When presenting our partners with a website mockup, the first piece of feedback we receive almost every time is: “my logo seems really small – can you make it bigger?”  It’s a common request that almost every agency hears (some have even made parody videos about it).  Having worked on hundreds of website design projects, it’s clear that there is a fear shared by many business owners and marketing directors: if a logo isn’t large (perhaps even the largest component of the design), the brand is not being properly represented.

To dispel the myth that a strongly-branded website relies upon a large logo, let’s take a look at how the biggest brands in the world utilize their logo on their respective websites.  We’ll do this by analyzing the logo sizes of the top 25 companies on Forbes’ list of the Most Powerful Brands in the World.  But, before we take a look at the results, let’s first define a “brand” vs. a “logo.”

Brands vs. Logos – Is there a Difference?

A logo is often confused with a brand; we find that many of our partners refer to their logo as their brand, and that the terms are used interchangeably.  This is an understandable misconception, as most people think of “branding” as their logo and collateral – a design-centric combination of symbols, colors and fonts.  While logos and brands are very closely related, they’re actually two distinct entities.

A logo is simply a symbol, wordmark, or combination of the two that identifies an organization.  Logos evoke emotion, differentiation and characteristics, but they don’t tell the entire story.  A brand is much more than a logo – a brand is the aggregate combination of impressions, experiences and knowledge that a person has about a product, service or organization.  While design plays an extremely important role in defining a brand, it is only one component.

A great example is Whole Foods – the company has a basic wordmark logo.  But, when you think of Whole Foods, you likely think of more than just their logo; you may think of “healthy,” “organic,” and “premium.”  Or, you may think “overpriced.”  This is based on the combination of your impressions, experiences and knowledge of what they stand for – not simply a reaction to the logo.

How “The Most Powerful Brands in the World” Size their Website Logo

Below is a list of the top 25 brands in the world, as ranked by Forbes, and the size of the logo on their website.

Brand Logo Size (px) Format
Apple 16×20 Symbol
Google 92×30 Wordmark
Microsoft 108×23 Combination
Coca-Cola 137×43 Wordmark
Facebook 24×24 Symbol
Toyota 147×26 Combination
IBM 59×24 Wordmark
Disney 66×28 Wordmark
McDonald's 80×80 Symbol
GE 42×42 Symbol
Samsung 139×21 Wordmark
Amazon 96×29 Combination
AT&T 31×31 Symbol
BMW 50×50 Combination
Cisco 63×34 Combination
Oracle 134×16 Wordmark
Intel 64×43 Combination
Nike 56×20 Symbol
Louis Vuitton 149×16 Wordmark
Mercedes-Benz 40×40 Symbol
Verizon 153×34 Combination
Walmart 200×100 Combination
Honda 164×20 Wordmark
American Express 54×54 Combination
Budweiser 162×53 Combination

Note: The size is based on the raw symbol/wordmark – it does not include “white space” or padding around the logo.

Insights

  • The height of the logo is typically between 20 and 30px, while the width varies based on the length of the brand name.
  • Companies that have a combination of symbol and wordmark typically have the largest website logos.

Why a Website Logo Should Be Small

Though logo size should depend on a website’s unique combination of content and features, generally speaking, logos should be sized small due to a limited amount of screen real estate.  On most websites, ease-of-use should trump logo size; it’s more important for users to easily navigate a website with a convenient interface than it is for them to see a large logo.

We would rather emphasize calls-to-action (like making a purchase or requesting more information) that play a role in revenue or lead generation; these are the most important components of a website.  Just think: would Apple rather have you admire the size of their logo or purchase a new computer?

Summary

Simply put: don’t let your logo take up valuable real estate that could be used to improve user navigation through the site or the ease of purchase/conversion.  Users don’t visit websites to analyze a logo – they come to get information, make a purchase, or request more information.  Your “brand” will be strengthened through a smooth, easy, and effective presentation of navigation and content supported by any further interactions they have with people from your organization.