Aspect Ratios & Logo Footprints

Oft-overlooked factors that can influence use of a logo forever

The aspect ratio of your logo is the relationship between the height and width, and the ‘footprint’ (the physical boundaries that are required for reproduction) of the design. A logo that is too tall and skinny, or too wide and short, is not visually pleasing, and you’ll end up with all sorts of layout issues when it comes to setting up your logo in artwork, especially when combined with other graphic elements (ie: business card, brochure design, web sites, etc) or when using it on website & blog headers. Here’s the basic types of aspect ratios:


Here’s how this plays out in terms of your logo, using a few actual designs culled from our portfolio:


Horizontal aspect ratios are handy when it comes to reproducing a logo as part of a web banner. A logo that is closer to a ‘golden mean’ (almost the aspect relationship of a business card) is much more pleasing and more adaptable to working in other artwork. Circle logos are very strong visually due to their ‘square aspect ratio..

Logo Footprints

Your logo’s ‘footprint’ (the physical boundaries that are required for reproduction) is a factor often overlooked when inexperienced designers are developing their first designs. Which is a shame, because using a footprint effectively is sometimes key to a logo’s success. You can imagine your new logo’s footprint as a bounding box around the minimum area needed to reproduce your logo. Let’s take a look at the Links logo.


This logo features a large trailing element (the star) that extends beyond the necessary visual area of the design. This trailing element affects the logo’s footprint and aspect ratio quite dramatically and affects the size of the logo when used in artwork where the width of the logo is a factor. The logo will be “pushed down” in any design by its unorthodox layout and will always feature open space in the top quadrant of the bounding box. Whether that’s acceptable is ultimately the buyers call. Let’s take a look at another logo, this one with square aspect ratio and more orthodox footprint.


As we can see, the Sight Effects logo can reproduce at a much larger size when width is the determining factor on the size of the logo. It sits quite comfortably in its footprint and is well balanced – the footprint of this logo is practically square and extremely adaptable for most uses.

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