Symbols, Brands and Nameless Logo?

Can be roughly categorized into three areas:
  • Typographic logos which feature the name of the company or brand, for example Harrods and Calvin Klein.
  • Type and symbol logos which consist of some sort of symbol combined with the company name, for example Jaguar, Ferrari and Mercedes Benz.
  • Symbol only logos. These are the big boys of the branding world, so famous they don’t need a company name to be recognized, examples include Nike, Shell and Apple.
    There is sometimes an assumption that typographic logos are easy to make, but the fact is, there is a lot of skill in choosing (or making) a suitable typeface to represent a brand. The most popular logos are the type and symbol logos as they cover all bases – a symbol which is aesthetically pleasing, recognizable and representing the company ideals, but with a reminder of the company name included. As mentioned above Symbol-​​only logos are generally used by very well established companies where there will be little doubt about who or what the company represents.when the students first start designing logos that there is a temptation to throw everything but the kitchen sink in, with gradients, warped text and bevels regularly appearing. Good design involves taking away elements until you’re finished rather than adding to try and make something look “designed”.

    Tips on Using Symbols in Logos and Brands.

    1. Storytelling

    Remember, not all symbols are created equal-choose symbols that tell a story. Do your research and make sure the symbols incorporated in your logo are not just pretty faces, but convey clear and concise representations.

    2. International perspectives:

    Examine symbols from multiple perspectives-that of the clients, that of their target audience, and even beyond their normal social and cultural contexts. What a symbol represents in one culture may not be what it represents in another. This is crucial for companies who seek to create international identities and brands.

    3. Conflicts of interest:

    Again, do your research. Do not use multiple symbols in one logo or brand that might possibly represent conflicting ideas. It is ok to combine forces, but be careful to not overload on symbols, or couple symbols that cause friction. You want the logo to express a unified message.

    4. Clarify the Communication

    Each logo should communicate something. That something is left up to the client to determine and the designer to execute. Symbols are powerful communication devices when used wisely. One smart symbolic element in a logo design can express everything, but the designer needs to be careful to express one thing well, not many ideas poorly.

    As with any device, there are limits to what these graphical tools can do, therefore, keep it concise. The client may resist being overly specific in their message, but as the designer it is your job to stress the need for symbolic impact.

    5. Symbols that Interact:

    Everything that visually represents the company comes to define it. This is the general idea behind the brand and its logo. The hope is that people understand who the company is and want to incorporate the brand into their lives. The designer must be conscience that symbols do not exist on their own, since conception they have been in a constant state of interaction. Therefore, symbols have friends and they have enemies. The designer must learn to recognize how this will affect the overall impact of the brand and logo.