A tagline is all about the feels. They don’t describe your brand in black and white, but they do evoke feelings that let your customers know what your brand is all about. Just imagine you’d never heard of Nike. Their “Just Do It” tagline doesn’t make it obvious that Nike is a sports brand, but those words do bring up feelings of inspiration, motivation and big goals.

Nike logo and tagline
The infamous inspirational Nike tagline

Designing your logo with a tagline can amplify the awareness of your brand and help your company stick in people’s minds forever. But what’s the right way to do it? How do you know if your brand’s logo even needs a tagline?

Let’s take a look at the secrets to designing a logo with a tagline or slogan for your brand.

What is a tagline?

A good tagline or slogan sets you apart from your competitors, summarizes your brand values, and at its best can even become an earworm.

“Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline” springs to mind.

Think of taglines as a short, aspirational and quippy version of your brand’s mission statement. Typically, your mission statement stays internal to help guide everything from your marketing efforts to your brand identity. Taglines take that and share it with the world. It’s an external way of communicating the essence of your brand.

Taglines and slogans give your brand one more way for your customers and fans to connect with you.

Taglines can take your logo to the next level. Illustration by OrangeCrush, logo by ❀ᴀʟɪᴄɪᴀ❀.

When does your logo need a tagline?

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Taglines give you a little something extra, and a new opportunity to state what you and your brand are all about. But not all brands and not all logos need one.

Here are some great opportunities to take advantage of a logo with tagline.

1. You have a limited audience

If you’re a small brand that doesn’t hold a lot of space in social media or have a lot of funding for marketing campaigns, a tagline is an ideal way to take advantage of extra communication.

mind charity logo
Mind for better mental health charity logo and tagline via Mind

For example, a small nonprofit, medical or educational organization might not have the means to get their message out to a wide audience. Adding a tagline helps them state their mission up front, so potential supporters and clients instantly understand their purpose.

2. You’re in a crowded marketplace

A tagline is a great way to set yourself apart from your competitors when you’re in an industry with a lot of players.

Apple Think Different tagline
Genius Think Different tagline and campaign via Apple

Apple’s “Think different” tagline and campaign turned their sales and brand image around by defining themselves as a creatively genius brand for creatively genius people.

Westbound Farms logo
Concise logo for Westbound Farms via A·mi·a·ble”

3. You’re starting a new brand

When starting a new brand, you need to be as clear and concise about your service or product as possible. A disjointed brand image and messaging can be really damaging, especially upon launch.

Adding a simple and clear tagline to your logo can give new users a clearer idea on what they can expect.

4. You’re rebranding

Rebranding is no walk in the park. It takes time, energy, sweat and tears, but it is all worth it in the end when it turns your brand (and your revenue) around.

Airbnb rebrand
‘Belong Anywhere’ Airbnb rebrand via Airbnb

Adding a refreshed tagline to your new logo can help new and existing customers and partners understand your brand’s new vision.

5. Your logo needs more to tell your story

If your logo is abstract or minimal, design a version that includes a simple tagline that better explains your brand proposition. The logo and the ‘Neuro Bloom’ brand name is made a lot more clear by adding a simple slogan underneath.

Neuro Bloom logo and tagline
Neuro Bloom logo and tagline via RotRed

How to design a logo with a tagline

If you’re starting to feel like a tagline would be beneficial to add to your logo, here are some handy tips to consider when designing.

1. Start with your brand personality

Before designing your logo and tagline, know your brand personality and brand identity to understand what kind of style you should go for.

Are you a wholesome, good-natured brand? A more traditional or vintage-inspired approach to your design and layout might work best. Take a look at Vincent and Victoria, a baking company. Their logo and tagline combination suggests they have old-fashioned family values, they’re approachable, and their natural products go back-to-basics.

logo for Vincent & Victoria
Vintage inspired logo with tagline design by DSKY
logo and tagline for Lifted Apparel
Strong logo design for Lifted Apparel by CostinLogopus

Lifted Apparel has combined their logo and tagline perfectly. The minimal, yet strong quality of their logo with the uplifting, motivation words of their tagline suggests they are a modern brand for chic gym buffs.

logo and tagline for Farmcut
Modern wholesomeness for Farmcut by olimpio

Olimpio’s logo and tagline for Farmcut wonderfully denotes a sense of honesty and clean living. The simplistic text of “Farmcut” shows that the brand is modern, but the handwriting style of the tagline “Pure Food. Pure Comfort” evokes a feeling of warmth towards the brand, as if you’ve been invited for dinner personally by the owners.

2. Experiment with placement and sizing

Your tagline might be perfectly witty, but you must make sure it doesn’t overpower your brand name and logo. Always make it smaller than the brand name, but clear and readable.

wood fire pizza logo and tagline
Fiery logo with tagline design for Esternos by DSKY

An easy way to assess this is to consider the typography’s hierarchy. When looking at your logo and tagline, what do you read first? Designing with the golden ratio in mind can help you define your font sizing to create a visually sound image.

The most common placement of logo and tagline is the brand name large at the top with the tagline below. However, consider experimenting with your tagline placement for a unique design that really stands out.

Pizza Fit flips the typical placement by placing the tagline at the top, but still keeping focus on the brand name.

Unique logo for Pizza Fit by EWMDesigns
Mama’s Mediterranean Food logo design
Experimental logo placement for Mama’s by Diggitigirl ♥

Mama’s Mediterranean Food splits their tagline in two so that it encircles the logo, while still keeping the main focus on the brand name in the center.

Remember to also consider scalability. How does your logo look when it is in a small format?

Test your logo as a social media profile picture to see how clear the image looks. If it looks messy or illegible, it could be worth adjusting the sizing, or simplifying the design. Learn more about logo fonts in this article.

3. Design versions with and without the tagline

This might be a little counterintuitive, but a truly great logo works with or without a tagline. When creating your visual brand guidelines, make sure to design both versions so your brand can shine in a wide variety of marketing channels at any size.

Just Beautiful logo iterations
Beautiful logo iterations for Just Beautiful by ❀ᴀʟɪᴄɪᴀ❀

For example, many digital marketing channels require extremely small logos for social media profile pictures and within app design. Having a simplified version of your logo without the tagline makes the user experience more friction-less and palatable.

Designer Alicia created a variety of iterations of Just Beautiful’s logo so they can appear in multiple formats, including one extremely simplified version presumably for smaller formats like an instagram profile picture.

Designing a tagline-less version of your logo also helps to future-proof your brand for when you may not need it anymore.

Some of the world’s biggest brands have a tagline you don’t know about. It may be missing from their logo, but they keep this tagline consistent within their marketing whenever they use it.

Twitter It’s what’s happening campaign
Twitter still has a tagline. Via Twitter.

One recipe for brand success: Just add a tagline.

Whether you use it publicly or not, creating a well-designed version of your logo with a tagline can bring your brand personality to life in all new ways. These simple phrases help redefine your mission, connect with customers, and add a new layer of engagement for anyone who experiences your business.

Want more logo design tips? Learn how to design a logo here.

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