Use of Symbols in logos – The primary task of logo is to render brand recognition to the company it represents. As such the text based logos do the maximum justice to the start up companies by giving them a unique identity of their own. Does that mean we should avoid the symbolic logos altogether? Not actually—-the symbolic logos also have their own role to play, but elsewhere.
Let’s check the benefits of symbolic logos.
Before weighing up the pros and cons of the use of symbols in logo, let’s just try to understand the function of a good logo. Logo is the focal point of the company’s marketing strategy. It doesn’t matter how good your product is; it will fail miserably in the market, if customers can not distinguish it in the crowds of hundreds of similar other product. It is the task of the marketing team to send across this message of uniqueness to the customers and product logo plays a key role in creating this unique identity.
Thus a good logo is one that helps your customers to quickly identify your products. Just try to recall, what happens when you are in a grocery store and shopping in hurry—your hurried eyes search for the familiar symbols that are associated with your everyday life like that of a Kellogg’s signature or Nestle sign. This is the work of a good logo—they help the customers to reach the product. It is not just about logo aesthetics.
Let’s see whether the symbolic logos serve this purpose.
The symbolic logos represent unique design that is associated with a particular organization sans any text. The symbol only logos are hard to find in the corporate world, yet some of them have created history—just try to recall, Apple computer’s apple and the swoosh of Nike.
In case of symbolic logos, it is the symbol that communicates the message all by itself. In case of misinterpretation of the message, the fate of the company would suffer. However, the classic symbolic icons such as arch shaped yellow M of the McDonald or the small swoosh of Nike have emerged as powerful logos over the years. But there is a long history of marketing efforts behind them to associate these symbols with the particular company.
The problem is: start up companies can not afford these expensive marketing campaigns. For the small or start up businesses, it is the logo that gives recognition to the brand, not the brand name that makes the logo famous.
So here we get the answer to our first question: the symbolic logos do have their efficacy, but for the companies that have already established their business identity in their respective fields.
At the same time, we can not ignore the fact that symbols have great visual impact. So the solution lies in combining text with symbol to get the desired effect. These text-symbol combinations conjure up a unique personality that makes it easier to remember the product and its manufacturer.
The vibrant NBC logo with a colorful peacock or the Puma logo incorporating the image of a jumping puma are the good examples of this phenomenon, where text with a distinct symbol confers the logo a unique personality. This design approach has the capability of creating immortal characters.