Your logo is an extension of your brand, often the first thing someone not familiar with your gym will see. Most gyms make the mistake of having a single variant of their logo. I am not sure why it seems acceptable in the gym industry, but any other industry it isn’t. This is because its virtually impossible to get a single logo to look good for every application, website, business cards, banner, painted on wall, print ad, Facebook ad, social icon etc etc. The following article contains what I would consider the bare minimum requirements when commissioning your logo.
I have worked on logos for bigger brands such as Disney and Sony. Their requirements are much more extensive and usually come with gigantic rulebooks on what you can and cannot do with their logos. Projects of that nature can have budgets running in the $100,000 + range, which is overkill for a small business like yours. This article is targeted to what is appropriate for a fitness studio or gym with only one or a handful of locations.
At minimum you want a vertical AND a horizontal lockup. The vertical should fit in an aspect ratio of 1:1, and the horizontal will be more like 4:1 or 5:1.
The primary reason you need 2 lockups is in todays world you have vastly different requirements for logo usage. Two good example use cases are your website and your social channels.
Because a website will typically put your logo top right in your menu, if you use a 1:1 ratio vertical lockup it will likely be tough to read at that small size, therefore requiring the longer horizontal lockup to clearly read your gym’s name. The inverse is true if you try to use the horizontal version for say a Facebook ‘headshot’ or Twitter ‘headshot’ representing your company. Almost all social sites require or crop your image to a square. If you don’t have a 1:1 ratio logo in your bag you will not be represented well here.
Think about what color backgrounds the logo may sit on. This is where you typically have one version that will work with a dark background or image, another on a lighter background. All these scenarios are likely to come up during the lifetime of your business even if they are not immediately obvious to you today.
Logos need some breathing room. Placing other elements too close to your logo will muddy your brand, don’t do this. Here are some generalized rules.
Finding a designer
Do not design your own logo, that would be like a member self teaching themselves to deadlift, they could probably do it but the result would be a disaster.
I would first ask around your gym community for someone skilled in this area. I have found if you find a member, they will understand your brand and what you are trying to achieve well, and easy to communicate with if you can have in person meetings and like exchange services for some PT or a few months membership. Typically they are affordable as they want to help you out, as you help them each day with their fitness.
If this isn’t an option, there are tons of very affordable online options starting at $5 (yes, that is not a typo):
For print output the easiest and most portable format is a vector based PDF. This can be scaled to any size without loosing sharpness.
For digital, usually a 500x500px .png with transparent background is good for the vertical variant, and ~1000x400px .png with transparent background is good for horizontal.
A few examples I personally like that have done a great job of creating a flexible logo for todays modern uses.