s placement and usage. A company may have a combination mark (both text and symbol icon) as their complete logo (their logo lockup).

Instagram lockup (combination logo)

However, if the company has an app, they need to create a clearly recognisable avatar (the word for the square app button on your phone.

The glyph (left) and the avatar (right). Both are variations of the lockup.

By contrast, the company may want the complete logo when printed on placed on larger areas. If there is the space, such as on websites, promotional products or posters, it makes sense to use the full complete logo. Another example is a brewery which may have an symbol icon printed on the bottle cap and then the logo lockup on the bottle label.

Does the logo work at small sizes? The variation on the right will be printed on the bottle cap while the full lockup works on the packaging on the beer bottles. (This is a screen shot from the excellent ‘Building a Brand,’ series on Youtube. Watch the episode here! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYzRq3fvuDQ

A “logo lockup” is simply the phrase given to the complete logo with all design elements included.

Hope that helps!

NB. It is vital that the brand identity is consistent in each lockup variation. Regardless of whether colours or sizing is changed, the brand must be clearly recognisable in each variation.

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