What is a symbol based logo?
While it could be argued that every type of logo could be considered a symbol-based logo, in the strictest sense, a symbol-based logo is defined as a logo that has a simple yet meaningful design element that stands for something powerful.
Symbols are pictures that tell a story more than lettermark logos or even a pictorial mark. In the long history of mankind, many experts have noted that man has long been fascinated with symbols to communicate messages. We may not be in the time of Egyptian hieroglyphics and other cave drawings but symbols still have a huge role to play when it comes to abstract logo marks.
A logo is a visual representation of a business or an advocacy group. Many designers use symbols as a way to provide an edge in their logo designs. Symbols are easily identifiable. It can also shape the perception of people about a brand.
The Impact of Symbols
The aim of a logo is to create an identity for a business or a group and create brand recognition. It should also communicate its most valued ideals and objectives. In a fast-paced world where information moves at the speed of light, people usually get to know companies and groups first with the help of their logos.
This is where symbols are essential. Symbols can appeal to various perceptions of people including imagination and desire. They can easily associate a business with positive qualities such as trust, honesty, and reliability.
On the other hand, logo symbols are also open to misinterpretations. When done incorrectly, a symbol in a logo can make a client look laughable or incompetent.
Guidelines in Using Symbols for Logo Design
Symbols can evoke a perception or tell a narrative with just the mere sight of it. Before a logo should use a symbol, it must be carefully researched to make sure it conveys clear and accurate representations. Great examples can be seen in church logo symbols.
The client should determine what message the symbol of a logo should represent. The designer should focus on maintaining clarity in communicating the message. The design should not lose its meaning with an incoherent and indecisive treatment. It is up to the designer to flawlessly execute the vision of the client. Here is a client project where we used abstract symbols.
Difference in Culture
If a logo will be used for a global campaign, it should have no problem with multiple interpretations from various cultures. Different cultures assign different meanings to symbols. A logo with sights on international conquest should subject it to multiple perspectives.
This is also true for conflicts of interest. A symbol in a logo should not represent opposite ideas that can cause friction. Coherence and a unified message should be the goal of logo design with symbols.
Interaction of the Symbol
All symbols can have a life of their own. The intent of a designer for the meaning of a symbol may change when viewed by different types of people. It is important in logo design that a symbol must strike a balance between creative interpretation and abstraction. Rallying and unifying symbols are common in the army.
Excellent Case Studies of Symbols
Before submitting a logo design, check the examples and lessons of successful logo symbols. Learn the factors that made these logos a hit:
- Nike’s Swoosh logo exudes a sense of movement and speed that is important in sports activities.
- Batman’s Bat logo inspires a dark and mysterious tone akin to the personality of the Dark Knight.
- The Playboy Bunny has an innocent yet playful vibe to it and its bowtie accessory gives it an appeal for gentlemen.
- McDonald’s Golden Arches emulates the welcoming atmosphere of a passage arch for good fortune. Its bright yellow colors also appeal to one’s appetite.
- Microsoft’s Windows logo may be a literal symbol but it evokes virtues of connectivity and transparency. It also has a flag symbol for victory and loyalty.
- The Clover symbol of the Girl Scouts denotes three profiles for female profiles: womanhood, equality, and the holy trinity.
Deciding on Symbols
The use of symbols is just one of many strategies for logo creation. But symbols are the ones that are most open to creative interpretation because it does not rely on words. A successful logo symbol can become the foundation of a business or company for years. Creativity goes a long way in making this possible.
These are just a few examples from our client portfolio. As we create more symbol based logos for our clients, we will keep updating this page.