I wish this were a question that my clients would ask me. Unfortunately, it’s more often my experience (and I assume other designers’ as well) that clients request a larger logo on their marketing collateral. Then I have to explain why bigger isn’t always better. Sometimes they get it. Sometimes they don’t.

For those who don’t bother asking me, I will just tell you what I think on the topic via this blog post. I’ll stick to websites since printed items vary so much in size (postcard. vs. poster, coaster vs. billboard; you can see I’d be doing some heavy math conversions that I’m not up for right now).

So, how big should your logo be on your website? NOT THAT BIG.

When you’re talking about your own business, you may think that it’s really important to get your brand out there. You may find yourself answering your phone like this: “Good morning! This is Jane Smith of Jane Smith Gadgets, what kind of gadgets can Jane Smith Gadgets help you with today?” just to see how many times you can drill the name of your company into your audience’s head.

But it’s kind of like the burger photo you see here. When you’re ordering it, it seems like a really good idea. “Yeah, I’ll make that a double-decker. Extra cheese? Why not? Three tomatoes? Sure!” But once you get it in front of you, you realize it’s going to be impossible to take a bite. That is how your website visitors feel when they see your giant logo on their screens. It’s impossible for them to focus on the wonderful information around the logo, because they’re just trying to figure out how to mentally process that giant jpeg taking over their monitors.

While brand awareness and recognition may be BIG parts of your overall marketing strategy, you’re not going to accomplish those goals by simply making your logo BIGGER on everything.

Let’s talk measurements. Your logo should not take up the entire width of your website. It should not even take up half. Maybe it should take up a quarter, depending on the shape of your particular logo. Maybe.

Since your logo most likely appears at the top of your website, it’s sitting on some pretty valuable real estate. Don’t waste all that space by shouting your company’s name at your visitors. Why not subtly tell them the name of your business, while also using that above-the-fold space for more useful stuff? What about links to your social media profiles, or a form field to sign up for your email? Or text that will catch your visitor’s attention, like “free shipping” or “download our free app”?

Just so you know I’m not making this stuff up, as of this writing, here are the website logo dimensions (in pixels) for some big brands. The gray box below represents the size of Nordstrom’s logo, just to give you a reference.

This is 191 x 24 pixels, the size of Nordstrom's logo ← This box is the size of Nordstrom’s logo on the Nordstrom website. Tiny, right?

  • Nordstrom (191 x 24)
  • McDonalds (113 x 98)
  • Starbucks (84 x 84)
  • Wall Street Journal (362 x 30)
  • Nick Jr. (219 x 58)
  • Verizon (118 x66)

My logo is currently 260 x 120 pixels. Now I’m thinking even that is too big. What are your thoughts?