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The large companies chose small logos (apple, amazon, gmail, facebook) etc (on login or search pages they have large logos).

But if I go back a few years, all those large companies had large logos.

So, I assume they started with big logos, so people can remember them and as they became well know they made the logo smaller in order to avoid wasting space.

Am I right or wrong? What is the recommended logo size for a new search focused website?

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closed as off-topic by Vitaly Mijiritsky, Charles Wesley, Matt Obee, Bart Gijssens, JonW May 16 at 14:30

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This question appears to be off-topic because it is about branding. It belongs on Graphic Design.SE who have a Branding tag. –  Vitaly Mijiritsky May 15 at 18:06
    
@Vitaly Mijiritsky: While you have a point, and it's related to branding, it's not unrelated to the website layout. –  Luka May 15 at 18:08
    
If this is a layout question, it needs to be rephrased accordingly.. In its present form I think it's purely a branding question. –  Vitaly Mijiritsky May 15 at 18:11

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I asked the same question some time ago about some companies' choices for different header sizes and logos among time. Some of my conclusions were that the choices were probably made because they wanted to:

  1. Communicate simplicity or they becoming lean (Remember Google's logo with bevels?)
  2. Save space to display the real value-proposition inside the fold (the first space on the screen perceived by a user when he/she enters any site), instead of the brand name, which probably hasn't acquired any buzz yet.
  3. Interfere not with the main-content (some sites even have no header)

As a reference, take a look to these sites:

  • qz.com (try to shrink the screen to be smartphone size)
  • fastcompany.com (mobile experience has a lot of areas of opportunity)
  • The new twitter profile design performs a nice switch when you scroll down

The above examples made me ask: What are they trying to accomplish?

QUARTZ for example, has an excellent mobile experience, where the logo and header interferes not with the content. In the other hand, navigate through FastCompany's mobile site and experience how annoying the header results together with the top banners.

Twitter in the other hand makes use of the window scroll events to shrink or enlarge the header accordingly.

Here's is a reference gallery on how web designers use logos, headers and browser events for managing the branding: onepagelove.com

As an answer to your question, I guess there is no a best size for the logo, I believe it resides on the project aims of communication.

  • Is it an informative site?
  • Is it an interactive site?
  • Would a large logo interfere with my content or the size of the available space on the user's screen?
  • Is the branding so important that it needs to be really present?
  • Is it possible to integrate the company's branding with the interaction?
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What is the recommended logo size for a new website?

Depends on who you ask.

Client: Make the logo bigger!

Designer: Please make the logo smaller!

I don't think there's any real rule here other than "it should be as big as needed, but certainly no bigger".

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If we consider one goal of the logo is to communicate the purpose of a site, one can see why logos may have become smaller for more prominent sites where users were already familiar with them. Jakob Nielsen mentioned this purpose in his basic guidelines for homepage usability.

Show the company name and/or logo in a reasonable size and noticeable location. This identity area doesn't need to be huge, but it should be larger and more prominent than the items around it so it gets first attention when users enter the site. The upper-left corner is usually the best placement for languages that read from left to right.

It would be hard to recommend an exact size in dimensions for a logo, but it should draw the attention of the user. Why? From the same article:

Include a tag line that explicitly summarizes what the site or company does. Tag lines should be brief, simple, and to the point. For example, Global Sources' tag line, "Product and Trade Information for Volume Buyers," is a good, straightforward summary of what the site offers (we did, however, offer minor suggestions for improvement in the homepage review). Vague or jargonistic tag lines only confuse users, or worse, make them mistrust the site, especially if users perceive them as marketing hype. For example, Ford's tag line, "Striving to Make the World a Better Place," while pluckily optimistic, doesn't describe Ford's automotive business in any way.

So why would we draw attention to our logo? So we can get users to read our tagline. Doing this introduces the user to our site and what we have to offer. Why are our users here and not at another site? If we can grab their attention with a logo, whatever size that might be, and communicate our tagline, we have a chance to let them know why we're different from everyone else.

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