Like many designers, I’m currently working on an obligatory Facebook Timeline update for one of my clients. One of the elements of the new layout is a square box for a profile image in which most brands will place their logo. It doesn’t work very well for my client’s strongly horizontal identity. Of course the same issue is a problem on other social media platforms. Wherever you need an avatar, you’re stuck in a square. So the question I briefly considered is, should every logo be designed to fit in a square? Of course not!
As a reputable designer I would never restrict an identity solution to such simple parameters. When contemplating identity design I need to know all the usage requirements and which are the primary ones. This is especially true if the mark is to be incorporated on a website or in package design.
Still, every brand needs a solution for the square. If your logo fits well enough to be recognizable as a small avatar, great. If not, consider other elements of your branding that identify you. It could be an initial, a product, a colour or some other graphic element associated with your brand presence. Think outside the box to fit inside the box.
The square requirement is now embedded as part of the new brand marketing realty. It may not drive the shape of identity design but it will be an important consideration in the solution.