Why We Discourage Designing Logos With Borders

Why we avoid designing bordered logos

When designing a new logo, it is important to understand how it will be used. If you expect it to be displayed quite small, keep the design clean and simple. Avoid using drop shadows, gradations of color, or any other feature that will not be clearly visible in small sizes. Additionally, do not use a border around your logo. A border creates significant drawbacks.

When a border is part of a logo design, everything inside the outer line has to be made smaller to fit in the same space. See the examples below comparing website logos with and without a surround. The logos occupy the same space, but the readability of the words varies significantly.

Original Logo (No Border)

Columbia County Tourism header

Original Logo with Line Added for Illustration

Columbia County Tourism header with logo in a box

In the example above, both width and height are fixed constraints. See how the logo without a border is easier to read?

Original Logo (No Border)

Spencertown Academy website header

Original Logo with Line Added for Illustration

Spencertown Academy website header with logo in a box

In the example above, only the height is fixed. Yet still, the logo with no border is easier to read.

Should Your Logo Have a Border?

In the examples above, notice how much smaller the words have to be to fit inside the fixed space box. They were so much more readable and identifiable without the border. This is the primary reason we do not recommend using a border on a logo.

Additionally, borders can be counterproductive, distracting, drawing attention away from the words inside. Focus the readers’ attention on the words, not the line around the words.

There are no rules in graphic design that have never been broken. The rules are simply there to guide one in making a decision. You can always choose to follow or break a rule. But it’s important to understand the implications of each design decision. If your logo has a border around it, the words will be harder to read when there are space constraints. It’s as simple as that. Whether or not this is a concern for you, is your decision.

Whether your business needs a new logo, a recreated logo or an alternative version of an existing logo, we can help. Visit our graphic design portfolio for a portfolio of logos that we designed. Call to discuss your project (518) 392-0846 or email [email protected].

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