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Company logo design
A company logo design is basically the face of a company.
In general, there are 3 types of company logo designs:
This is the easiest one. And it’s the one which we’re most familiar with. For example, John Hancock’s (a United States insurance company) signature is a kind of word mark.
It can also look crisp, clean and modern like how the new Google logo looks.
Or it can look somewhat like it has roots in a shared heritage the way the iconic Coca-Cola and Budweiser logo looks.
To get a better idea of what I’m referring to, below are some of the most popular word mark logos which you could use to draw some inspiration:
Citibank, Disney, CNN, FedEx, Ebay, Facebook, Canon, Nikon, Rayban, Ferrari, Oscar de la Renta, IBM, Subway, Dell
Pictorial logos often function as a kind of rebus, which is a representation of a word or phrase using pictures or symbols. It could be a heraldic emblem or any sort of graphic representation which will make you think of the word when you see it.
It’s a picture which consumers quickly identify or associate with the name of the company. Sometimes directly such as Apple or Target. And sometimes indirectly like Lacoste.
The third type is likened to the Holy Grail. Why is that so?
Well, it seems to be almost everyone’s favorite logo type because it could potentially work just like magic.
Often, our graphics design team would receive requests such as the following:
“I want something like the Nike swoosh.”
Well, clients sometimes think that the popular Nike swoosh was the Nike swoosh the day it was drawn. But it wasn’t. Nike’s birth company, Blue Ribbon Sports commissioned a design student named Carolyn Davidson to draw some ideas.
The Nike founders didn’t really like it at first glance. Hence the initial logo wasn’t an overnight success until they started putting it on the sides of shoes. The shoes were good and then the genius of Nike’s marketing apparatus made us further associate their products not merely with performance athletic gear but with the very powerful idea of athletic achievement itself. And that’s over how over a long time, a little mark meant something big. And that’s exactly how religious symbols work. It’s obviously not just anything inherent about these shapes, but what these shapes have come to represent in the minds of the people who are looking at them.
But there’s a fourth type of logo that goes beyond these 3 types, and can use elements of each of them. We call this the Logo System.
The Logo System
This is a graphical framework which can have endless permutations. One of the first massively popular example of the logo system would be MTV.
But Google’s daily “doodles” are another great example of the logo system – a familiar mark that can also point other ideas and issues. For instance, the doodle shown below illustrates the 2014 World Cup and Father’s Day.
Illustrated by guest artist Alyssa Winans, the following doodle commemorates Malaysia’s 56th Independence Day, featuring teh tarik, a favorite local beverage amidst the colors of the Malaysian flag.
The use and implementation of logo systems seems to be continually on the upswing, probably due to the fact that it allows the company or brand using it to expand the conversations beyond its own name.
But at the end of the day, regardless of the shape or style, it might not matter as much. It really is about thinking of these symbols as empty vessels in a way. And then you pour the meaning into them. Some vessels are better at holding one kind of meaning.
So what do all these add up to? What makes an awesome company logo design?
Let me draw an analogy between the sport of diving versus swimming.
It is not about what kind of splash you make when you hit the water. Rather, it is about how long you can keep your head above that water and how fast you can outswim your competition.
A company logo design need to have a long life, not just merely winning points in a discussion.