Custom logos: Why don’t we typically use them?

Visualizing internal or external activities, initiatives, projects or departments with a sign, a symbol or a logo should be the exception. It’s better to focus our resources and efforts on the most valuable intangible assets we have: the Bayer brand and our product brands that are the basis of what we offer as a company.


This article will summarize the reasons for our custom logo policy, how it fits with our brand personality and brand architecture, and design principles for creating a custom logo in these cases.


If it isn’t a brand, it doesn’t need a logo

The starting point for our approach is our brand architecture, where it’s important to acknowledge that not everything is a brand. Below the overarching company brand, we differentiate between organizational levels (e.g. company divisions and clusters) and brand levels. Together, they show how the corporate and product brands are connected and support each other. But organizational structures or other activities aren’t brands themselves and shouldn’t be used as such.

It’s important to delineate what is a brand and what isn’t. The key to a successful customer-centric brand is its authenticity and purposeful engagement. Customers prefer brands that speak the truth and aspire to contribute to a better world. That’s where our health and agricultural products fit perfectly, inspired by our mission Health for all, Hunger for none.


Brands need effort, investment, and a long-term strategy to grow and maintain them. We should ensure that this work rewards us with value for the business. And the most powerful brands generate an enormous amount of value. That’s what our product brands do, endorsed by the trusted Bayer brand, which improves the perception of our product brands by more than 70 percent on average. So, it makes sense to give these key brands all the support we can, rather than dilute their power with additional brands.


If we create a custom logo for something that isn’t a product, we are essentially turning it into a brand – and that could confuse stakeholders or detract attention away from our corporate brand identity and products. The Bayer brand is extremely powerful. Focusing on it, and the products that make a direct difference to people’s lives, is how we bring that power to the world. That’s why we avoid custom or secondary logos: so, our core brands can shine.

  1. It protects our most valuable intangible asset. Our brand is worth more than $5bn, and the Bayer logo is its most distinctive and globally recognized element.
  2. Using the Bayer brand creates consistency and brand recognition across the whole Bayer company.
  3. It’s a more collaborative approach. Trying to ‘go it alone’ with our own logos and branding is more time-consuming and challenging. Working as one team across Bayer, with unified branding, makes it easier to work closely and succeed together.
  4. ‘Less is more’. Counterintuitively, refraining from adding more logos strengthens our brand, because it keeps a clear focus on our overall identity.
  5. We’re a people-oriented company, and we communicate in the most customer-oriented way possible. That means making our branding familiar and easy to understand, with the greatest possible clarity and transparency.

But I really need a custom logo!

In some cases, it may be possible to create additional logos if we can justify why one is needed, why it will provide additional value to the business, and why it’s worth the effort and investment.


We must stress that we do not expect there to be many such cases. If you think you might need one, or have questions about logo use, then in the first instance you can talk directly to the Corporate Brand Management team and discuss the branding possibilities together.


If you have any further questions about this or any other section of Bayer Identity Net, please contact:

To get you started, here is a checklist of criteria that any additional logo or symbol would need to follow:

  • It should have its own clear purpose that is not covered by our corporate brand, or by individual or umbrella product brands.
  • There should be a need for a designed logo specifically (i.e. it is for an activity that can only proceed with a logo and not just with standard typography).
  • As it will become part of the Bayer brand universe, it should make a positive contribution to the reputation and value of the Bayer brand.
  • It should have the potential to generate additional value and reputation for Bayer. It should at least relate to an important strategic or sustainability issue at company level, such as climate change or food security.
  • It should be sufficiently important to your business strategy (e.g. by having a broad audience, being a key part of a long-term integrated campaign, or being a key enabler for your business function). 
  • It should be possible to design the logo in accordance with the brand principles on visual identity, including color, type, and graphic device elements.
  • The logo and corresponding initiative should also be in line with our visionary, optimistic and passionate personality, and our mission Health for All, Hunger for None.


This list is non-exhaustive, but to start with, you should be able to answer most of these questions with ‘yes’. Furthermore, you should be confident that a custom logo is the right way forward.


IMPORTANT: Even if you think a custom logo is probably required, don’t just start designing it – please speak to Corporate Brand Management first to agree a way forward!

Before creating a new logo, you must consult the checklist provided.

Do’s and Don’ts for producing custom logos

Although custom logos will be agreed on a case-by-case basis, there are some standard guidelines that apply to every additional logo. Please keep these in mind whenever designing a logo:

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 Use colors specified in the Bayer color palette

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 Use the Bayer corporate font for wordmarks (if needed, you can adjust capitalization, weight or spacing to fit the design).

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 Keep designs attractive, clear, simple, and customer-oriented.

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 In use, keep the custom logo clearly separated from the corporate Bayer brand (by a distance at least three times the diameter of the Bayer cross).

These are examples of existing custom logos that fit the principles. Not only that, but they also embody our brand personality and our commitment to making a positive difference.

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 Don’t incorporate the Bayer cross into custom logos.

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 Don’t use symbols that are too similar to the Bayer cross e.g. circular shapes.

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 Don’t position custom logos so they compete with the Bayer brand.

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 Don’t use the word ‘Bayer’ in a way that goes against company branding principles (e.g. by shortening or adding suffixes). 

These examples all incorporate the Bayer logo, wording, or similar symbols in a way that goes against the guidelines.


Examples of prohibited symbols and secondary/custom logos