Whether it’s a movie, a flyer, a website, or a book, graphics attract attention.The same is true of graphics in a logo. Not all logos contain graphics, but if your logo does, you want to ensure the graphic is the right kind.
What is a logo graphic anyway? A logo graphic can be1:
Some brands use a graphic as part of the logo. Some brands use a symbol or icon as the entire logo. Think of the evolution of the Starbuck’s logo, what started as an emblem became an illustrated symbol. Or what about the progression of the Apple logo? What started as a detailed illustration/combination mark became only a shape.
Your logo graphic communicates meaning and purpose for your brand.
Whichever logo graphic you choose (if you choose one), it needs a reason to be there. Your graphic communicates meaning and purpose for your brand. Below are four different styles of a logo graphic with examples of each.
In graphic design, an icon is a shape that represents something. In logo design, an icon is a specific shape that represents a specific company. Twitter and Apple are both excellent examples of companies that use logo icons to represent their company. They both use generic symbols (i.e. a bird and an apple) stylized specifically to represent their company.
Illustration is somewhat hard to define. Especially when it comes to the relationship between what constitutes a design versus an illustration. But an illustration used as a logo graphic is typically a graphic depiction of a scene taken from a woodcut or some other scene in real life.
For example, take a look at the Starbucks logo. What started as a Norse mermaid woodcut encircled by the store name has since turned into a simplified illustration of the same mermaid.
A pattern logo uses combined shapes to produce intricate designs to attract attention and draw in the viewer. Not as common or as dominant as a logo graphic, an example of this kind of logo is from The Ashbury Construction Company.
Also, high-end brands such as Coach and Burberry use their logo as a pattern. They create unique patterns that are immediately recognizable. Below, see how the Ashbury Construction Company and Louis Vuitton have used their logo as a pattern.
Some companies simply use a line as their logo graphic of choice. Typically, these lines are used in such a way that they represent something. Brightview Commercial Landscaping is one such company.
If your company chooses to use a logo graphic, the best kind of graphic for your company depends on your company. Each logo should abide by the best practices of logo design as found in The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding*. But there is no “one size fits all” prescription for each logo.
That’s one thing that makes every company unique.
What are your thoughts? What kind of logo graphic do you think is most effective?
Learn what makes an excellent logo, what the purpose of a logo is, and how to determine the kind of logo you need. Be shown how to choose a logo graphic, logo font, and logo color and more when sign up for updates and download this free logo ebook.
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Greetings! I'm Lauren Waller, a graphic designer who specializes in print design. As a traumatic brain injury survivor, I love the tactile nature of paper and how neuroscience has proven its dynamic impact on the brain. I am based in the bright state of Florida after moving from the beautiful-part-of-the-time state of Michigan. I am a dedicated Christian who is honest, friendly, and hard-working. When I am not designing, I enjoy listening to classical and Christian music, taking photos, exploring nature, cooking, and reading a great book. We should chat!
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