We all know social media is here to stay as it continually changes the way companies connect with their customers. Companies diving into social media are required to represent their identity within square formats that are sometimes unrecognizable due to incredibly small size constraints. Many companies adapt by simply separating their icon from their logo, but what are the options for companies that only use logo type? Unfortunately many resort to cramming their logo into tiny illegible squares.
As designers we have the responsibility to make sure our logo designs work well across all mediums including web and print. A new set of visual identity standards, with an increased focus on web-based marketing, has naturally come into play over the past few years. Taking these new standards into account while creating a new identity begs the question, “When designing a logo from scratch, do we start within the confines of a square format?” I say, No. A logo should be designed to represent a company visually in a minimalistic, memorable and easily recognizable way. I don’t think the best visual solutions can be confined to such a restraint as a square proportion. With that said, I do believe that during the creation of a brand's visual identity a solution should be made to work well in smaller sizes. This could be removing the type treatment from a logo and only using the icon, or using another visual element from a brand’s campaign such as a pattern or another supportive design element.
Sites like Twitter and Facebook have created two huge design challenges for our future: How to represent an identity within a square format and how to create legibility and impact in very restricted amounts of space. Designers need to keep these major factors in mind when creating new identities and realize that social and online media are here to stay.